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Tch Acquires Data Center!


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TCH acquires its own Data Center Space!

 

TotalChoice Hosting has always aimed to provide the best possible service to our hosting family. In order to do that, we have always tried to use high quality servers remotely co-located in Data Centers (DC's) across North America.

 

One of the issues we have found recently is that when there is a server problem that needs hands on technicians, we are reliant on the remote DC for both the technical expertise, levels of support and equipment spares. Recent experience at two of the DC's has shown that both the time taken for them to respond and the quality of the spare parts they use has not been at the service level we want to provide.

 

We have spent the last couple of months thoroughly reviewing our options, and have identified and purchased our very own DC space, based in Michigan, where our own techs will provide the hands on support and we can ensure that only top quality servers and spares are used.

 

So what does this mean to our client base?

 

Increased reliability!

 

Many of you will have noticed that some servers that have had disk / raid problems have had ongoing problems for a short while afterwards. You may have been disappointed that certain hardware failures take hours for resolution. Remote DC’s have taken hours to simply reboot a server or correct a small issue for us. This will be a thing of the past in the new DC as we will have full control over the servers and hands on work done to servers. The techs will not be remote to TCH; they will be our very own staff working on our very own servers in our very own DC!

 

Excellent connectivity!

 

We have always chosen DCs which have good connectivity. Our new facility located in Michigan is no different. We will have a main connection through AT&T with alternatives through Level 3 and MCI. Fiber Connections include a diverse path, diverse entry OC-48 fiber with 24 strands of unlit fibre.

 

Faster resolution of major issues!

 

Whilst our own techs remotely handle most server issues in under 5 mins (for example there are pager alerts as well as visible web based alerts when POP stops working on a server - these issues are usually then handled in well under 5 mins) we rely on the DC staff at a remote DC. There have been occasions where it has taken the best part of an hour just for the remote DC staff to get to the server that is down just to start work on it. This is not acceptable service in our view. In our own DC we will have our own staff there, who will respond to those issues within minutes.

 

Whilst this will have little impact on small issues, major issues (such as a server down with a hardware fault) will be responded to much more quickly.

 

Zero downtime for "server moves"!

 

This is always a worry when physically moving servers – and hence we have decided we will not be moving the servers. We have taken the decision to equip our new DC with completely new servers (all high quality specs of course – see below) and we will copy accounts we are moving to the new servers, leaving the old servers online. We can then test the accounts on the new servers, before changing the IP address in the DNS. This will mean that there is no down time, and the both servers are online whilst we sort out small issues.

 

Brand New, High Quality, Servers!

 

At the DC we are equipping it with brand new high quality servers. These will be all based on the best server hardware available today. The network is all cicso based and is 100% redundant. We have already begun to build the servers in the new DC and announcements will be made as things progress. We have decided to hand build all our own servers, this gives us the best hardware combined with hands on build experience.

 

 

I am very pleased to make this announcement and look forward to answering any questions that you may have about this most exciting news for TCH and all our family members.

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Bill,

That is absolutely awesome news for us and for you guys! No one can say honestly that you don't do everything you can to provide the highest quality product possible. It say a lot about your character and makes me happy to have my sites hosted at TCH!

 

Now, let's talk about all those death-spewing sprinkler heads in the ceiling! :tchrocks:

 

Level with us, Bill. Is this really your house? I have a feeling this is the recreation room you've been working on in the basement for the past 6 months. The door to the stairs down says "Bill's Playroom!" doesn't it? :tchrocks:

 

Major props Bill, you've earned them!

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The sprinklers are dry pipe based. Meaning all the pipes are dry until mulitple alarms within a zone are tripped and even at that point only that zone would go wet pipe.

 

 

Each sprinkler head is in it own zone. Multiple alarms from within the same zone are required to trip the zone.

 

Further more, once that one zone is tripped it would be the only zone activated. So say you have zone 2 tripped. It would activate. Say the fire is spewing smoke to the next zone, it would take smoke, flame and a raise in core zone temp to trip the next zone.

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Say the fire is spewing smoke to the next zone, it would take smoke, flame and a raise in core zone temp to trip the next zone.
And by then a little water won't hurt anything. :tchrocks: Impressive system - as I said, everything you do shows you care not only about the success of the business but of your customers as well.
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Just a fast update for everyone.

 

Things have been moving really fast now.

 

We have four racks of servers up at this point. As you may have noticed migrations to the new DC are starting to pick up. We have been working very hard to make this move as painless as we can, and so far the staff is doing a great job.

 

I will post some photos of our progess tomorrow.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ummm.... s'cuse me sir. When is tomorrow? I've been waiting 17 days for those photos.... :surrender:

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  • 3 weeks later...
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With a large number of servers in the DC, it looks a very different place, and you can't take the same sort of pictures - now you can't see far, because there is usually a rack of servers in the way blocking the view .... I'll see if we can find you some more recent photos, and provide an update.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes we do, Yes we doooooooo please that would be just so funny to see.

 

Nice to see some images up at last great news.

 

Now just point out which one is mine.

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Wow! that's kept pretty neat, with all the wires...How do you keep the room, and all the machines dust free, or pretty close to it?

 

There are several air condition units thruout the facility. They move massive amounts of air thru large filters that literately clean the air.

 

Any time you are in the area and would like a tour of our facility please call me to arrange.

 

Bill

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