I have been working in data centers all of my adult, computer loving life. I love D.C.’s! The noise the Leiberts (air conditioners) make. The super cold of the D.C. floor. All of the lights on the servers that shine when the data center lights are off which makes you feel like you are on a spaceship. I love everything about working in a data center! Well…almost everything. Sometimes, working in a data center environment lets you see some pretty horrible things. Of course, I am speaking of “horrible” on a data center/technology scale. No, these horrors aren’t ax wielding psychopaths, but they are just as terrifying for small and large business owners who rely on uptime, data, security and a strong network to keep their businesses going. The tips listed below are from our staff here at Opus-3 Data Centers. Here is what they had to say.
Backup your data and backup that backup – Justin Clutter (VP of Operations at Opus-3 Data Centers in Dallas, Houston, Hong Kong and Germany)
As an administrator, you will need to perform a backup of your data on a regular basis, especially before you make any changes/updates to your system. This way, you’ll never be left vulnerable to any data center issues (power outage, loss of network connection, fire, etc) or updating issues. Remember, disaster can happen anywhere and at any time. Therefore, as an administrator, always make sure that your system and data are backed up. There are many backup services, along with many types of backup software out there on the web. Be sure to compare the services and their related costs for backing up your system and find the best service for your organization. Since backup options are inexpensive and widely available nowadays, if your system fails and you have no backups, you have absolutely no one, but yourself, to blame.
Monitor your systems – Jason Miller
Jason Miller (Linux/Windows Administrator, Gamer, Tech Nerd at Opus-3 Data Center in Dallas, Houston, Hong Kong and Germany)
Running a web hosting business is like driving your car. You can’t drive your car without interacting with the car itself (for the time being anyways). Running your own web hosting also requires various amounts of interaction. In order to be sure your business runs smoothly and without any downtime, you need to implement monitoring. By implementing monitoring, you are interacting with your business in such a way that you are constantly aware of cost, bandwidth, downtime etc. Monitoring your sites/servers/services/resources will help you know how many people are visiting hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. You can see what pages are primarily visited on a particular site and how much time the average visitor spends on any particular domain. With the variety of site monitoring services and software available on the market today, all you have to do is choose which one you’ll be using for your web hosting business.
Be secure/update – Gary Byers (Opus-3 Data Center Manager in Dallas, Houston, Hong Kong and Germany)
Web hosting is a tough business. You’ll have to secure your site and system to the never ending stream of attacks. Since your site is open to the public, it is exposed to everyone, including crackers (for the record Crackers = bad. Hackers = good*). Crackers attempt to crack your system for a myriad of reasons. Some want to steal your customer information, while others may want to use your system as an attack base upon which to prey on other systems. Therefore, it is vitally important for you to secure your system and be up to date with, and aware of, the security features it has. A non-secure server/site is guaranteed to cost you traffic and to mar your online reputation. Simply put, a secure hosting platform leads to more business and more money.
Be patient and be smart– Noah Cain (Linux/Window and Social Media Administrator at Opus-3 Data Center in Dallas, Houston, Hong Kong and Germany)
When hosting, don’t expect to get 1 million hits per day at the beginning. Web hosting requires and abundant amount of both time and patience. You will be slowly generating traffic when you do the right marketing as marketing will drive traffic to your domains. Since traffic equals money, the right marketing will help your business generate the necessary cash it needs to grow. Playing it smart by being patient and controlling your costs will help you survive while waiting for your first paying customer.
Research your hosting provider – John Berry (Senior Network Engineer at Opus-3 Data Center in Dallas, Houston, Hong Kong and Germany)
Most data centers that offer web hosting packages are capable of handling most all needs of a web hosting business. Be that business gaming, web stores or informative sites, be honest with your sales associate so that they can find the exact plan that fits your needs. There are many e-publications, review sites and forums that list data centers that offer services. Pick one and make sure to put in your due diligence. Research them, ask them questions. This is your business that you are going to be trusting to these individuals, so don’t approach this task lightly. If possible, visit the data center (in many instances this isn’t possible due to security measures, but it never hurts to ask). Know your hosting companies as best you can. It is definitely in your best interest!
Remember, you are ultimately responsible for your business. Therefore, the choices you make will affect your business as a whole. We hope these tips will help you survive and stay strong in all your web hosting adventures.
Starting your own business is a risky move for anyone. Be confident and remember that practice makes perfect. Here is a video proving just that! Enjoy!