Equipment supply and support in European data centers for foreign companies
Nowadays many companies are developing IT infrastructure in various regions around the world. These are not only large transnational corporations, but also small and medium-sized businesses, and even individual entrepreneurs. Customers from different parts of the world are increasingly choosing European data centers to host their remote IT infrastructure.
The reasons for this may vary. For example, Europe is home to a key business audience; or it is necessary to store user data in a European jurisdiction. Having a remotely distributed team also often requires locating corporate IT infrastructure away from the main offices, and in this case, the best place to do this is in reliable and modern European data centers.
Perhaps the most compelling reason why companies choose European data centers to host their servers is direct access to affordable and fast communication channels.
International hosting provider HOSTKEY helps to maintain and develop the IT infrastructure in Europe in a cost-effective and hassle-free manner.
One service - from point to point
Especially for foreign companies, HOSTKEY has developed a range of services for the placement and maintenance of customer equipment in Dutch data centers. In fact, it covers the entire life cycle of the IT infrastructure:
- purchase and delivery of equipment,
- installation, configuration and launch of servers in the data center,
- technical support, scheduled maintenance and elimination of emergency situations,
- modernization and repair of equipment
- dismantling, recycling and sale of used servers.
HOSTKEY launched its end-to-end service at the very beginning of the pandemic, when companies first encountered difficulties in maintaining their infrastructure in other countries due to border closures and supply chain disruption. Then, in July 2020, a large client from Eastern Europe contacted HOSTKEY, one who needed to deploy an IT infrastructure in a European data center from scratch. HOSTKEY has been operating in the Western European market for a long time and cooperates with all major suppliers. Therefore, the client was provided with a significant discount and was able to complete the project in short order, despite the logistical difficulties posed by the lockdown. In these conditions, HOSTKEY worked out business processes and began to offer such services to the market.
Purchase and delivery of equipment
HOSTKEY provides the logistics for the client's equipment in Europe - receipt, storage and delivery to data centers. More often than not, it is faster and makes more financial sense to purchase everything that is required in the local market. HOSTKEY specialists purchase new or refurbished equipment for customers according to their specifications in short order at a significant discount and, most importantly, carry out warranty obligations through the manufacturer.
Despite the shortage of components in the market, through strong partnerships with suppliers, HOSTKEY offers customers the latest generation of equipment, such as GPU servers based on NVIDIA RTX 4090 cards and RTX A5000 and RTX A4000 professional graphics cards, and powerful servers based on the latest AMD Ryzen processors and AMD EPYC.
Installation and connection of servers in data centers
Once the equipment is delivered, it must be placed in the data center. HOSTKEY rents racks for the client in European data centers with low-cost high-speed communication channels and direct connections to European traffic exchange points. The equipment is connected to the euNetworks data transmission networks, which connect the world's leading telecom operators and AMS-IX, NL-IX, Speed-IX, Data-IX and Global-IX traffic exchange points through high-bandwidth backbone fiber optic channels. This provides ample opportunity for connectivity in the Netherlands, Europe, North America and around the world.
HOSTKEY has a large volume of its own server racks, and it also has established connections with many data centers in several Western European countries, so it can quickly and on favorable terms rent space for client equipment in these centers. Indeed, the conditions will be more favorable than when renting directly from the data center itself, since HOSTKEY receives bulk discounts from these sites for its large rental volume.
Maintenance, scaling and even disposal of equipment
If a company is developing its IT infrastructure in Europe, but is itself located in another region, it needs to regularly send engineers to maintain equipment or to hire them in the local market. It is a time-consuming and expensive endeavor, especially if you need to urgently solve an emergency situation. Ignorance of the language and the local peculiarities of doing business also complicate both planned and urgent work.
Using the services of specialists from the sites where the infrastructure is located is usually not an option - in Europe, data center employees usually do not service client equipment and only offer a limited range of services. It is simply unprofitable for data centers to maintain teams of expensive specialists, since local customers service their own equipment themselves, or with the help of integrators and equipment manufacturers.
HOSTKEY, under a service contract, offers the services of its team to maintain remote infrastructure. These are qualified engineers with extensive experience in European data centers. Therefore, they not only carry out planned work, but can also offer customers their own solutions which are more suited to the European IT market.
For example, at the end of 2022, one of our Lithuanian corporate clients needed an urgent migration of equipment as its data center in Amsterdam raised its electricity prices by five times overnight. HOSTKEY specialists developed a migration plan, a switching scheme and moved the rack from one data center to another over a distance of 150 km. There were more than 30 servers, several storage systems, about 6 pieces of various server equipment and more than 200 optical cross-connects in the rack. On site, our engineers installed and launched the equipment under the remote control of the client's video streaming specialists. The total downtime was less than 10 hours, all of which took place over the night from Friday to Saturday.
Another case: HOSTKEY specialists installed a cluster of 40 Dell modular servers for a US client — 10 chassis with 4 blades each. The equipment was delivered to the data center in boxes, and most of the components were purchased separately by the client on the secondary market, including memory, processors, disks, etc. The servers were assembled, tested, configured for remote management and mounted in a twisted pair rack. The total work time was about 16 hours, and it cost the client less than 1,500 euros. The data center itself actually refused to carry out this job, setting a barrage price.
Some projects have a limited time frame, and after their completion, the equipment in Europe is no longer needed. It is difficult and expensive to remove it. Therefore, HOSTKEY offers its customers dismantling and recycling services for used hardware. Some of these used parts can be repurposed for other needs or even sold on to other clients.
A case in point from HOSTKEY — a Japanese company approached the company with a request to dismantle a rack in one of the data centers in Amsterdam, as it was no longer needed and had to be vacated by the end of the month. The team went to the data center, dismantled the equipment, sent some of it to the client via a transport company, bought some of it for themselves, and the rest was properly disposed of.
Who are HOSTKEY services suitable for?
A wide range of services for the placement and maintenance of equipment in the Dutch data centers from HOSTKEY is available to companies of any size - from transnational corporations to small businesses and even individuals. With our help, you can rent a large number of racks for deploying large-scale IT infrastructure, or just one unit (space for placing a server in a server rack). Thus, access to hosting in world-class data centers is available not only to large businesses, but also to small companies, and even individuals. Direct rental in data centers does not provide this kind of flexibility. Data centers simply will not work with clients on a per rack or a one unit per rack basis as it is unprofitable for them.
For example, among HOSTKEY clients there is a large IT-holding headquartered in Asia. For them, a large-scale turnkey project was implemented involving the purchase of new and refurbished servers according to their specifications. The equipment was tested, configured, and then part was sent to a data center in Frankfurt, where the client had their own racks, and the rest was placed on rented HOSTKEY racks in another European data center. Now the hosting provider's engineers continue to support this project and have already expanded or upgraded their fleet several times.
Another client of HOSTKEY, a start-up from Poland, regularly buys DELL servers on Ebay and from after-market equipment suppliers. They require reassembly, inspection and installation. Employees of the data centers where this equipment is located do not provide such services, but HOSTKEY does provide them to its clients.
You can find more cases on the HOSTKEY website:
Fast. Reliable. Available
Modern hosting services remove geographic restrictions on the placement of IT infrastructure for business. The location of the equipment no longer affects the quality of service and the reliability of the systems if you choose a reliable hosting provider.
Employees of companies that have signed a service contract with HOSTKEY may never appear at the data center where their servers are located. All issues are resolved remotely, based on agreed upon terms of reference and specifications, and the work is controlled by the client in real time via video streaming.
When employing a comprehensive service, IT infrastructure scales quickly and easily. The HOSTKEY team can provide a quick deployment. For example, if you need to service your servers, an engineer can go to the site on the day the order is received. If it is required to supply equipment and organize new sites, the order will be completed within one week, depending on the scope of the project, specifications, requirements and business processes on the client side.
And even taking into account the cost of HOSTKEY services, the client can find significant avenues for cost-cutting. All of this is made possible by our fifteen years of experience as a hosting provider in international markets, our close partnerships with most European data centers and major equipment suppliers such as AMD, Dell, Gigabyte, Supermicro, Asus and others.
If you need IT infrastructure support in Europe, or are just planning to deploy it soon, contact HOSTKEY.
Learn more about our services for the purchase of equipment and maintenance of IT infrastructure in European data centers.