02-22-10 | Blog Post

Operational Excellence in Managed Data Centers

Blog Posts

The value proposition for a managed data center is actually pretty simple:

1)      You can save money compared to operating your own data center.

Whether through basic colocation (where we provide the data center infrastructure and you manage your own servers), through managed colocation (we manage our your servers in our data center), or managed dedicated servers (we buy, operate and manage dedicated servers for you), we can deliver our data center solutions more cost effectively than the do-it-yourself model. With multi-tenant data centers, where our costs are amortized across hundreds of clients, we can offer a higher tier service at a lower price than most IT departments can do themselves.

2)      You can reduce your operational risk compared to running your own data center.

We hire the best and share their expertise across hundreds of our clients and thousands of servers. Chances are that our engineers have seen a wider variety of problems and issues than most IT departments will ever see.  This expertise and wealth of experience helps our colocation and managed server clients reduce their overall IT operational risk.

3)      You can achieve a higher level of operational excellence that is rarely seen with in-house data centers.

This is not to say that our clients don’t drive accountability and excellence by their IT staff, but in-house staff have responsibilities that go beyond keeping the data center running, the network operational, and the servers running 24×7.  That’s all managed data center operators do – we make sure our clients servers and applications are always on, always on-line and connected to the Internet, and always running.

At Online Tech, we have built a level of metrics, accountability and visibility in what we do that helps us drive operational excellence beyond what you’ll find at most data centers.

Some might say we go too far, but we measure everything that goes on in our data center.  We measure response time on support tickets, network bandwidth, power and network uptime, power usage, and even daily usage of OTPortal, our customer’s window into their data center operations. These metrics become the pulse of the company – were we can see the numbers on everything that is going on in our data center.

Along with these data center metrics, we also have built a high level of accountability into our daily operations.  From our systems that automatically track incoming tickets and how quickly we resolve those tickets, to daily huddles where the entire company conferences every single day for 7 minutes.  In our daily huddles, our employees track about a dozen daily metrics across the company – including the number of support tickets.  Any ticket open for longer than 24 hours is discussed with the entire company, along with the name of the engineer that “owns” getting a solution and when that solution will be in place.  This level of accountability has helped us drive average ticket resolution time from over 50 hours two years ago to less than 2 hours last quarter.

And finally, we provide a level of transparency and visibility into the data center that many of our clients say were difficult to achieve in their own data centers.  From running an open book company, to systems that share the status of our data center operations across the company and with our clients, we believe that transparency is a key value in our business and a key part of our success.  Read this post on transparency in IaaS companies and our core values.

Of all the things we do, the operational excellence we deliver in taking care of our colocation and managed server clients every single day is one of our greatest sources of pride, and one of the reasons our clients stay with us year after year.

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