Optic Fusion – Colocation, Connectivity, & Network Services

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Our Secure, Green Data Center: Courtesy of Tacoma Power!

When choosing a company for colocation, it is imperative that one not only chooses a company that offers exceptional security and service, but also a company that is also favorably located to serve its clients. Optic Fusion has two locations in the Puget Sound area, which as we have said before, is one of the safest regions in the United States from natural disasters. Furthermore the Tacoma-metro area is served by Tacoma Power, which JD Power and Associates ranked as the second-best midsized utility company on the west coast for customer satisfaction. Tacoma then, not only boasts an exceptionally efficient power grid, but also is also significantly safer from natural disasters than most other regions of the United States.

However, security is not the only consideration for most modern companies: responsible organizations also strive to be conscious world citizens. In general Tacoma Power derives almost 90% of its power from hydropower, a renewable energy source that does not rely upon burning coal or natural gas, and thus is significantly better for the environment. As an environmentally conscious company we have taken our commitment to conservation a step further by opting in to Tacoma Power’s Green Power program, which means that 100% of Optic Fusion’s energy consumption comes from renewable resources, including hydropower, solar power, and wind power. For our clients, this means that not only do they get the security of Optic Fusion’s 24/7 staffed Network Operations Center, our 100% uptime guarantee, and the stability of the Tacoma power grid, but they are also helping to preserve our environment.

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Optic Fusion, Inc. is Now SSAE 16 – SOC 2 Type 1 Certified!

Service Organization Control Reports- Provides information to service organizations on building trust and confidence in their systems. Tacoma, WA (February 18, 2013) — Optic Fusion, Inc. is pleased to announce that we have acquired SSAE 16 – SOC 2 Type 1 certification for our Tacoma data center. Very few colocation centers secure this level of recognition for data security and availability. In fact, Optic Fusion is the only colocation center in the South Sound area that has received this certification to date.

After detailed inspection and months drafting the final report, well-known accounting firm, Moss Adams, found that Optic Fusion passed with flying colors. Now clients can rely on this certification as evidence that their data, even the data of financial organizations, meets standards for data security and availability set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Optic Fusion President and CEO, Rick Shanaman state, “It was a very rigorous process, but well worth it in that the audit results demonstrate for our clients that we take data security very seriously.”

For more information visit Optic Fusion.

If you have further questions, please call (253) 274-1726 and we will be happy to assist you.

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IPv6: More Efficient, More Secure.

Internet Protocol version 4, or IPv4, is the current common protocol for communicating over the internet as well as assigning Internet addresses. However as more and more devices connect to the Internet, less IPv4 Internet address space becomes available, which means that eventually new users will have to switch to using IPv6.

IPv6 was developed to deal with the long-anticipated problem of IPv4 running out of addresses. IPv6 implements a new addressing system that allows for far more addresses to be assigned than with IPv4. This changeover has been in process for some time in both Asia and Europe. On both June 8th 2011, the Internet Society held a “World IPv6 Day”, which was followed by “World IPv6 Launch Day” on June 8th 2012. Both were international efforts to accelerate the deployment of IPv6, both of which Optic Fusion participated in.

IPv6 has several advantages over IPv4. IPv6 has several privacy enhancements: it has more encryption and authentication options, which ensures that networks are less susceptible to being compromised overall significantly more secure. In addition IPv6 supports multicast, which saves network bandwidth by allowing bandwidth-intensive packet flows—such as multimedia streams—to simultaneously be sent to multiple destinations.

In general then, IPv6 is more efficient and more secure than IPv4. While other companies are catching up, Optic Fusion’s entire network supports IPv6 natively: Our clients can request IPv6 address space and start using it immediately. All of our customers receive a /48, which is the equivalent of 54,536/64 networks. With Optic Fusion, our customers not only have the security of our 24/7-staffed Tacoma location, but also the security of native IPv6 support.




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Meet our staff: NOC Technician Neil Sayers

Neil Sayers joined Optic Fusion shortly after its inception, starting in 2002. Despite attending DeVry for Electronic Engineering, Neil found computers to be a better fit. He later completed the Cisco Academy offering at Clover Park Technical College with high marks before being recruited by fellow Optic Fusion employee Nick Logan, and has been a Lead Network Operations Center Technician with us since.

Neil enjoys that everyday is a bit different at Optic Fusion. He thrives amongst the unique daily challenges, and views each hurdle as an opportunity to learn something new. Neil also also values the importance of strong customer service skills, a skill that he values as a priority in his position at Optic Fusion. Despite that he enjoys working with computers, he generally stays away from tinkering with computers at home. Instead, he is in the process of restoring a classic truck. He also enjoys billiards, biking, snowboarding, and brewing his own beer. His mantra for work? “There is always a way to get it done,” Neil believes, illustrating his optimistic and diligent disposition.

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Staffed Data Centers: Don’t Get Left in the Dark

Proponents of dark data centers argue that the “human element”—the mere presence of humans in a data center—is an inherent problem in manned data centers. They argue that unstaffed data centers are less susceptible to failures by eliminating the “human element.” Perhaps there is some merit to this argument: the more individuals that tamper with a data center’s equipment, the more variables for problems that arise. It is a simple argument of probability.

The “human element” is an inherent facet of any data center, manned or dark. Any time a data center needs to perform maintenance on its hardware, it will require that human technician access the data center. Thus even these so-called “dark centers” are not devoid of the human element.

Furthermore perpetual “tampering” is not always the case with manned data centers. Our Perkins Building facility is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is keycard secured, and only our staff has access to the hardware. Despite 24-hour staffing, our staff only accesses the hardware when it is necessary. In other words, our equipment is not perpetually being “tampered with” by a revolving cast of random individuals.

Furthermore, our “human element” improves how efficiently we can resolve issues with a customer’s hardware: our technicians are seated within feet of our customer’s hardware, thereby insuring expedient service to our clients. This means when our clients call to check on their hardware, the technician who answers the phone and the technician who physically checks on the client’s equipment are one in the same, thus allowing us to offer our clients instantaneous support when they need it. Such support is imperative for clients with high traffic websites, or who require mission critical support.

Our round-the-clock staffed data center guarantees that any network problems can be addressed immediately–something that dark data centers simply cannot offer.

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Our Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle Design: Good for Clients, Good for the Environment

At Optic Fusion, we employ a Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle (HA/CA) layout in our data center. HA/CA has widely become the accepted best practice for cabinet layout in data centers, largely because of the efficiency of HA/CA when compared to strictly Hot Aisle (HA) or Cold Aisle (CA) designs.  Traditionally, data centers have attempted to merely force cold air into a hot room to stabilize the temperature. Such designs lead to uneven cooling, and are wildly inefficient: it takes additional fan power and more, colder air to stabilize the temperature of a hot room. Our HA/CA design focuses on completely refreshing the air in our data center. Instead of attempting to cool down the air in the room, we replace the hot air with cold air, and draw the hot air out of the data center completely. This model is remarkably energy efficient, and allows for even room-cooling, thus keeping the hardware safe from heat damage.

Like some traditional designs we employ air conditioners and fans. However instead of raised floors, we use overhead vents for our cooling infrastructure, focusing on separation of the inlet cold air and the exhaust hot air. The cabinets are placed into a series of rows. The fronts of the racks face each other, creating cold aisles, and the backside of the racks–where the exhaust is located–face each other, thus creating a hot aisle. Air Conditioners pump cold air through our specially designed tubing which dumps the cold air into the cold aisle between the racks. As the cold air moves through the servers, it is heated and dissipated into the hot aisle. The exhaust air is then routed back to the air handlers, where it is moved outside of the facility. /This design allows us to completely refresh the air in our data center every 2.5 minutes/.  Optic Fusion’s data center design is both exceptionally efficient and effective at cooling, but it also conserves energy. This means that not only can we provide lower prices to our clients, but also that our system is better for the environment.

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Meet the staff: Systems Admin Andrew Klettke

Andrew Klettke has been a Systems Administrator with Optic Fusion for over 5 years. He first began developing software in junior high on a TI-83+ calculator, writing games and apps in TI-BASIC. He has always been drawn to the creative aspects of programming, “I love starting with absolutely nothing and…building software that accomplishes something useful or fun.” Because programming is a hobby for Andrew, he says that his workdays at Optic Fusion hardly feel like work.

Additionally Andrew enjoys the unique daily challenges of working at Optic Fusion, “I never have the same day twice….there are always different challenges.” This is in large part due to the speed at which technology evolves, which requires perpetual adaptation to change. Andrew takes it upon himself to continually educate himself in programming languages for personal projects, as well as to improve the usability and performance of existing systems at Optic Fusion. In many cases he has even written entirely new software for internal use at Optic Fusion.
In his free time Andrew enjoys playing video games, snowboarding, and is a musician with an admittedly “modest home studio.” Having been born in the Puget Sound area, he is both a Mariners and Seahawks fan.

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Disaster Recovery: Insuring Successful Business Continuance

In the broadest sense, disaster recovery is a set of procedures related to preparing for the recovery of critical technological infrastructure of an organization, specifically after a natural or human-induced disaster–a subset of business continuity. While business continuity involves planning for keeping all aspects of a business functioning in the midst of disruptive events, disaster recovery focuses on the IT or technology systems that support business functions.

Natural disasters can have catastrophic consequences for any community, let alone a single business. Technology-based businesses however, have unique infrastructural concerns. For example, in the retail industry, goods can be replaced by insurance. But in while insurance can back up the hardware of technology-based companies, it cannot back up your invaluable data. Disaster recovery then, functions as a type of insurance suited for the particular needs of data-intensive organizations or companies.

When choosing a company for data storage, it is imperative that one chooses a company that offers exceptional security, as well as a location that is safe. Optic Fusion has two locations in the Puget Sound area, which according to The New York Times, is one of the safest locations in the United States from natural disasters.

Furthermore, our dual data center design ensures that your data is protected by real-time data replication, meaning that your data is stored in two locations for ultimate security. By storing your data with Optic Fusion we insure that your data is protected which allows you to focus on other restoration efforts for your business in the event of a disaster.

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Welcome to Optic Fusion’s blog! Stay tuned for regular blog posts regarding topics such as:

– Green Power, from Tacoma Power!

– Manned vs. Dark Data Centers

– Cold Aisle & Hot Aisle Data Centers

– Disaster Recovery

– Staff profiles

…and more coming soon! In the mean time, check out our new websites!

Optic Fusion: Colocation, connectivity, and network services

Stratus Rack: Dedicated and virtual servers

Streaming Software Solutions: The best streaming software for streaming providers