February 2008 Newsletter
New Data Center for Quadax
As many of you now know, Quadax will be moving our Fairview Park and Westlake offices to a new location in Middleburg Heights. This change has prompted us to think about the future of the Quadax data center and how we can continue to improve services for our customers.
The Quadax data center is currently located in our Fairview Park office. When we moved into our current facility in 1987 we had three HP 3000 servers. At that time, customers connected to Quadax via leased lines or dial-up modems. That move was much simpler than this move will be. Much has changed in twenty-one years. We still have a few HP 3000s around, but we also have three HP-UX servers and more than seventy Windows™ servers. In addition to servers, we have a very sophisticated fiber-optic telecommunications network, which was recently upgraded to Ethernet running MPLS. Our new network provides greater redundancy and bandwidth capabilities.
We have continually made investments in the Fairview Park infrastructure to provide you with higher levels of availability. For example, we have twin UPSs protecting the power to all servers and telecommunications equipment in our data center, and a Caterpillar diesel generator that powers the entire Fairview Park facility in case of power outages.
In order for Quadax to continue our progression toward higher levels of availability, we had a choice to make: build a new data center in Middleburg Heights or find an alternative. Building a new data center would be a large and expensive project. Luckily Eric Wahter, our Data Communications Manager, discovered the perfect alternative—have our equipment hosted by a company that specializes in data centers. The company that we have selected is Expedient Communications, an expert at hosting and managing data centers. This allows us to leverage their expertise in areas such as fire detection and suppression, power, backup and telecommunications.
We have already located several of our test servers in an Expedient data center. We have a 20’x20’ locked cage safe inside an Expedient data center in the Cleveland area. This facility has personnel on site 24/7 with surveillance cameras and locked doors that only open for personnel with appropriate access. This facility is considered a state-of-the-art data center in which virtually all components are redundant. In fact, they have multiple fiber-optic SONET rings into this data center. One of the other key points of this implementation is that we are outsourcing our backups to Expedient. Expedient manages the backup of our servers and provides us with reporting details on all backup jobs. Although our servers will be located in Cleveland, Expedient will be backing up our data to their Pittsburgh data center. This improves our disaster recovery capabilities because our data will always be stored in two locations.
We will be moving the balance of the Quadax servers to Expedient in the next few months. This project will be completed before our personnel move to Middleburg Heights. At times there may be planned application outages on the weekends, and we will keep you informed as appropriate.
What does all of this mean for you? Your data will be hosted in a safe, world-class data center that provides you with the highest level of availability to your applications with capacity for expandability.