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Exocomm hosting services

Exocomm is dedicated to providing quality hosting solutions to individuals and businesses around the world. Exocomm offers great service and low prices; providing multi-purpose hosting services delivered on a top-quality infrastructure. Exocomm services go beyond typical hosting, consulting or collocation arrangements. Exocomm not only manages your hosting environment, we work to provide support and proactive incident response to all layers of the application. Exocomm has established a best-of-breed infrastructure that ensures the highest level of reliability, security and uptime.

The key input into our incident management plan and required information to make application and infrastructure performance recommendations is our monitoring services. Exocomm works closely with our customers to design a custom monitoring solution that ensures all the key components of your application environment are monitored on the 24/7 basis. Exocomm can monitor a wide array of environment elements from bandwidth utilization to web and database server performance.

Exocomm provides full support to all elements of your application infrastructure and network components. Exocomm can manage your firewall and hardware infrastructure as well as web, application and database servers. As recognition of the value of your online brand is paramount, Exocomm works closely with you to develop and implement security and disaster recovery plans.

In today's information-based economy, business -- most any business, needs to be online. For anything from a bakery or doctor's office to an international manufacturer or non-profit organization, an internet presence is now an absolute necessity in almost every business model. Critical factors which once measured the success of a business such as word-of-mouth reputation or the appearance of your place of business, have been displaced by the appeal of your web site, and your brand's reputation in the social media. But information technology is more than a communications medium enabling customers to find your business. In many cases, information is the product. It's how you get paid. It's how you advertise, how you interact with your customers, and often how you deliver your products and services. To compete, you've got to use technology to promote, engage, and retain customers better than your competition. If you don't, customers will find a competitor who will.

Next to personnel, information technology is often the largest operational expense a business must bear. It's not a question of if technology is necessary for a business, but how much is required and when it should be deployed. In contrast to conventional expenses such as raw materials, advertising or office space, the complex nature of technology often makes procurement decisions relatively difficult. If you're behind the curve on technical innovation, your business will starve. But invest too heavily in the latest fads, and your business will run out of money. Investing too much, or too little, in technology is one of the most common factors affecting the success or failure of a business. To make wise decisions about when and how much, you need highly specialized knowledge.

These days, many IT resources are available for almost zero cost. There are free hosting providers for your web site, free e-mail services, and free marketing tools such as Facebook, eBay and Youtube. There are even zero-cost providers for your accounting and database needs, such as Google Apps. Everything is managed by third-party companies who specialize in providing a specific service, and these companies benefit from your use of their services, generating revenue from showing you advertisements, or selling the data you store with them to other companies.

It's hard to argue with investing in solutions that appear free. However, there is always a price to pay. With a free provider of web hosting for example, you'll find that the provider has little incentive to deliver quality service to you. The web site might be unavailable, slow, or adorned with annoying advertisements. Your critical e-mail might be lost, delayed, or intercepted by unauthorized parties. Your precious customer lists, promotional materials or accounting files could disappear without a trace when the provider decides it's no longer in their interest to serve you. And there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Like a huckster setting up a temporary shop on a sidewalk, customers know you are not a reliable business. You might be selling a good product at a good price, but today's customers know that if they buy something from an ugly web site full of flashing banner ads, there's a good chance they'll be getting ripped off. They know that customerservice28934@hotmail.com probably does not represent a business that will be there in the future when they have a question, or need support. Frankly, anyone doing business with such a company is likely to have their credit card account or personal information abused by criminals.

This stage of IT resource development might be suitable for a lemonade stand. Many millionaires built their businesses in the early stages by leveraging freely available services, and even larger companies can benefit from augmenting internal resources with free ones. For example, even a company maintaining it's own internal data center might benefit from having backup DNS or mail servers available off-site.

“FRACTIONAL” COLOCATION : $4,800 / YEAR

The next logical stage of infrastructure development, after dedicated servers, is colocation. With this model, a customer is leased rack space, power and network bandwidth by the hosting provider. The provider also manages site security, air conditioning and other requirements of the data center. All servers and peripheral devices such as switches, routers, firewalls and load balancers are owned and managed by the customer.

Entry-level colocation, (often called “fractional colocation” when it is sold in units of less than a full rack cabinet) is available in various capacities based on the rack space requirements, such as a single-U solution (for a single server), “octal rack” (11 U, suitable for several servers plus peripheral devices), “half rack” (22 U) or “full rack” (44 U).

Colocation generally includes a basic amount of power service included in the basic price, for example “5 amps included with half rack plans”. Because the profit margins on power delivery tend to be high, customers need to carefully consider their power requirements when deploying colocated servers. If a single 1-U server burns 300 watts under maximum load, 5 amps of power is only sufficient for two such servers – leaving 20 units of space unusable.

Network bandwidth is also sold as a commodity item under colocated hosting plans. Bandwidth may be metered or “burstable” (a large amount of capacity is made available to you, and you pay for the actual amount of data transferred, allowing you to accommodate occasional “bursts” of utilization) or unmetered (you are guaranteed an amount of network capacity, and may utilize this full capacity at no extra cost).

Almost every business customer with a colocated hosting service will realize the best value from unmetered bandwidth. Although the unit costs of raw resources are much lower with colocated hosting, in most cases the customer is still “stuck” with a single provider of space, power, bandwidth and services.

CAGE / SUITE / HOTEL / WAREHOUSE COLOCATION : $48,000+ / YEAR “Fractional” colocation customers usually pay for “infrastructure” – space within rack cabinets, power and network bandwidth from a single provider. When a customer has populated four full racks, or is using substantial amounts of power or bandwidth resources, “suite” colocation becomes an attractive option. Cage colocation is suitable for very large installations, where the costs of purchasing and maintaining infrastructure such as backup power and air conditioning from a single source begins to become prohibitive. At this stage, “suite” colocation becomes a viable option. Suite colocation is generally sold by the square foot by property management companies, rather than hosting providers. Rather than obtaining power and network resources from a single source (the hosting company), the customer may opt to install their own resources. Bandwidth is generally available from many different providers within a facility, providing great flexibility to the customer. This type of colocation is particularly well suited to peering situations, where information is flowing to and from a large number of carriers. For example, a VOIP service provider would benefit from being able to negotiate multiple connectivity contracts which are used simultaneously – a cheap “short-hop” network like Cogent to service major North American cities, in combination with a higher-cost “long-haul” provider such as Global Crossing, Bell or Worldcom to provide overseas connectivity.

ENTERPRISE : MULTIPLE DATA CENTERS, GLOBAL PRESENCE : $250,000+ / YEAR

There are several reasons why a company may outgrow even the largest colocated environment. Most importantly, internet companies need to ensure availability – systems must be available 24 hours a day, and even a brief service outage can be disastrous. The customer must protect against SPOF (“Single Point Of Failure”, or “all the eggs in one basket”) situations. While each discrete data center may incorporate redundant backup systems, each data center is also vulnerable to availability threats, no matter how large or well-designed the facility is. Potential threats to data centers include political issues, competition, financial matters such as taxation and government incentives, availability of sufficient raw resources such as electrical power and network capacity – and of course, “acts of god” such as broken fiber-optic cables, extended power outages or employee misconduct.

At this point, the business must scale in such a way as to provide redundancy and fail-over capacity in order to maximize availability. Redundancy allows the enterprise to continue operations even if a major disaster occurs in one of it's data centers by “failing over”; redirecting traffic from a failed facility to an operational one. An additional benefit of a global internet presence is the ability to provide localized services – for example to provide Google's search engine service in China. Technologies such as anycast routing ensure the fastest possible service for users, wherever they are located.

Organizations who require this level of infrastructure include Google, Amazon, Microsoft or IBM. The enterprise often must research, design, construct and maintain it's own data centers from scratch. Each data center has it's own unique requirements – a “peering hotel” requires a highly accessible location within a major city, whereas a “server farm” used for a company's internal operations may be located in urban areas. In this highly competitive industry, success is a matter of locating a suitable site (defunct factories and warehouses can be attractive options), ensuring sufficient power, bandwidth and human resources will remain available at a reasonable cost, and negotiating with local vendors and government agencies to foster the best possible business environment.

In the current market, brisk trade occurs in "second-hand" data center properties. Specialized internet companies, in co-operation with property management and investment firms often handle the nuts-and-bolts construction of data centers which are then sold to larger, more established organizations. Or, a failing internet company sells it's assets when it goes out of business. In these cases, the critical metric for investors is revenue/costs per square foot. The average Canadian data center resells for between $1,500,000 and $100,000,000 depending on the facility and it's associated resources; revenues of $20 to $200 per square foot can be expected.

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