Colocation Services are provided from Hosted Solutions data centers (DCs) in two formats:
- Cabinet space – full cabinets and half cabinets
- Secure private cage space
The physical location of customer equipment within the DC will be determined by WHS depending on space availability and the customer’s desires. Space, cabinets or cages will be allocated, based on the amount of equipment being deployed, the classification(s) of service to which the customer subscribes, and the type of space the customer purchased. Our largest data centers are in:
Andover, MA - Bethlehem, PA - Boston, MA - Cary, NC - Charlotte, NC Metro - Charlotte, NC Uptown - Conshohocken, PA - Little Rock, AR - McLean, VA - Raleigh, NC - Houston, TX - Richmond, VA
Security is provided by on-site staff and includes:
- Closed-circuit cameras,
- Secure-card key access doors, and
- A mantrap with biometric scanner(s) and alarmed doors.
On-site security personnel also monitor each DC and manage the locking cabinets and cages. Building and environmental infrastructure is monitored at all sites.
Fire suppression in the DC is achieved through a pre-action dry pipe system and smoke detection systems. When one or more detectors sense smoke, the fire alarm panel opens the deluge valve to fill the sprinkler piping with water. In case of fire, the seal on the sprinkler heads must melt, and will only then discharge water solely in the affected area. Several facilities are outfitted with FM200 dry systems.
HVAC plants are also configured in an N+1 design at a minimum. Multiple Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) units are located to maintain a room temperature in accordance with third-party equipment manufacturer specifications. See fact sheets for the particular environmental specifications of each facility.
SSAE 16 Compliance
WHS DCs are SSAE (Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements) 16 compliant. As an advanced standard, SSAE 16 defines the standards an auditory must employ in order to assess the contracted internal controls of a service organization. Service organizations, such as hosted data centers, insurance claims processors and credit processing companies, provide outsourcing services that affect the operation of the contracting enterprise. The SSAE audits replace the established, and more familiar, SAS 70 audits with a full checklist of internal controls and procedures that the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) says “are either the same as, or in some cases, more rigorous than those required by SAS 70.”
Cabinet space is provided using individual, four-post, lockable cabinets for the installation of servers and associated IT infrastructure. Cabinets are sold in full or half configurations. Power includes all the elements of a power distribution and backup power generators from our power source to customer equipment.
- Dimensions: 74”(H) x 24”(W) x 42”(D) (full cabinet)
- Total 42U EIA rack spaces (one EIA “U” is 1.75 inches)
- Secure, but removable, side panels
- Universal square mounting holes
- 19” or EIA adjustable racks accept all server factory mounting rails
- Visual monitoring of common aisles by secure CCTV cameras
Secure Cage Space
In addition to individual locked cabinet space, customers can subscribe to private cage space to host their business applications. The secure cages are fully supported Hosted Solutions and offer the ultimate in security.
- Secure cage space offers the following standards:
- Physical separation from other cages and cabinets with a heavy-duty perforated steel wall that provides cross ventilation
- Air flow through the perforated steel grates underneath floors and above walls
Each data center has a minimum configuration of N+1 on Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems. UPS systems receive power from both the commercial utility and our in-house standby generators. Emergency generators are generally configured in an N+1 design, where N is a minimum of 1. The output of each pair of UPS systems feeds redundant power distribution units (PDUs), thus supplying alternate A and B side electrical circuits to each cabinet. In case of a commercial power failure, standby generators have the ability to provide emergency power to the DC in less than one minute of a commercial power outage. The less-than-one-minute gap is covered by the UPS battery strings. During an extended commercial utility outage, diesel generators provide emergency power to the DC. Every DC has multiple days of fuel stored on site, with 24 x 7 fuel delivery agreements in place.
Network Operations and Service
The Network Operations Center (NOC) will perform the following:
- Operations support and troubleshooting of network and hosted infrastructure
- Monitoring of agreed-upon equipment, components and operating systems
- Problem diagnosis and resolution of in-scope troubles on a 24 x 7 x 365 basis
This service is intended to offer customers remote “hands and eyes” to complete tasks defined below at the customer’s direction. Upon request, the following is included in Windstream Hosted Solutions’ (WHS) basic colocation service:
- Reporting indicator light status
- Observing equipment functionality
- Reporting physical conditions within the data center
- Power cycling equipment (turning machine off and on) or soft reboot (performed via keyboard), when possible
- Changing CD-ROMs
- Visual verification of physical cable connectivity to specific pieces of equipment
Basic troubleshooting includes:
- Switching a toggle (if accessible without moving equipment or opening computer cases)
- Pushing a button
- Setting a dip switch (if accessible without moving equipment or opening computer cases)
- Power cycling equipment
- Rebooting a server
- Typing commands on a keyboard
- Running single, built-in diagnostics commands
- Securing cables
The NOC will only support those members on the authorized access list documented for the customer’s company and will not accept calls, provide troubleshooting assistance or interface, in any manner, with parties other than the customer, regardless of whether such parties have purchased services from the customer.
Only authorized personnel are allowed to initiate trouble ticket creation. It is the customer’s responsibility to update or verify any changes in the authorized access list. The customer may open a trouble ticket to request access to the data center for the customer’s (or contracted) personnel in advance of such personnel’s arrival. Authorized personnel must have a government-issued picture ID to confirm their identity.
The NOC provides immediate proactive first-level monitoring and escalations for issues related to customer systems. These issues include customer hardware, disk space, CPU utilization, URL monitoring, availability, network response and degradation of service. Tickets can be created via an email from the customer, in response to an event or alert, or on behalf of the customer while on a call with that customer. All alerts, customer-submitted tickets, and customer-updated tickets are responded to and escalated within 15 minutes.
Maintenance and Administration
There are three levels of maintenance events that may occur. These are:
Planned Maintenance – Normal maintenance activities that may or may not disrupt service:
- Where the customer is notified nine days in advance.
- That is performed during a standard maintenance window Wednesdays from Midnight to 6 a.m. and Sundays from Midnight to 8 a.m. local time of the Windstream Hosted Solutions (WHS) data center at which the customer's equipment is located. Notice of planned maintenance will be provided to the customer's designated point of contact by a method elected by WHS (telephone, email or customer dashboard). An exception to the standard window may be made if it is determined that conducting the maintenance at an alternate time would decrease risk or operational impact of the maintenance. An example of this exception would maintenance to the Managed Backup infrastructure, which traditionally has its highest usage period during the Midnight to 6 a.m. timeframe.
Planned Emergency Maintenance – Planned emergency maintenance required to prevent a degradation or loss of service:
- Where the customer is notified 24 hours in advance if conditions permit.
- That is performed during a maintenance window any day from Midnight to 6 a.m. local time of the WHS data center location at which the customer's equipment is located. Notice of planned emergency maintenance will be provided to the customer's designated point of contact by a method elected by WHS (telephone, email or customer dashboard).
Unplanned Emergency Maintenance – Unplanned emergency maintenance required to prevent a degradation or loss of service:
- WHS will utilize its best efforts to notify the customer in advance if conditions permit.
WHS may determine that an upgrade to hardware and/or firmware deployed within a customer’s environment is necessary. Whenever possible, WHS will work to ensure that such an upgrade is performed in a non-impacting manner. Prior to upgrading the hardware and/or firmware, WHS will work with the customer to schedule a time to make necessary changes, preferably during a normally scheduled data center maintenance window. The customer must allow WHS to make these changes within 30 days of receipt of the request from WHS. If changes are not made within 30 days, WHS’ ability to provide services may be materially impacted, and applicable SLAs shall not apply until the customer allows WHS to make such changes. If WHS determines that an emergency change is required, it will make the change as quickly as possible and will make commercially reasonable attempts to contact the customer’s technical point of contact prior to performing changes.