Our passion is helping companies optimize their IT strategies and decisions. We work with companies to help them determine the best solutions for their production data centers and disaster recovery centers. Using external data center (colocation) facilities is one of the easiest ways to manage IT costs while improving service reliability and uptime. We’ll show you how! Find us on Twitter: @lifelinedatactr
Data storage products witnessed quite a revolution in 2013. Data centers were more than willing to try out newer products with greater performance and quality standards. Here is a list of the products that wowed the audiences with their super brilliant features in 2013.
- OneBlox from Exablox was a clear winner in the storage systems category. This is an object storage system that is excellent as either a primary system or as a backup system. Onebox offers up to 32TB of raw capacity. Exablox has also followed this up by introducing the OneSystem cloud-based management platform for monitoring the OneBlox.
- In the storage systems software category, SanDisk FlashSoft 3.2 was a winner. It has been declared as the system with the most efficient server-side cache. This product supports multiple vendors and both solid state and flash-based drives. It supports the SATA, SAS and PCI Express interfaces.
- In the storage infrastructure category, what stood out was the Mt. Rainier Adapter from QLogic Corp. The FabricCache cards have the ability to share data and mirror caches across servers.
- Riverbed Whitewater 3.0 was the winner in the best backup hardware category. These state of the art physical devices support datasets of up to 14.4 PB. There is also support for up to 10Gbps Ethernet. The physical devices can scale up to 96 TB with an ingest rate of 2.5 TB per hour. The virtual application scales up to 8 TB of cache. It has an ingest rate of 250 GB per hour.
- Veeam Backup & Replication was the winner in the software based backup and recovery category. The prominent feature of this product is that multiple data centers and sites can run a backup across sites thanks to its in-built WAN acceleration system. A new feature, based on requests from customers, is the tape support, making archival and retrieval simpler compared to before.
To learn about the best offerings in both software and hardware products that are suited for your data needs, do get in touch with the experts in data centers at Lifeline Data Centers.
As the need for data centers and colocation increases, more and more data centers are moving to unique real estate properties in order to house their operations. We pride ourselves on the fact that we are one of the innovative data centers that have moved to unique spaces: Eastgate Mall.
We were featured in an article on Tech Radar as one of the top “10 weird places your data gets stored.” To check out the other examples, click on the link below!
10 Weird Places Your Data Gets Stored
Lifeline Data Centers was featured in an article on HPAC Engineering, which talked about water-based cooling solutions in data centers. While we initially had concerns about pipe leakage associated with this method, a demonstration of the heat-fusing of polypropylene-random (PP-R) pipe at the AHR Expo helped us implement water-based cooling without worry.
For the full article, click here. And to learn more about the PP-R case study, click the link below!
Data Center Puts Its Reputation on the (Life) Line with PP-R
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) establishes standards to protect sensitive patient data and mandates any entity, be it a health care provider or a provider’s business associate that deals with electronic health records, to deploy and follow specific physical, network, and process security measures.
Successful compliance, however, goes beyond having the required deployments in place and getting a one-off certification. Certification standards and regulations continue to change. Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) amended the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) and HIPAA.
The HIPAA Omnibus Rule of January 2013 mandated entities covered by HIPAA to provide electronic private public health information (ePHI) to patients on request, as well as to third parties on the request of a patient, within 30 days. The range of records thrown open to patients includes test result reports and billing information, besides other PHI. The latest “final rule” amendment (February 2014) makes it mandatory even for CLIA-certified laboratories covered under HIPAA to provide copies of completed test reports to patients upon request. CLIA-certified laboratories had been exempt from this requirement. The amendment supersedes various state regulations that did not allow providers or their associates from releasing health records to patients directly. The move is to make patients more engaged in their health care and ask more questions of their health care providers.
Health care providers covered under HIPAA seek out data centers that are HIPAA compliant. Data centers handling HIPAA data, being business associates of the provider, are equally liable as health care providers themselves to comply with HIPAA regulations. Data centers need to offer the same risk management strategies, policy, technical safeguards, security and ongoing compliance governance standards, and awareness training for employees as the covered entity is liable to do so. They also need to go beyond and make the necessary changes or tweaks to ensure that their systems and processes reflect the periodic changes in regulations.
Stop worrying about compliance and audits. Let the compliance experts at Lifeline Data Centers help you solve your SSAE 16, TIA-942, NFPA, HIPAA, FIMSA, FDA, PCI/DSS and Sarbanes Oxley audit problems. Lifeline delivers multi-level compliance solutions in audit-ready data centers with in-house expertise.
Data center compliance certification is a challenging task. The challenge stems from the unpredictable nature of business operations, due to the need to make constant changes in processes and upgrades to software and hardware, to keep up-to-date of both technological and commercial developments.
This fluid business environment means that certifications, and the standards such certifications strive to maintain, are not static. Almost all standards undergo periodic revisions to ensure that it stay relevant with changes in technology and business processes. Moreover, some certifications become irrelevant or drop out, to be replaced by other more relevant standards.
An example of the latter trend is Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT)’s latest move to end its Electronic Health Record (EHR) certification. The news is surprising and unexpected considering that CCHIT ranks at the very top when it comes to EHR certification. CCHIT tests and certifies software that deals with electronic health records for meaningful use, offering stakeholders an insight into the reliability, integrity and capability of the systems in place.
CCHIT’s stated reason to end its certification business – that it cannot cope up with the complexity and change – is revealing of the nature of the certification industry. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), which lay down and revises the standards that CCHIT and other vendors incorporate in their certifications, has rolled out very complex requirements for its 2014 edition, and CCHIT evaluates that it is financially unviable for them to go ahead.
CCHIT’s decision, however, need not affect data centers or its customers. The nature of the status of EHR technology certifications do not change as a result of CCHIT’s decision to pull out. At the end of the day, CCHIT is one vendor among many vendors who offers software that helps data centers and companies comply with the ONC regulations. CCHIT has almost become the de-facto industry standard, and data centers would simply have to look at another vendor.
CCHIT has put in place a transition plan so that customers who currently use CCHIT’s certification services do not face any disruptions in certifications when migrating to the new provider. CCHIT would also complete any certification underway before they shut down operations.
CCHIT recommends that its existing customers migrate to ICSA Labs, as both of them use similar processes and the latter has adequate capacity to serve new customers.
Concerned about these changes and how it can impact your data center operations? Talk to us today. At Lifeline Data Centers, we deliver multi-level compliance solutions in audit-ready data centers with in-house expertise.
All certifications undergo periodic revisions to keep up with the changing times. If it did not, the certificate itself would become obsolete and worthless. As with any industry, certification standards need to be updated for sensitive data and records as well.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) sets the standards for Electronic Health Records (EHR), and true to form, ONC has, in collaboration with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), recently revised the EHR certification standards. The new 2014 EHR standards are more complex compared to the 2011 standards, but this complexity is a reflection of the business environment marked by fast-paced changes.
The core component of EHR certification is “meaningful use” of certified technology in EHR implementation. The certification assesses the extent to which the certified technology is put to “meaningful use:” to improve quality, efficiency and safety, to maintain privacy and security of health information, to engage patients, and to improve care coordination.
The revisions include important updates that set new baselines for better interoperability, electronic health information exchange, and patient engagement.
The major change in the 2014 revisions is the restructured meaningful use (MU) Stage 1 requirements. To qualify for financial incentives that come with the certification, healthcare providers had to meet 14 core objectives and another five out of ten additional menu objectives. Hospitals had to meet 13 core objectives and another five out of ten additional menu objectives. The 2014 revisions integrate, combine, and remove certain “core” and “menu” objectives, and healthcare professionals and hospitals can no longer count measure exclusions toward meeting menu objectives. Another important requirement is the stipulation that healthcare professionals and hospitals now need to offer at least 50% of unique patients the facility to access their health information online.
The 2014 revisions also introduce new Stage 2 requirements, which is where assessment becomes complex. In addition to meeting core and menu objectives, healthcare professionals and eligible hospitals have to report clinical quality measures. Compliance for Stage 2 sets in after compliance of Stage 1.
With the implementation of the 2014 revisions, the 2011 Edition is set to expire, and will no longer be acceptable to meet “Certified EHR Technology” definition. EHR technology providers need to adopt the revised 2014 EHR regulations to demonstrate that they have the required functionality, capability and security to help them achieve meaningful use.
ONC requires healthcare professionals and hospitals to meet the various meaningful use requirements, and, for that to happen, data centers that handle EHR data need to be compliant and compatible with such measures in the first place.
Lifeline Data Center offer fully compliant customized data center solutions suited for your requirements. Let the compliance experts at Lifeline Data Centers help you solve your SSAE 16, TIA-942, NFPA, HIPAA, FIMSA, FDA, PCI/DSS and Sarbanes Oxley audit problems.
With more and more organizations outsourcing business processes and systems, data is now being stored at third-party data centers.
Until recently, many organizations relied on the legacy Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) 70 reports to gauge the controls in place at these outsourced data centers. SAS 70 however was never intended for that. It focuses specifically on risks related to internal control over financial reporting (ICOFR), and does not cover crucial aspects, such as system availability and security.
In 2011, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) replaced the antiquated SAS 70 reports with three Service Organization Control (SOC) reports. These SOC reports address a broader set of user needs for outsourced services. The SOC reporting framework for service organizations consists of SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 reports. While SOC 1 reporting is geared towards controls relevant to financial reporting, SOC 2 and SOC 3 reports cater to internal controls outside of that financial reporting.
SOC 1 reports is based on the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16 (SSAE 16), which offers a detailed description of the system and a declaration from the management. Organizations that opt for this report end up with a SOE 1 SSAE 16 Type 1 (system as it exists at a particular point of time) or SOE 1 SSAC Type 2 report (system as it exists for a particular time period). SOC 1 is the direct replacement for the old SAS 70, and organizations who simply shift from SAS 70 to SOC 1 actually do not do extend their scope of reporting. SSAE 16 is technically oriented towards service organizations with credible relationships with Internal Control(s) over Financial Reporting (ICFR.)
SOC 2 and SOC 3 offers a significant upgrade from SAS 70/SOC 1 as these are is specifically designed for Software as a Service (SaaS), cloud computing, and technology related service organizations.
Both SOC 2 and SOC 3 reporting is based on AICPA’s AT 101 professional standards, and encompass five Trust Services Principles: Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality and Privacy.
- Security: Whether the system is protected against unauthorized access. This covers both logical and physical deployments in place.
- Availability: Whether the system is available for operation and use as per the stated commitments
- Processing Integrity: Whether system processing is accurate, timely, complete and authorized.
- Confidentiality: Whether information designated “confidential” is actually protected as agreed upon.
- Privacy: Whether personal information is collected, used, retained, and disclosed in conformity with the stated commitments of the in-house privacy notice and also the privacy principles put forth by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA).
The qualified auditor makes a report of the service organization on these parameters.
SOC 2 is a restricted-use report, containing detailed description and results of the service auditor’s tests of controls, and the auditor’s opinion on the description of the service organization’s system. A SOC 3 report in contrast is a general-use report that only states whether the system achieved the trust services criteria, without the description of tests and results, and without the auditor’s opinion on the description of the system.
Data centers may choose SOC 2 or SOC 3 depending on their requirements and client expectations. For instance, companies that outsource their operations would be concerned with privacy of the information and security of their data handled by the third-party data center. They would prefer a data center partner who has an SOC 3 seal .
Lifeline Data Centers is a fully compliant data center that offers flexible, tailor-made and fully compliant solutions for all your data center solutions. Let the compliance experts at Lifeline Data Centers help you solve your SSAE 16, TIA-942, NFPA, HIPAA, FIMSA, FDA, PCI/DSS and Sarbanes Oxley audit problems. Lifeline delivers multi-level compliance solutions in audit-ready data centers with in-house expertise. Learn more.
FORT WAYNE, Ind.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lifeline Data Centers, a Tier 4 data center founded in Indianapolis, has announced its intention to establish a new data center facility in Fort Wayne. Since 2001, Lifeline has been serving companies in industries such as healthcare, software development, utilities, life sciences and government by providing a high level of offsite data security solutions decreasing the risk of downtime and associated expenses.
“We are very excited to finally be a direct part of the Fort Wayne business community. Lifeline is committed to driving significant technology infrastructure into Fort Wayne”
Upon finalizing its site location, Lifeline Data Centers will make significant data communications infrastructure improvements unique to its facility and operation. Because of this uniqueness, Lifeline Data Centers will be able to offer one of a kind secured co-location office and adaptive manufacturing space. Lifeline maintains a current SSAE 16 Type II Audit Report and as a compliance boutique, has in-house compliance experts.
Lifeline is working with its real estate representatives and Greater Fort Wayne Inc. to perform its due diligence on a site location, which will be announced in the near future.
“We are very excited to finally be a direct part of the Fort Wayne business community. Lifeline is committed to driving significant technology infrastructure into Fort Wayne,” said Lifeline Data Centers Co-Owner, Alex Carroll. “As a private company making an investment in Fort Wayne’s technology infrastructure, we will assist to enhance the capabilities of the community through providing data center services to the Northeast Indiana market.”
“Other telecom companies and technology providers are planning to follow Lifeline into the Fort Wayne market, thereby bringing an entire ecosystem of new carriers and technology providers to this community,” added Rich Banta, Co-Owner.
In March, Lifeline Data Centers and Greater Fort Wayne, Inc. will host an informational meeting about the services Lifeline will be able to provide area businesses.
About Lifeline Data Center
Lifeline Data Centers is a wholesale colocation facility; a high tech landlord; and a compliance boutique. We provide data center, secure office and adaptive manufacturing space to companies who require uptime, connectivity, and room for growth. Lifeline provides secure hardened data center buildings, highly reliable power and cooling, and access to many telecommunications providers. Most clients choose to use Lifeline purely as a landlord, fully managing their own information technology infrastructure. Other clients use Lifeline’s colocation facilities and office space along with Lifeline’s managed services to augment their IT staff. To learn more about Lifeline Data Center, visit www.lifelinedatacenters.com.
Christmas Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Easter Sunday…the list is endless when it comes to peak days of holiday shopping. Online shopping sites go crazy with traffic during these periods and many sites have been known to crash due to inadequate planning for dealing with such high loads. Statistics reveal that 86% of customers will not return to a poorly performing site, and as many as 31% will buy from a competitors website if they can’t get to what they want. Given that response time is a key issue during peak traffic, IT operations needs to do all that it can to prepare for a smooth customer experiences.
Some of the preventive measures that can be taken to deal with these time sensitive situations include the following:
- Review past records and metrics to get an estimate of the peak volume during peak seasons.
- Set limits for downtime that you can deal with, without losing business. Once the downtime limit is known, you can choose the disaster recovery and failover option that is best suited for your needs. Some of the options that work best are:
- Using multiple servers that are geographically dispersed.
- Using standby servers that can be deployed and put into production on demand in case of failures in the primary server.
- Using remote locations for backing up data in case of downtime.
- Work on load balancing services and DNS lookup services.
- Use Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). A content deliver network can serve customers from a network of servers based on proximity to the customer. This technique can speed up operations considerably.
- Test, test and retest. With today’s advances in technologies, there are tools available that can simulate large volumes of load so as to test your websites performance. It is always better to test and record test results, and use them for further optimization.
Handling peak volumes differentiates the good from the best. Ensure that you are connected to the right data center provider who can scale up with you in testing times. For a free quote on hosting solutions, do get in touch with us at Lifeline Data Centers today.
Data center experts will agree that physical security is the decisive factor when selecting a data center location. Data centers host sensitive data and security is the most important element that plays a role in its successful operations. That’s why some data centers have been placed in some weird locations.
Let’s take a look at some of the strangest and unexpected data center locations.
The most unexpected location for a data center that has made news in 2013 has been at sea, courtesy of Google’s creativity. Google has container-based data centers in the San Francisco Bay and also in Portland Harbor in Maine. The advantages are that these data centers use tidal and wave energy for power generation and innovative cooling using sea water. However, a potential problem is having to deal with latency issues due to satellite connectivity and also the impact of salt and other chemicals in the air that could terribly harm electronic equipment.
Oil and Natural Gas companies have also started to move towards the idea of having offshore on-sea data centers. As the drilling operations move further out into the sea, some of the older rigs have been converted into communication data centers.
High security data centers are also located underground, in mines, which is another unexpected location for a data center. These facilities have many advantages, most importantly the ability of being discrete and having very few access points. A data bunker that is reinvented out of an underground mine promises extremely high standards of security and also limitless floor space. It needs to be well designed though, so that humidity levels and temperatures are maintained for optimal performance. An underground location is also well protected from earthquakes, tornadoes and harsh over the ground weather conditions.
As you can see, these cool locations may not always work for your business! As with any other key business decision, you need to take a holistic view on the data center location, and work out the power, cooling and operating costs, and the transport of staff. Once you do that, you can take a realistic vote on whether to move to an underground or out at sea location.
As part of our business operations, we decided to repurpose a space that was somewhat unusual: an old shopping mall, Eastgate, which has been consolidated to several public safety units. The space has been a great business decision and continues to fill up. Get in touch with us at www.lifelinedatacenters.com today for the best in collocation data centers in the Midwest, or schedule a tour of Lifeline to see how we turned an unconventional space into a great business decision.