Building a Modern Day Data Center

By CIOReview | Friday, April 28, 2017
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Being the central repository for storing and disseminating information, a data center plays a vital role in the functioning of an organization. In view of this, enterprises earlier solely prioritized data center solutions that guaranteed high performance at a low cost. However, these trends have changed over the years, with enterprises no longer seeking to engage a single provider of end-to-end data center services. Enterprises are looking towards strategies involving multiple vendors besides leveraging pre-owned equipment and engaging third parties for maintenance. Following the expectations of IT decision makers that has increased manifold, solutions featuring technological quality, optimal cost and accountability with regard to maintenance are emerging as winners. This has been testified by a global survey of 507 IT decision makers, sponsored by Curvature and published in January 2016.

Key Findings of the Survey

As per the survey, 92 percent of the 507 companies covered, used pre-owned equipment or multi-vendor infrastructure for their data centers, with maintenance carried out by third parties. Among the 92 percent of the enterprises, 85 percent had multi-vendor environments, 53 percent used pre-owned equipment, while 60 percent opted for third party maintenance. The survey also found that the number of companies adopting a multi-vendor strategy was poised to increase in the subsequent year.

The primary factor driving these developments is the demand from organizations for greater flexibility and choice of solutions; technology has played a key role in influencing the data center strategies of present day organizations.

Factors Influencing Data Center Strategies

The change in corporate data center procurement strategies could be attributed to a number of factors, with the primary ones concerning technology. Some of them have been listed below:

 • Cloud

Traditional approaches for data centers prove to be less effective in catering to millennial demands like access to data anytime, anywhere, which provides greater productivity from workforce. The absence of access to data through mobile devices is bound to rob companies of certain advantages. For example, an insurance agent meeting a potential customer on a subway station, but unable to provide information on various policies that could meet the client requirements, would result in a loss of business. Therefore, to mitigate this, organizations are increasingly leveraging the services of cloud vendors to enrich their data centers, enabling mobile data access. Also, the cloud technology has helped companies in carrying forward the BYOD trend.

 • Virtualization

With all organizations witnessing a massive inflow of data, more thrust is being laid on server virtualization. Further, strategies such as data deduplication, archiving and storage tiering are also being used to tackle data proliferation. Server virtualization has eventually paved way for network virtualization, which can enhance data center efficiency by creating network subsets that are smaller, within a single network environment. In this context, organizations are engaging virtualization service providers to equip their data centers.

 • Software Defined Networking (SDN)

An SDN environment has the capability to handle additional workloads, by allowing organizations to create additional networks programmatically for specialized purposes, which guarantees high performance. In wake of this, enterprises seek to engage SDN-specific vendors or companies in their data centers.

 • Disaster Recovery

For mitigating the effect of disasters striking data centers, a majority of the organizations are investing on disaster recovery systems—typically in the form of remote copies or data duplication infrastructure. Remote copies tend to be removed from the main data center in the event of a power failure or fire breakout, which could potentially disrupt business functions. This has prompted corporations to engage vendors of disaster recovery systems for their data centers.

Conclusion

In the era where data has emerged as a strategic business asset, organizations are not likely to leave any stone unturned to deploy the best of functions in their data centers, from the security standpoints to meeting business obligations. This has resulted in the earlier strategy of engaging a single vendor to provide a whole range of services, being discarded. Enterprises today are seeking to utilize benefits offered by various technologies to the maximum extent and enrich their data centers. In this context multiple vendors of technological solutions are bound to be engaged.