Remote hands is the general name for a service offered by colocation providers that allows customers to delegate IT management and maintenance tasks within a colocation facility to technicians hired by the provider. This allows the colocation customer to focus on internal tasks within their own organization, and prevents them from having to send their own technical staff to a colocation facility.
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Often, a remote hands service is available around the clock and year-round, in case of data center emergencies or issues that occur outside of regular business hours.
Although it varies by colocation provider, a remote hands service generally covers a wide range of tasks, including:
- Moving or securing network cables
- Network router and switch configuration
- Server refreshes and reboots
- Hardware and software replacement or installation
- Power cycling
- Inventory management and labeling
- Handling shipping and receiving requests
- Reporting on equipment performance
The pricing of a remote hands service varies by colocation provider. Some colocation companies bill in 30-minute increments, some allow customers to pay for a certain amount of remote hand hours per year or month, and others include the fee of the remote hands service in a monthly colocation bill. Remote hands are also called smart hands by some colocation providers, though others classify the two as different service levels.
Colocation providers including Digital Realty, Equinix and 365 Data Centers currently offer remote hands services.