At the start of each New Year, many organisations review their operations and ensure everything is well placed for the 12 months ahead. Such reviews can examine everything from staffing levels and office space to information technology infrastructures.
Increasingly, IT reviews are including a long, hard look at the corporate data centre. Often designed and built many years ago, it’s easy for them to be forgotten – overshadowed by more visible, day-to-day challenges.
Yet ensuring your data centre can keep up with growing and evolving business demands is critical. Anything that restricts the ability to run mission-critical applications and securely store corporate data can have a dramatic impact on the bottom line.
A key issue is that many data centres were not designed to support the computing workloads of the 21st century. Increasing use of virtualisation means servers are typically running at much higher utilisation levels than they were just a few years ago.
Application performance expectations have also changed. Where users were once content with long batch processing windows and system downtime, now 24×7 access is regarded as the norm. Add rapidly emerging trends such as the Internet of Things and the strain becomes even more acute. As a result, server infrastructures are becoming denser and putting strains on power resources and cooling systems.
According to analyst firm IDC around 20 per cent of all data centres in the Asia-Pacific region are more than eight years old and not ready to handle modern computing demands. As a result, organisations face the choice of funding an upgrade of their existing data centre, building a new one, or shifting IT resources to a third-party facility.
Although upgrading an existing data centre may seem attractive, the associated costs are not. Retrofitting enhanced power and cooling capacities is expensive and can cause disruption to daily functions. Also, extra space may not be readily available in the current location.
Building a new data centre is possible, however, organisations need to be sure they ‘future proof’ it to ensure it can continue to meet demands well into the future. This can mean building (and paying) for far more capacity than is currently needed to support operations.
By far the most effective option is to take advantage of an external, purpose-built and managed data centre. In this way, the need for a large capex investment is removed and space and power can be scaled as future demands grow.
Such facilities have also been designed to be energy efficient, thus keeping opex costs lower. Infrastructure equipment is constantly maintained and upgraded as computing technology evolves. You can be sure you’ll always have access to an industry leading data centre.
The data centre space can also be customised to meet specific requirements. Raised floors can be installed to suit particular server racks and networking gear, thus ensuring a perfect match for each client.
Data centres must continue to evolve at a rapid pace to ensure they can provide the support required by growing organisations. Making use of a purpose built and professionally managed facility will ensure you remain ahead of this curve.