10 Things You Need To Know Before You Buy Colo

  1. Always
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    always always tour before you buy.
    Forget what’s on paper or on the web. Walk into your prospective data center, what you see is what you get. A tour is priceless, don’t sign a contract without first making a visit. And never ever buy colocation from someone who refuses to give you a tour or makes excuses for why you can’t see the facility–they probably have something to hide.

  2. Talk to their other customers first.
    Ask your prospective provider’s customers how the company supports them once they’re in the door. Ask for references, but also work to contact customers who aren’t on their reference list. Colocation often comes with a service contract for one or two years, contracts that are difficult to break or carry stiff penalties. Learn what service is like after the contract is signed, because that’s what matters to your business and that’s what you’re paying for.
  3. How much power does your provider’s support reps have to act on your behalf in an emergency?
    Most data centers route their “24×7 support” to a level-1 call center, often times off-shore. At XNet, all of our support is handled in-house by full time staff, and senior-level support is immediately accessible any time, day or night. Just ask our customers.
  4. How easy is your data center to get to during rush hour or inclement weather?
    The Chicago area is notorious for tough winters and spring storms. The winter of 2008 has proven this to us all. When selecting a data center, choose a location you can get to quickly and easily in all weather conditions to minimize downtime in the event of a crash or equipment failure.
  5. Does your provider own their own space?
    Take note of providers that sub-let space within larger facilities. These types of providers may offer an attractive solution with good service, but many have a history of frequent ownership changes through acquisitions, mergers, bankruptcies, etc. Tough questions to ask yourself: How do you know your facility will be around a year later? How do you know their quality of service will stay as it is now once they’re sold? Stick with a company that has a long track record of single ownership and quality service over time.
  6. Is their HVAC system connected to the generator?
    This seems like a no-brainer, but many boutique data centers don’t have their precision AC units on generator power. If electricity is out for more than 30 minutes, UPS batteries no longer keep these units running, and there’s no more cooling in the data center. Without cooling, your equipment will overheat and possibly fail. At XNet, our HVAC system is connected to backup generator power–in a power outage, cooling will not be jeopardized.
  7. Where do they keep their backup generators?
    Many facilities in downtown areas keep them in the basement, which renders them useless in the event of a flood (this has happened). At XNet, we keep our generators away from the building and on high ground so your equipment stays safe.
  8. Are they trying to differentiate themselves based on multiple power grids?
    While an attractive selling point, multiple grids is not as big of a deal as providers make it seem. In major power catastrophes, often many grids in a metropolitan area go down. You can’t rely on these multiple grids alone, make sure the backup generators are up to snuff, HVAC is connected to the generator, and appropriate refueling agreements are in place.
  9. How well do their service reps understand your business?
    For complex applications, it’scriticial your provider understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. This kis key to a successful long-term partnership with any provider.
  10. What type of carriers provide connectivity to the data center?
    Different providers offer different types of networks (value, blended, etc FLESH OUT). Do your homework on the various network providers (such as Level(3), Verizon, Savvis, Covad, AT&T, etc.) and the type of network they provide. A facility with a certain number of carriers isn’t enough. Know your application and be confident you’re buying access to the right types of networks for your needs.
  11. Extra: Does your data center care?
    Finally, Examine the people you’re dealing with. Do they understand your business? Are they acting committed to you, or to your commission check? How do you know the staff of your facility will be behind you once you’re in the door? When your equipment goes down? Keep this in mind through your selection process, and be sure to interview customer references. It’s equally important you trust the people you’ll be working with as you trust the facility you’ll be hosting in.
Posted on April 16th, 2014 by XNet
Posted in Winning Customer Service | No Comments »

What’s XNet President and TEDxNaperville Curator Arthur Zards doing this week?


Arthur was invited to attend the TEDxSummit in Doha, Qatar hosted by the Doha Film Institute. The TEDxSummit is a four day workshop where 650 TEDx organizers from around the world meet to take classes and learn from one another how to make great local TEDx events. The summit features a variety of world-renown TED and TEDx speakers that opened the conference with their powerful and inspiring TEDTalks on April 16th. Following their talks, TEDx organizers began learning how to make truly powerful events.

So how does this relate to TEDxNaperville? When

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the TEDx curators from around the world meet this week at the summit, they will be sharing lessons and good case practices of everything from stage design and finding speakers to increasing interactivity and inspiring attendees. Arthur will be taking classes and learning from other amazing TED and TEDx organizers, which we will implement in TEDxNaperville 2012 in November. Furthermore, Arthur will be leading an educational session on building engagement, which other TEDx organizers will use to better their events.

You can follow the TEDxSummit at http://tedxsummit.ted.com and on twitter with #tedxsummit.

Additionally, Arthur has created a blog to share his incredible experience at this event and his travels throughout Qatar. To see what he is doing, visit powerofx.posterous.com.

Posted on April 17th, 2012 by admin
Posted in TEDxNaperville | No Comments »

Share Your “Idea Worth Spreading” at TEDxNaperville!

TEDxNaperville - Coming November 2012

Each year, TEDxNaperville brings the brightest minds of Chicagoland to your doorstep at its annual event in Naperville. What makes a TEDx event so powerful is its ability to facilitate discussion between free-thinking speakers and open-minded attendees – both of whom seek to change the world.

But what makes these speakers so special? What decides if a speaker is selected to share their ideas with hundreds of attendees? One requirement. They must have an idea truly worth spreading.

Anyone can be a speaker at a TEDx event, regardless of age, gender, nationality, or belief. If you have an idea that needs to be shared and spread, we’re ready to listen. We pride our TEDx events on being unique, innovative, inspiring, and even a little weird, so if you have something you wish to share, let us know!

Currently, TEDxNaperville host and curator Arthur Zards is taking speaker applications for TEDxNaperville 2012, and we are already lining up some amazing speakers that will quench your thirst for knowledge and inspiration.

Additionally, TEDxNaperville 2012 will be improving on nearly every facet of the 2011 event. So, if you had a question or concern when you attended last year, don’t worry, we’ve heard you. We’re upping interaction, networking, ambiance, and fun. We can’t give you the details just yet, but know your TEDxNaperville coordinators are in full work-mode, ensuring you have the best possible experience.

If you or someone you know would like to speak at our event and share your idea worth spreading, please contact us at info@tedxnaperville.com.

Additionally, if you would like to help us make this the best TEDx event of 2012 by volunteering or get your brand in front of hundreds of TEDx attendees by sponsoring our event, you can also contact us at info@tedxnaperville.com.

Why does XNet do this? XNet seeks to support the community it has done business in for the past 18 years. Since 2010, we’ve hosted

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annual TEDxNaperville events built on bringing the brightest minds of Chicagoland to Naperville to share their ideas worth spreading. We’ve also hosted numerous social networking events called SiliconPrairieSocials that facilitate collaboration between tech industry leaders in the suburbs. Through hosting and sponsoring networking and collaboration events in the suburbs, we believe we can raise the profile of those who work here and better our community.

Posted on March 26th, 2012 by XNet
Posted in TEDxNaperville | No Comments »

Announcing our new SiliconPrairieSocial!


The SiliconPraireSocial (SPS) scheduled for 3/29 has been canceled. We will be rescheduling it for a later month. For those of

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you who have already purchased tickets, your money will be refunded. Stay tuned for information on a new SPS in the coming weeks.

If you’ve experienced a SiliconPraireSocial (SPS) in the past, you may have asked, “When are we having another one!?” Well, over the past months, XNet has been in full stride working on many community development projects, including its annual free-thinking conference, TEDxNaperville. Now that TEDxNaperville and other projects are up and running, XNet is proud to announce a brand new SPS event!

On March 29th, tech enthusiasts will converge on Ballydoyle Irish Pub and Restaurant in Downers Grove to network, celebrate technology, eat and drink, and enjoy great tech conversation. This won’t be your standard SPS though. Towards the end of the event, we will be hosting a PowerPoint Karaoke – a fun activity where small teams will get a set of random images and a small amount of time to prepare a PowerPoint presentation for everyone. Hilariousness will ensue!

If you’re new to SiliconPraireSocial and are not sure what to expect, you can check us out at www.siliconprairiesocial.com/about or read our recent blog post explaining who we are and what we do.

Tickets are on sale now, so head over to http://sps.ticketbud.com/sps to get yours today!

The Facts:

Where: Ballydoyle Irish Pub and Restaurant in Downers Grove, 5157 Main St., Downers Grove, IL

Parking Information: http://www.downers.us/res/parking-and-transportation/commuter-parking

When: Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Time: 5:30pm – 7:30pm with Karaoke at 7:30pm - 8:00pm

Tickets: $10.61, includes a draft beer and generous appetizers

Sign up: http://sps.ticketbud.com/sps

Posted on March 16th, 2012 by XNet
Posted in SiliconPrairieSocial | No Comments »
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