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An In-Depth Analysis of Bottlenecks in Datacenter Management

By CIOReview | Friday, July 8, 2016

Datacenters have dramatically changed the footprint of today’s IT world. However, despite the best efforts of vendors and datacenter facility owners, organizations today are facing some striking challenges pertaining to monitoring, performance management and many more. These growing confronts are affecting the total cost of ownership, stoking exigencies around hardware management. The importance of protecting information stored in datacenters has risen prominently paralleled with the high-profile security breaches. Here is the list of some essential factors that today’s CIOs are facing with their datacenter.

Data Security:

Security, in general, is scaling today’s IT administrators and C-suite executive’s agendas due to three main factors: mobile security, big data and advanced targeted attacks. Rapid data growth and increasing demand for collateral storage system is at the ‘heart’ of many datacenter challenges. Particularly, as enterprises collect and generate larger amounts of information, understanding the issues affecting storage can lead to significant improvements in overall datacenter management activity. It is also important to consider active drive management and hardware retirement from multiple angles.

Backup and Recovery:

Organizations today are going through a lot of changes; that’s becoming disruptive to data protection policies, practices and technologies. For example, server virtualization has impacted the fundamentals of data protection strategies, requiring re-evaluation and devise of processes.

Large and growing IT and data storage environments are compounding problems with managing data protection, completing backup or recovery within prescribed windows, and managing the cost of storage systems.


Companies are strictly looking for lower-cost backup strategies and technologies such as data de-duplication, with a promise to reduce amount of disk media needed for data backup. IT managers need to weigh media advantages of de-duplication against potential complexity and slow-down of the recovery processes.

Compliance Management:

In order to meet the global standard, companies need a reliable data recovery system. Such systems must include recovery of not only specific files, but emails, instant messages and other critical data that might be needed to comply with government rules as well such as FISMA.

Cloud Computing:

Large number of organizations today is realizing the compelling economic benefits of cloud storage. As increasing number of applications and storage move to the cloud, IT managers will need alternative data protection technology.


Virtualization has fundamentally changed the way how companies manage their datacenters. As companies virtualized servers and storage, disaster recovery in a virtual environment offers new opportunities and challenges. This makes ease-of-use of disaster recovery and backup software as a key requirement.

IT organizations are challenged to improve the reliability of backup and recovery. Typically, the number one concern for any organization is to prevent or minimize the amount of downtime.

Long-Term Retention:

Firms are increasing the time required to retain certain types of data (for instance, business intelligence or compliance purposes). This poses a burden on IT managers, both in terms of increased backup media usage as well as retention of software and devices, to recover from these archives after several years.

Other Issues:

Datacenter operators worldwide will likely have to follow the "do more with less" paradigm that has become prevalent in resource-strapped organizations. The other issues faced by datacenters include existing staffing difficulties in the United States; which means that managers would benefit from adjusting storage management practices and vendors will need to implement solutions that streamline drive management activities. However, replacing the drives too early can result in increase of total cost of ownership. In this case, it might be beneficial to adopt performance analytics software to ensure that disk drives are working optimally and to use predictive analysis to identify potential failures before they disrupt operations.


It is important to consider total cost of ownership from both process and technological perspective. While storage hardware management represents a core concern among datacenter operators, organizations would also benefit from making these tasks more efficient.

Technology that makes it easier to encrypt stored data would make the process itself faster while mitigating the risk of a costly breach. Solutions such as Self-Encrypting Drives (SED) are especially valuable in the highly dynamic environments of today's datacenters. Drives that leave the datacenter without protection put business data at higher probability of being stolen, and even when the information is erased, there is a chance for recovery. SED technology ensures that even if an unauthorized entity gains access to the hardware, the stored data remains unreadable.