The concept of remote hands in your Colocation data centre might be one you’ve not thought that much about before, or you might’ve been aware that remote hands support existed but never taken advantage of it.
However, in the socially distanced world in which we now find ourselves, it might just be what you need to keep your operations running and your customers well served.
So, how remote is remote hands?
The short answer is … very.
The general idea with Colocation is that it’s your kit – your servers, virtual machines – containing your data and apps – hosted in somebody else’s server room or data centre.
You have control over your hardware and the information that’s stored on it but none of the hassle or responsibility for maintaining the environment in which they sit.
You only tend to visit your Colocation data centre when there’s a problem or if you need to reconfigure your kit.
Remote hands support exists of course.
For organisations with limited IT resource, or even those with ample resource but big plans, remote hands, or smart hands as they’re sometimes called, are a way of saving time and money and concentrating internal resource on more value-add or business critical projects.
Especially when the task in question is as simple as flicking a couple of switches … hardly worth the time, expense and environmental impact of travelling.
Then, in 2020, everything changed.
As lockdown began, many data centres closed their doors altogether to everyone except on-site technicians. Suddenly, remote hands support became a critical element of Colocation.
And it was exactly what it says … remote … in that the onus to check issues, make changes or carry out migrations fell on data centre support teams.
As it happens, a quick ear to the technology grapevine shows that not all of that remote hands support has been up to scratch.
Some customers have suffered the consequences in terms of delays in fixing issues or enacting change requests, with impacts on their operations and customer service.
If remote hands are becoming essential, having trust in your hosting provider is even more so.
At Safe Hosts, we’ve seen a huge increase in Colocation customers asking for a formalised managed service – Colocation with a full support wrap.
Still with overall ownership of the hardware and how it’s setup but with even less of the responsibility for setup, migration, testing, fault-finding and fixing, reconfigurations, decommissioning, etc.
It could even be that some Colocation customers never visit our data centre in person.
We always welcome personal visits, keen to demonstrate the environmental and security controls and friendly, responsive customer service that make ours a best practice facility.
But, with the development of our virtual reality data centre that accurately depicts every door, room and rack in our facility, we accept and embrace a changing world in which we won’t meet all our customers in person and in which remote hands will be a crucial aspect of a normal Colocation service.
It’s vital that all data centre operators make sure that technicians understand each customer’s needs and for customer service agents to be at the top of their game.
As remote hands support becomes increasingly important in a remote working world, below par service just won’t be tolerated.