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Expansion Of A Successful Dedicated Server and Colocation Provider: Interview with @Ian_Dot_Tech of LevelOneServers!

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LevelOneServers’ recent expansion into Tampa, Florida enables them to play a larger part in the Low End. LevelOneServers was featured here at Low End Box in July, 2021. We invited LevelOneServers to return so we could hear the story behind their recent Florida expansion and find out what’s coming next for LevelOneServers! Here is what @Ian_Dot_Tech from LevelOneServers shared with us:

Hey Tom,

I would like to thank you, Jon, and the entire team at LowEndBox for inviting us back for another interview. The interview topic is definitely an exciting one for me with how recently we expanded into Tampa, FL. I hope during this interview I am able to shed some light on our efforts to find a new location and the thought process behind it.

How / when was it decided to open a new location?

After seeing major growth in 2020 and into the year 2021 with our Dallas dedicated server and colocation product lines as well as multiple clients asking for us to add additional locations, in mid-2021 we started to explore the possibility of expanding to a second location. For our company, we knew selecting a new location would not happen overnight and would not be as simple as going to a datacenter’s website and selecting “order now”.

How was the location selected?

As our company is United States-based, our team knew going into the selection of a new location that the United States was our only option to consider for our second location. Our main points of interest were East Coast North/South such as New York, New Jersey, Massachusets (Boston), and Florida. Or West Coast with locations such as California (Las Angeles) or Washington (Seattle).

One method we used to poll the community was posting a survey on multiple forum sites including LowEndTalk. The survey included allowing people to vote for their ideal next location as well as hardware specs we will offer. Along with the survey, we contacted multiple data centers and internet service providers (ISP) in each of our ideal locations. Finding the correct long-term data center and ISP partner is an essential part of selecting a new location. Based on user polls, and discussions internally as well as with data centers and ISP’s we narrowed our ideal locations down to Boston, MA, and Tampa, FL.

After our staff visited and met with staff in both Boston and Tampa we compared contracts and pricing. While we almost signed on Boston, ultimately the growth expectations for Tampa far exceeded the expected initial growth in Boston. Additionally, our Tampa, FL data center location is with the company we have had a good working relationship with for the last few years.

On a side note, I believe visiting a data center is an essential step that cannot be skipped. Our staff has visited many data centers over the years which we considered to expand to. Some during the visit were found to have been less than desirable with lacking basic necessities.

What kind of equipment was purchased?

Based on previous dedicated server sales in our Dallas location, user polls, and our staff’s overall feel of the market we decided to open with just 2 dedicated server lineups. Our initial buildout in Tampa, FL consisted of the multiple Supermicro Microclouds. The specs of the servers within these Microclouds were:

  • 128GB DDR4 RAM, 1x E5-2670v3, 1X 1TB SSD, which currently rents for $84.99/month, and
  • 128GB DDR4 RAM, 1x E5-2699v3, 1X 2TB SSD, which currently rents for $99.99/month.

How was the equipment set up?

In each location (Dallas, TX and Tampa, FL) we have a data center technician who works onsite to set up and deploy dedicated and colocated servers. While each location is staffed 24/7 by the data center, we only use this in the case of an emergency when our staff is not onsite.

What was the biggest problem getting set up? How was it solved?

Our initial planned release was mid-February with the hardware arriving in late January via freight into the data center facility. Unfortunately, after testing the delivered blade enclosures over multiple days some of the enclosures were found to have defective parts. Because of the weight of the enclosures, it took an additional few weeks to freight ship new parts. Due to this, it had set us back nearly a week accounting for fully testing the new hardware and racking it.

Is everything working okay now, or what more is still needed?

Everything is functioning as intended, we are looking forward to expanding more within this location and releasing new product ranges.

What’s the next location as you continue to gain traction in the business?

That’s a great question, with just opening in Florida we have not gone ahead to plan our next location at this time. I do expect it to be the US West Coast or somewhere in the EU/UK. We get many requests monthly for those locations in both our dedicated and colocation product lines.

Which location should customers select and why?

When deciding which location to choose, customers should consider the geographical location for ping time and server specs as the two main determining factors. Due to the fact that our Dallas, TX location has been open for many years, the options of dedicated servers are more vast. However, as we grow within Florida our options will continue to increase.

Special deal for readers of this Interview!

We are offering 10% off recurring on Florida dedicated servers rentals using code “TAMPA-DEDICATED-10” at checkout. The promocode for the 10% ends May 31st 2022. The link to the Tampa servers where the 10% off is used for is: LEB Special Deal Link

Low End Box wishes LevelOneServers the very best in their new Florida location! LEB looks forward to publishing in the near future still more news of LevelOneServer’s continuing success and continuing expansion!

@Not_Oles’ beautiful, antique server, Darkstar, is colocated with LevelOneServers in their Dallas location. @Not_Oles pays every month. He sincerely thanks LevelOneServers for their consistent daily effort to ensure quality service!

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