Remote hands services are a common thing to find in colocation data centers. What are they? What can they do for you? How is it more efficient?
Welcome to the world of managed data center services.
Remote hands services 101
Remote hands services allow you to hire your data center provider to deploy, maintain and operate your colocation POP for you. Colocation data centers are very cost-efficient for multiple reasons, but require you to have people to ship, unwrap, rack and maintain your servers.
Large companies with private data center suites can often afford to have someone on-site or on call 24/7 to do these tasks within the data center. However, all the small companies that only have a 1u server or even a few racks don’t have someone on-site, or even in the city that can maintain the data center. In some cases, the company is close and has staff, but only have 1 staff that manages IT. Of course, a single IT technician doesn’t have time to run to the data center while users need help.
Quality of service
The level of technicality that data centers provide with their remote hands services varies quite a bit. Some will only do server reboots, while others will also do structured cabling and basic server diagnostics. Some will be able to handle a full deployment and/or decommission, making it so you don’t even have to put feet into the data center if you don’t need/want to.
Although most data centers offer remote hands services, not all of them are equal. Some are faster and more qualified than others, especially when it comes to doing a clean job. Certain companies even ofter management services across multiple data centers. You can think of them as an MSP for your data center. They will manage all your colocation sites so you don’t have to.
Billing for remote hands services will vary from provider to provider. Some will charge on a 15-minute basis, some on an hourly basis. Also, verify the minimum billing time. For services that require a technician to move from a site to another, it is common to have a 1-hour minimum.
Overall, expect to pay $50-90/h during business hours and $100-150/h on nights/weekends and on emergency calls. When you consider the fact that your IT staff can keep working while the remote team does the leg-work, its more of an investment than an expense.
Need staff to manage your data center? Contact-us.