We Provide Answers to the Most Common IT Questions We Get

How can I protect my customer's confidential data? Will cloud-based services work for me? Am I protected from a potential disaster? Find answers to these questions and more in our FAQs. If your pressing questions are not answered here, give us a call to make an appointment with one of our IT experts.

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  • Why does Northern Virginia have a high concentration of data centers?

    Large Data Center in Northern VirginiaIf you live in the DMV area, you may not realize that the biggest collection of data centers in the nation is right in your backyard. Northern Virginia has one of the most reliable and fast-growing data center markets in the world.

    How Northern Virginia Became “Data Center Alley”

    According to a recent report from the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC), there are currently over 150 separate data centers in Northern Virginia. Most of these are spread across Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties. With all this technology and infrastructure at your fingertips, it makes sense to keep your business’s hosting close to home.

    Local clients enjoy many benefits in our DC area data centers, including:

    • Competitive pricing and platform options. Our carrier-neutral facilities offer pay-as-you-grow service options that allow you to plan for both your present and future needs, ensuring that you can scale quickly and never pay unnecessary costs.
    • Interconnectivity. The data market has brought a variety of new technologies and service providers to the area, making the options you pass on to your customers virtually limitless. The technology specialists at ATI Solutions integrate all physical and virtual systems in your IT network, improving performance and reducing waste.
    • Fast responses. After spending thousands of dollars on your business solutions, you can’t afford to wait when something goes wrong. Not only do we offer multiple redundancies for power and cooling to reduce the risk of an outage, but our clients also have access to a local Continuity of Operations Center while our data recovery specialists get to work restoring your systems.

    If you need help with cloud computing, colocation hosting, storage, disaster recovery, or other solutions, our specialists would be happy to offer a personalized IT recommendation that fits your needs and your budget. Contact us today to get more information about the storage and service options in our D.C. data centers, or set up an appointment to tour our Chantilly facility.


  • Do you have any options for point-to-point connections in your data centers?

    Cross-connects, the physical cables that connect different networks within a data center, provide an efficient and more reliable experience than internet-based connections. These Close-up View of Different Cablesconnections broaden business owners’ options by allowing them to integrate their internal networks with partners and service providers across the globe, setting up new connections to their systems without the extensive waiting periods.

    Through added convenience, you also get the benefit of changing carrier connections with relative ease and even allowing you to leverage the many carrier options in carrier-neutral data centers like ours.

    Types of Cross Connections Available in Our Data Centers

    As your business grows, it is vital that you have everything you need to adopt services and technologies that will help you succeed. That is why our carrier-neutral data centers have multiple connections, allowing clients to select the providers that work best for them. We provide the services and hardware (including cables, cords, bulkheads, patch panels, and jumpers) to improve performance, decrease latency, and improve traffic flow management.

    Our cross-connect options include:

    • Copper. Copper is used for connections at lower bandwidths and across shorter distances such as from the Meet Me Room (MMR) to client or facility equipment. The MMR is a designated location within a data center where telecommunications companies can interconnect and exchange data without incurring local loop fees. Copper is less expensive than fiber cables and can support Gigabit speeds of CAT5 or CAT6.
    • Fiber. A fiber-optic cable, also known as an optical-fiber cable, is an assembly similar to an electrical cable, but containing one or more optical fibers that are used to carry light. Different types of cable are used for different applications, for example, long-distance telecommunication, or providing a high-speed data connection between different parts of a building.
    • COAX. Coaxial cable is a type of transmission line used to carry high-frequency electrical signals with low losses. 
    • POTS. POTS Lines, short for Plain Old Telephone Service, provide integration with both traditional analog signal-based telephone services and digital phone services.

    No matter what your cross-connection requirements are, we are confident we can meet and even exceed your expectations. Contact us by calling (855) 658-8600 to get more information about how our data centers can serve the needs of your small to medium-sized business.


  • Which operating system should I use to run virtual machines?

    Client Comparing Operating Systems for His Virtual MachinesVirtual machines offer a variety of benefits to business IT systems, including the ability to consolidate servers, invest in fewer physical machines, and isolate machines to prevent security breaches. However, since virtual machines are run as programs, you will have to choose which operating system (OS) is best for your platform.

    How to Choose the Right Operating System for Your Virtual Machines

    Once you have set up a host machine and a host operating system, you can run nearly any OS of your choosing in a virtual machine. The majority of virtual machine programs will walk you through the process of creating a virtual machine and installing a guest OS using the operating system’s installation disc. The guest OS appears in a window on your computer using the emulation engine (hypervisor), running as if it’s just another program.

    Depending on software compatibility, processing power, and the amount of storage you have available, you can install as many OS as you want, allowing you to:

    • Test operating systems. A VM is ideal for testing out programs before adding them to your platforms, including potential new operating systems, like Windows or Linux. You can also test out new versions of operating systems before you upgrade your OS system-wide. Additionally, you can even see how your software appears across different operating systems, testing whether an application works for all users and or clients.
    • Train employees. If you are rolling out a new system, you can install programs on VMs to ensure all of the software works together and create a training space for employees to learn the programs and get used to the interface either before launch or without affecting anything in production.
    • Use multiple systems. It is possible to install and use a wide variety of operating systems as VMs, allowing you to select the OS that works best with each of your chosen software programs. You can even run multiples of the same OS and have them all performing task and processes simultaneously to maximize efficiency with little impact on one another.

    ATI Soltuions Can Anwser Questions About Virtual Machines

    Our specialists at ATI Solutions would be happy to consult with business owners about the services we offer in our data centers. Contact us today to get more information about the storage and service options in our D.C. data centers, or set up an appointment to tour our Chantilly facility.


  • Why is it better to host my servers nearby?

    Server Room Every byte of information found online is physically hosted somewhere in the world. It could be in the basement of a startup company or in a data center overseas. No matter how big your business is, your physical machines must be stored somewhere and the right geographical location for your servers depends on many different factors.

    Benefits of Hosting Servers in a Local Offsite Facility

    When it comes to choosing a location for IT hardware, there is a delicate balance between having servers close enough to ensure quality and cut travel costs, but also far enough that owners don’t have to waste focus and resources on maintaining their servers. In the past, budget constraints forced business owners to choose between in-house or overseas hosting. Today, more and more companies are reaping the benefits of “local offsites” that offer hosting as well as IT services.

    There are many benefits of hosting your servers close to home with us, including:

    • Lower overhead. Hosting servers onsite is an expensive endeavor, especially in locations that are not designed to handle excess heat or electrical load. Hosting servers requires expensive and well-planned facilities made just for that. To ensure the environment is safe for the servers, constant maintenance is necessary to monitor temperatures and levels of humidity. Local hosting solutions can free up floor space at your business location, lowering your rent, power, and cooling costs.
    • Security. Our secured DC-area data centers offer rooms and cages with multi-layer security including biometrics, 24-hour surveillance and environment monitoring, and virtual hosting to take the burdens of security and IT services off of your employees.
    • Disaster recovery. It may be difficult to explain to your customers that online operations in your US-based company has been interrupted due to a natural disaster thousands of miles away. Peace of mind is almost guaranteed knowing that at any moment, if necessary, you could access your rack space as opposed to overseas hosting. In addition to taking precautions against common outage risks, we offer a temporary work space for up to 50 employees at our data center location if your main business location suffers an adverse event.

    We Host Northern Virginia Businesses Servers

    The data specialists at ATI Solutions would be happy to consult with business owners about the services we offer. Contact us today to get more information about the storage and service options in our D.C. data centers, or set up an appointment to tour our Chantilly facility.


  • What are rack unit (U) measurements in data center servers?

    Commercial Servers in ATI's Building | Server Units And Their SizesData centers may organize the servers and equipment needed to host their clients’ online platforms in a variety of ways. Tower servers have a tall, slim housing and can be tilted on their side to fit inside storage racks, while smaller blade servers can be switched out quickly if something goes wrong. However, most data centers prefer to mount their servers and hosting equipment in racks, or on standardized shelving systems that allow for maximum space efficiency and environmental control. As the building blocks of a data center, IT rack plays an important role to service multiple generations of IT equipment to maximize the business value.

    How Rack Units Affect Server Storage in a Data Center

    A server is built specifically to be mounted into a rack. A server rack is an open frame designed for mounting multiple electronic equipment modules to hold servers and IT equipment. Racks may run from floor to ceiling and house several different servers owned by different clients. All of the servers are mounted one on top of the other within a rack to minimize the amount of space used by each client.

    Since it would be extremely difficult to accommodate servers of varying shapes and sizes, most servers are built according to a standardized measuring system known as rack units. A server’s height in rack units (U) is the amount of space needed to house the equipment. The width and depth of standard data center racks slightly vary by manufacturer, but the industry standard is 19 inches wide and 36 inches deep.

    Servers come in sizes of:

    • 1U, 2U, and 4U. While server sizes may differ slightly depending on the make and model, a 1U server typically occupies a dimension of 1.75″ by 19″ of rack space. There are also 2U and 4U servers, which offer more computing power but take up more space on the rack.
    • Half rack. The majority of rack spaces are 19″ wide, and a half-rack accommodation can store multiple pieces of servers.
    • Full rack. A larger quantity servers allow for additional CPUs and memory to be added into the client’s network. Full-sized rack servers may be 19” wide, requiring an entire rack to themselves.

    Our Data Center Provides Northern Virginia and DC Businesses Server Requirements They Need

    Whether you require a half rack or several racks to run your operations, the data specialists at ATI Solutions would be happy to provide the space and services for your online platform. Contact us today to get more information about the storage and service options in our D.C. data centers, or set up an appointment to tour our Chantilly facility.


  • What is scalability?

    Is Scalable Software Worth it?Scalability is the term for an application or network’s capacity to maintain its ability to function as its workload increases and, in some instances, decreases. The best scalable systems will be able to automatically adjust to increased queries or demands without manual intervention, and manage new workloads in a way that is most efficient, ultimately saving both time and money.

    Risks of Choosing Cheaper Systems Over Scalable Software

    Since scalable systems do not need to be redesigned in order to maintain optimum performance levels, they offer immediate and long-term commercial benefits. Businesses may install or subscribe to scalable systems that have the potential for growth that may not apply to the business at that moment, but only pay for the systems they immediately require. If the business experiences a sudden dramatic increase in workload, additional computing power and systems may be implemented or rather “turned on” to the existing system, responding immediately to customer needs.

    When software isn’t scalable, it can lead to a variety of problems such as:

    • Ineffective solutions. Productivity may suffer as more and more strain is placed on inefficient systems. As a way to remediate issues with scalability, companies may install patches as a short-term solution. This may temporarily fix the issue, but more resources will be spent on fixing these reoccurring scaling issues, whereas it could have been avoided if the business was scalable in the beginning.
    • Delays. As simultaneous users increase and more data is stored on the system, the software’s ability to process requests drops significantly, causing delays or even crashing the system. If the infrastructure is not made to handle increasing requests, it will eventually crash.
    • Data breach. As new applications are added to the system in an attempt to ease workflow problems, each new piece of software increases the possibilities of having vulnerabilities and makes it more difficult to diagnose underlying problems. These slowdowns can hinder the productivity levels of employees, in turn forcing them to resort to using unreliable software or unsecured systems to account for the delay. This can place the company at risk of a data breach.
    • Customer frustration. In today’s culture of immediate customer satisfaction, users who experience slow loading times or unreliable software are unlikely to return to a business that could not fulfill their needs quickly and easily if the issues aren’t remediated. With a scalable business, customers experience fewer issues and have an overall better experience.

    Contact ATI Solutions For Your Scaleable IT Needs

    The data specialists at ATI Solutions would be happy to consult with business owners about the services offered in our data centers. Contact us today to get more information about the storage and service options in our D.C. data centers, or set up an appointment to tour our Chantilly facility.


  • How can I be sure all of my business’s IT components will work together effectively?

    IT Services Working and Fitting TogetherBusinesses rely on a wide variety of software tools to perform daily operations. From the front page of your company’s website to the internal email and employee payroll systems, you need all of your software services to perform perfectly, but also to work together as one system. If you are using outdated programs or performing manual workarounds for incompatible products, you are likely losing work hours—and customers—that can cost you millions over time.

    Business Integration for All of Your IT Services

    Business systems integration is the term used for ensuring that all of your software systems can “speak” to one another, allowing them to interact in a way that will best serve your employees and customers and reduce the strain on your infrastructure. As the majority of modern business operations take place online, it is vital that your software is updated and optimized regularly to prevent unforeseen losses and keep up with changing needs.

    ATI uses innovation and industry best practices to provide end-to-end system integration through:

    • Existing services. We can examine your current infrastructure along with programs and systems (including security software, antivirus, business applications, system policies, email, etc.) and find the best way to integrate them, plan out future software or system deployments, as well as maximize the efficiency of your daily operations.
    • Financial systems management. ATI is well known for its competency when it comes to integration for financial sectors, as we have decades of experience successfully setting up and maintaining critical systems for financial institutions. Banks and financial institutions who utilize our Software as a Service (SaaS) can enjoy the benefits of having all of the financial applications they rely on on a day-to-day basis in one easy, secure, and convenient place. We almost always are able to aid clients in cutting down their existing costs due to our many partnerships and longstanding relations in the field.
    • IT consulting. The best way to begin a business systems integration project is to perform a detailed analysis of all systems currently in use and the desired functions, along with future goals and projections of each one. Once this is complete, we can help you determine better ways to save you money while boosting quality and performance, providing other options for products and services that could better serve your needs, and help you strategically choose the best methods for interconnecting all of your existing systems. We ensure that interconnection will not cause any disruption to your workflows, and if possible, improve those workflows.

    The data specialists at ATI Solutions would be happy to consult with business owners about the services offered in our data centers. Contact us today to get more information about the storage and service options in our D.C. data centers, or set up an appointment to tour our Chantilly facility.


  • What is the Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Report?

    Discussing a Service Organization Control ReportService Organization Control (SOC) reports were introduced in 2011 as a way of auditing providers on security and availability of their services. The SOC 2 report evaluates an organization’s information systems relevant to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, or privacy to prevent unauthorized access of sensitive information. If the auditor issues a clean SOC 2 report, the data provider may be trusted as a secure hosting company. Overall, this ensures that the client and their assets are as protected as possible.

    Criteria in the Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Report

    SOC 2 reports are vital to maintaining the security of financial transactions and other highly-sensitive data transmissions. ATI combines the best practices and compliance with industry standards in our SOC 2 hosting. This allows clients and customers to enjoy secure access to protected information.

    The five principles of a SOC 2 report include:

    • Security. Systems and information must have physical and logical protection against unauthorized access and unauthorized disclosure of information. Security should address any potential damage to systems that could compromise the integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of information or systems.
    • Availability. Systems and information must be operationally available for use as committed or agreed upon between the client and the provider.
    • Processing integrity. Processing must be valid, complete, accurate, timely, and authorized to meet the client’s objectives.
    • Confidentiality. Information designated as confidential must be adequately classified and protected as agreed upon between the client and the provider.
    • Privacy. Personal information must be collected, used, retained, transferred, disclosed, and disposed of as agreed upon between the client and the provider.

    ATI Solutions is happy to consult with business owners about the services offered in our data centers. Contact us today to get more information about the storage and service options in our D.C. data centers, or set up an appointment to tour our Chantilly facility.


  • What is Nutanix?

    Nutanix Complex Cloud Computing PlatformJust as you rely on a computer to run programs and store information, data centers have different methods of managing data and software. The infrastructure used in a data center must meet industry standards while also having the ability to respond quickly to changes. Our data centers primarily rely on Nutanix infrastructures for high performance, security, and ease of use.

    What Benefits Does Nutanix Offer My Business?

    Nutanix is a software-based solution that allows IT departments to build and operate complex cloud computing platforms. While companies such as Facebook and Google spent millions building their own infrastructure for their mass scale applications, Nutanix makes cloud computing available to companies that do not have the level of resources that multinational corporations do. Nutanix products are built on hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) technology by combining storage, computing power, and virtualization into one package.

    We partner with Nutanix to provide everything you need in a cloud computing platform, including:

    • Infrastructure. Nutanix products include both software and hardware, offering turnkey appliances that deliver cloud building for businesses of all sizes. We work with many vendors and implement Nutanix software on a variety of hardware, giving clients more flexibility to choose the size and make-up of their infrastructure.
    • Efficiency. A virtual platform uses hypervisors to run multiple hundreds of virtual computers on a single physical machine. This results in added reliability and huge cost savings for hardware and staffing. The system size and complexity can increase dramatically while still maintaining back-end manageability; this allows one administrator to oversee thousands of servers with the same amount of effort as if it were just one.
    • Scalability. ATI works with you to provide you with an idea of realistic projected growth and helps you determine how much or how little of Nutanix’s services you’ll need. Nutanix services are completely scalable, allowing companies to purchase only the amount of computing, storage, and memory they need. Applications may be built, deployed, or redesigned quickly, allowing your customers to enjoy the highest level of service as your business grows.

    ATI Solutions is proud to partner with vendors that meet our high standards, and would be happy to consult with business owners about the services offered in our data centers. Contact us today to get more information about the storage and service options in our D.C. data centers, or set up an appointment to tour our Chantilly facility.


  • Could my business benefit from IT consulting?

    Data Center Consulting and System DesignAs the success of a business increases, so do the demands and expectations of its customers. Unfortunately, owners who rely on outdated or inefficient technologies can suffer significant financial losses as customers seek a better experience elsewhere. Technology changes rapidly, and all businesses should evaluate their information technology (IT) needs and systems regularly—and IT consulting makes it easy for business owners to get the guidance they need for the best end-user experience.

    Advantages of IT Consulting and System Design for Your Business

    Technology consulting allows businesses to make smart IT decisions that will benefit them both now and well into the future. At ATI, our diverse mix of backgrounds and vocational experience allows us to provide recommendations tailored to your business objectives, operational budget, and specific IT needs.

    Consulting can be customized at each level of service, including:

    • Scope and planning. We begin by meeting with operating officers to determine the scope of the specific project or business platform, discuss timeframe and cost constraints, make growth projections, and any special concerns or roadblocks to implementing new systems. We perform an analysis of current technology and provide options of potential new technologies to make operations as efficient as possible while maintaining compliance under federal privacy and protection requirements.
    • System design and integration. Once you have chosen your preferred systems and providers, we ensure that all processes and systems work together seamlessly for customer satisfaction. We can also implement automation of time-consuming business processes to make the most of employee work time.
    • Support. Businesses who do not have a full-time chief technology officer or a diversely skilled IT staff are at particular risk of losses when an adverse event occurs. Our expert consultants can fulfill this critical role, acting as your help desk, as your onsite IT staff or remote hands if you decide to take advantage of our many Data Center services, and offering a secondary base of operations if you experience a sudden interruption or data loss event.

    Contact Our Team For Professional IT Services For Your Business

    At ATI Solutions, we understand that one size does not fit all. That is why we design, build, and maintain scalable solutions using technologies that best meet your specific IT business objectives. Contact us today to get more information about the storage and service options in our D.C. data centers, or set up an appointment to tour our Chantilly facility.