Data102 Peers with Netflix to Improve Local Streaming Service

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Colorado Springs data center announces private peering with the Internet’s largest video streaming company

NetflixData102 announced today that they have peered with streaming giant Netflix to bring faster service to southern Colorado residents. As demand for video streaming has increased dramatically over the last few years, so has the need for adequate bandwidth to accommodate the massive amounts of data being used, especially in the evenings, as more and more people stay home to watch movies and their favorite TV shows.

Netflix has 35.65 million subscribers in the US alone who spend over 1 billion hours per month streaming video. A lot of bandwidth is necessary to meet that demand. “What we have found,” said Randal Kohutek, Operations Director at Data102,” is that we can provide our customers with a faster connection during peak hours by working directly with Netflix instead of going through a backbone carrier like AT&T or Level3.” To accomplish this, Data102 has run a 10 gigabit connection straight to Netflix, which means Data102 customers will see uninterrupted streaming—even during evenings midweek when demand spikes.

This private peering deal with Netflix is the latest example of Data102’s willingness to make big investments in infrastructure to meet the needs of its growing customer base. Data102 is southernColorado’s leading data center and IT service provider. They are focused on providing the highest level of service possible, which they continue to do with private peering, state-of-the-art power and cooling systems, top-rated technology, and frequent technical upgrades. In a quickly changing digital landscape, Data102 consistently meets the expanding needs of its customers by making the investments necessary to ensure fast, reliable internet service and unparalleled customer service.

About Data102
Data102 is a Colorado data center and IT services provider. The company offers products and services such as managed firewalls, hosting, collocation and bandwidth. The team at Data102 is proud to be able to deliver affordability, reliability and flexibility, as well as an unparalleled level of customer service. For more information about Data102 LLC, visit


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Importance of Password Policy

password policyOne of the defining attributes of computer security is the principle of multifactor authentication, which boils down to three basic concepts: something you know, something you are, and something you have.

Something You Know – a password, a pin number, a code

Something You Are – retina scan, finger prints, DNA

Something You Have – a smart card, a USB token, a magnetic strip card

A system with all three methods of authentication is thought to be fairly secure as far as logins are concerned, but the downside is that most systems don’t use multifactor authentication. Most organizations rely very heavily on passwords for authentication because they are the easiest to deploy and the most affordable. Biometric scanners like read retina and fingerprint data can be unbelievably expensive and typically require the user to be on location to work. Smart cards, USB tokens, and magnetic cards can all be misplaced and/or stolen. This leaves passwords and the like as the most cost and time effective way to authenticate with a system, so long as the user doesn’t keep theirs on a sticky note under their keyboard.

Passwords have been a contentious subject for many different groups and for good reason. As the single point of failure for user authentication, no one can agree on how complex or simple a password should be. Should a password consist of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters? Should it be several random words jumbled together? The Internet has many things to say about this and the results are often hilarious.

No matter what side of the tracks your opinion lies on, there is but one truth to passwords and their weaknesses: When your password gets cracked it will be by a machine not a person. What I mean by that is that the likelihood of a random person on the Internet stumbling across your account and guessing at the password until they gain entry is slow, inefficient, and quite frankly a waste of their time. Hackers will instead use a database of password hashes and algorithms to crack many passwords at the same time, and they are fast. However, there is an easier method of access which trumps programmatic password cracking in required effort and speed, which is simply to crawl the Internet for systems and devices that are still using their factory default password, i.e. admin/admin.

A story broke news in late 2013 about a family who awoke in the night from the sound of an intruder that turned out to be someone accessing their daughter’s IP-based webcam. The portion of the story that the media carefully left out was that the parents were negligent in setting up their webcam and left the webcam out on the Internet with defaulted passwords, not knowing that factory passwords are publicly accessible. PROTIP: They very much are. Even more likely is that their router was defaulted as well and accepting traffic from the Internet on all ports. This is equivalent to leaving the front door to your house open 24/7 because it makes it easier for you to get in and out. So the short answer to the question of what criteria to base your password policy off of is simply put, “Don’t be those guys.”

Our knowledgable technicians here at Colorado’s top data center, Data102, have some of their own helpful tips for choosing the optimal password. There are a few hard and fast rules to live by when creating passwords that will keep a user safe from unauthorized access across the board:

  • Though maximum complexity isn’t necessary, avoid using any words that reference your personal life in any way. Like real-life intruders, malicious users on the Internet do their homework too.
  • Still though, make your passwords as complex as you can remember.
  • Change your passwords every 1-3 months.
  • Use different passwords for all of your online profiles. A single common password becomes a single point of failure. There is a huge difference between someone accessing old e-mail and having their way with your bank account.
  • If you have trouble with any of these, enlist a password manager to do the heavy lifting for you. Password managers are a godsend for system administrators or just those with a horrible short-term memory.
  • Even if you believe your newly created password is safe, our experts would still suggest you get some AntiSpam protection solutions in place for your email accounts. DirectMX, for an example, provides yet another thick locked gate for intruders to try to break down if hacking your email account is something on their to-do list. Don’t make the hacking process easy for bad guys, add another lock and key situation to the mix with AntiSpam filters.

CRAC Units: The Muscle Behind the Hot Aisle Containment System

CRAC Unit at Data102A vital cog in the cooling machinery of Data102 is the Computer Room Air Conditioning units (CRAC). The term “air conditioning” could conjure an image of a rattling box propping open a bedroom window, but CRAC units are large, expensive, sophisticated machines that keep perpetually hot areas cool—year round—with peak efficiency. Thanks to the economies of scale, Data102 is able to provide cool, climate controlled conditions for all of its servers at a much cheaper and more efficient rate than a single business could achieve.

The CRAC units are the linchpin of the hot aisle containment system. Hot air from the rear of the servers is contained in “hot aisles” and then cycled through the ceiling into the CRAC units, which cool the air using a water/glycol mixture similar to radiator fluid. The new cold air is recirculated under the raised floor in the datacenter and back to the front of the servers while the water/glycol mixture is piped up to the roof where a 150-ton dry cooler exhausts the captured heat. The end result is a datacenter operating at peak efficiency and temperature for all of its hosted servers.

This complex system requires over a dozen 10- and 20-ton CRAC units, all of which cost roughly $1000 per ton in addition to the installation, maintenance, and energy costs. Once installed, the machines are closely monitored by our professional datacenter technicians to ensure that the units are not only running, but also that they are running as energy efficient as possible.

All of this is in place to give your servers a temperature-controlled location in which to operate so that you don’t deal with service interruptions. It takes a lot of time, attention, and money for a single business to setup and maintain the proper conditions for a server. Simply throwing a server into a closet or next to an air conditioning unit will put you at risk of damaging your expensive equipment and potentially losing business. Those are not risks you want to take.

Colocating with Data102 will ensure that your servers run safely and efficiently. We have a number of controls in place to keep your hardware safe both internally and externally, and we offer services to make your web presence as hassle free as possible. But the cooling system and CRAC units are the heart of the infrastructure that makes us the best datacenter in southern Colorado.