In the past, if you wanted to be ready for a new line of business, you had to invest in technology that sat around waiting for the market opportunity to arise
Farmington Hills, MI (Vocus) November 2, 2010
IT leaders with the vision and daring to look into the future see a dynamic data center consisting of pools of high-performing computing resources that can be centrally managed, readily automated, and efficiently maintained. The data center of the future, as the enterprise central nervous system, enables the organization to do incredible things. Security and compliance are built in instead of bolted on. And the upgrade path is evolutionary instead of disruptive. So if you’re an IT professional, how do you know if your data center is behind the times? To help IT professionals gauge where they stand, Logicalis – an international provider of integrated information and communications technology (ICT) solutions and services, including strategic data center services – offers four key benchmarks and some solid advice for how to make an outdated data center future ready.
“In the past, if you wanted to be ready for a new line of business, you had to invest in technology that sat around waiting for the market opportunity to arise,” says Jeff Nessen, director of platform virtualization for Logicalis. “Today, you can plug in new capacity as you need it. You’re not increasing the capacity of a system; you’re increasing the capacity of a pool of resources.”
How Do You Know If Your Data Center Is Behind The Times?
1.) When you’ve lost control. Do you have centralized control over your data center? If not, take a serious look at what virtualization can mean to your data center. Virtualization enables a degree of centralized management and control that hasn’t been seen since the mainframe was king. The emphasis of most recent virtualization initiatives has been on saving money by consolidating the number of physical servers and storage devices required to deliver the same computing performance. Virtualization excels at this task. Consider this: Logicalis calculates that virtualization projects for its customers have resulted in at least a 12:1 - and frequently much higher – reduction in physical servers. Having one place to look for everything facilitates management and compliance, and ensures security.
*Initially pursued because of the dramatic savings from server and storage consolidation that it made possible, virtualization is more than just a compelling technology that allows you to do the same things better, faster and cheaper. Want to learn more? Read “Virtualization: Virtual Game Changer” here: http://www.us.logicalis.com/pdf/virtualization-feature-story.pdf.
2.) When nothing is on automatic pilot. How automated is your data center operation? Not very? That means your IT staff is spending countless hours on mundane tasks just to keep your computing infrastructure up and running rather than focusing on the ways in which IT can help advance the goals of the business. Consider outsourcing; remote monitoring and management are becoming accepted practices in most IT departments today. Managed services and SaaS menus that include contact management, hosted email, monitoring and IT service management are saving companies money and freeing IT’s time to focus on more business-critical needs. IT doesn’t just happen in the back room anymore. Technology is rapidly becoming an externalized nervous system. There is no back room.
3.) When you describe your data center’s performance as “fine.” Advances in blade servers, storage, and networking combine to catapult performance ahead of business needs. Blade servers, for example, have introduced the concept of high-density data centers that pack previously unheard-of performance in a single rack. New rack design and cooling technology provide a new level of control and dramatic savings in both cost and energy consumption. Advances in networking technologies merge Ethernet and Fibre Channel networks into a single network environment that is faster and easier to manage, all of which results in performance increases and calculable savings that really make dollars and sense.
4.) When you need aspirin to even consider a new IT strategy. The best way to proceed is to set aside discussions about which technologies to choose, concentrate on a comprehensive evaluation of the current infrastructure, and develop a set of requirements that accounts for the current and future needs of the organization. Included in this strategy should be multi-tier archiving for storage and a compliance assessment that will ensure you don’t get yanked back by regulators just as your business speeds up. A well-thought-out strategy for optimizing operations has the additional benefit of enabling your IT department to proceed incrementally as manpower, time, and budget allow.
*Face it. You don’t really know what’s going to happen in the next six months. You’ve got one foot on the brake and the other on the accelerator. What you do know is that there is something better than “business as usual” and there is a way to get there. To find out more, read “Optimize Operations” here: http://www.us.logicalis.com/pdf/Optimize%20Operations%20Feature%20Story-FINAL.pdf.
To facilitate the interaction people within an organization want to have, IT departments are going to have to spend more of their time interacting with people. That means less time spent on the patchwork and everyday tasks that a less-than-optimized data center requires of its IT staff. The data center of the future is an optimized IT infrastructure acting as the nervous system of the organization. And the true value of an efficient nervous system is not that it functions well, but what it lets you do.
Learn more about strategic data center services at http://www.us.logicalis.com.
Logicalis is an international provider of integrated information and communications technology (ICT) solutions and services founded on a superior breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration; data center optimization; application development and integration; and outsourcing and managed services.
With its international headquarters in the UK, Logicalis Group employs over 1,900 people worldwide, including highly trained service specialists who design, specify, deploy and manage complex ICT infrastructures to meet the needs of over 6,500 corporate and public sector customers. To achieve this, Logicalis maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders such as Cisco, HP, IBM and Microsoft.
The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues in excess of $1 billion, from operations in the UK, US, Germany, Latin America and Asia Pacific, and is fast establishing itself as one of the leading IT and Communications service providers, specializing in the areas of advanced technologies and services.
The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec Limited, a $4.2 billion revenue business listed on the Johannesburg and London AIM Stock Exchanges (LSE/JSE: DTC).
For more information about Logicalis, visit http://www.us.logicalis.com.