Updated: Aug 26
This is a growing common trend – organisation building out data centers from their “on-site” premises, and locating them in geographical areas that are safe and economical (like Singapore!)
But when such data centres or equipment are in such far-flung locations that you yourself or your IT team isn’t present in, what happens when you need to physically access these equipment or resolve an issue on them? I mean, let’s be real here – traveling all the way to that country where it resides in will be costly, disruptive and highly inefficient.
So this is where “remote hands” and “smart hands” comes in, to assist organisations in these situations.
But the burning question that is probably at the top of your mind now is: what is the difference between remote hands and smart hands? And do I need both?
What Are Remote Hands Services?
Remote hands services cover very basic tasks such as rebooting a server, disconnecting and reconnecting cables, and checking and reporting on indicators. These services are typically covered in the data center contract.
If your servers are on-site, these services can be done by your in-house or outsourced information technology team.
Remote hands services usually include:
Moving network cables
Securing network cables
Performing basic server reboots
Receiving and handling equipment shipments on your company’s behalf
Performing basic hardware and software replacements
These services also come in handy if potentially problematic occurrences, such as your servers going down, happen overnight or during your business’s off-hours. Often, these tasks can be completed by technicians quickly without them having to open up your physical data centers.
Why do I need Remote Hand Services?
Remote hand services are ideal for businesses that lease space in a colocation facility located miles from their environment. These services enable you to manage your data center without incurring the costs of sending your IT team all the way to the colocation facility, especially if your IT team is located in another geographical location.
Keep in mind that problems with your IT infrastructure tend to occur when you least expect them. So the ability to attend to critical IT issues within a data center quickly by extension means that you can enjoy guaranteed uptime with improved speed and flexibility.
What Are Smart Hands Services?
Smart hands services are more complex, and can run the gamut of tasks that an IT team might handle. These services might include the unboxing, setup and configuration of new IT equipment, cabling and cable management, and the testing and troubleshooting of circuits, power distribution units and cooling units. As the name implies, smart hands services require a certain level of IT knowledge, and are usually billed on an hourly basis.
Smart hands IT services include:
Setting up firewalls
Managing complex and internal cable connectivities
Setting up automated maintenance capabilities
Moving and handling complex (and expensive) equipment
Performing advanced technical maintenance
Identifying and fixing any system errors (troubleshooting)
Depending on your business, you may choose to have your in-house IT personnel perform smart hands tasks or call in trusted outsourced technicians. If your servers are stored and maintained off-site in a colocation facility, potentially miles away from your business, you’ll want to make sure that you have on-call smart hands services to assist when needed most.
Why do I need Smart Hands Services?
As your business grows, it will become harder for your in-house IT experts to keep up with the changes. Yet, your organization has to remain online, providing services, products, and customer support.
That said, the last thing a growing company wants to do is jeopardize any momentum gained by having its IT team handle operations manually within a data center. Besides, it wouldn’t make economic sense to employ and train a large IT team to keep your equipment up and running.
Leveraging smart hands services not only frees up your IT staff but also saves costs. Further, it allows you to beef up your data infrastructure without compromising productivity.
Moreover, these services allow your organization to swiftly respond to data center issues, reducing liability problems and possible data breaches.
So why do I need both?
The fact is, remote and smart hands services are crucial for small and large businesses. If your organization has its IT equipment and servers in a colocation facility, leveraging both services can help keep your infrastructure up and running to its full capacity.
The ripple effect is that you’ll cut down costs and minimize the impact of planned or unplanned downtime. Using both services will ensure that your business’s physical data centers and servers are well taken care of, especially if they are located in an off-site colocation facility.