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5 ways to update your old-school data center

October 30, 2017

5 ways to update your old-school data center

By the time you complete your data center implementation, it can often feel outdated. But there are steps you can take to remain fast, secure, agile and cost-efficient. Need a data center sanity check? Here are 5 steps you can take to keep it current:

1.)Implement a hybrid cloud strategy

If agility is critical when it comes to your data center, then the hybrid cloud play is worthy of your consideration. This nimble environment enables you to combine on-premises storage with public cloud assets. Perhaps the biggest plus is that you can always start small and scale as needed.

Disaster recovery is also a big part of this conversation. Intelligently designed hybrid cloud architectures can provide optimal disaster recovery without huge capital and operational investments. By leveraging the public cloud for compute, backup storage or an entire secondary infrastructure, companies can maintain control of sensitive production data while meeting recovery time and recovery point objectives. Although transferring back and forth between the two can get expensive, it’s much less costly than a catastrophic disaster.  

2.) Embrace hyperconvergence

Gartner forecasts that, by next year, hyperconverged integrated systems will deliver bimodal infrastructures in 25% of large enterprises. That’s noteworthy, considering that number sat at less than 1% in 2016.

Hyperconvergence is tempting global IT leaders with its scale-out infrastructure, clusters and all-in-one boxes—but it really exists to save organizations money. By shrinking the power-drawing components of a data center—networking, storage and compute—you could be on the path to substantial savings. (Hyperconvergence takes all three and puts them into a singular box.)

All nodes within a box are networked to themselves; therefore, the cost and physical footprint is reduced as compared to traditional data centers. The caveat here is that you still need to hook them up to a physical networking infrastructure, so there will always be switches. But when it comes time to scale again, just add another box.

3.) Create a software-defined data center

Shrink your hardware costs by moving to a software-defined environment. Instead of managing your data in multiple locations, you can manage block, file and object data from one centralized hub. Not only can you save on pricey hardware, but you’re also more agile in terms of mitigating disasters and data breaches. Simply put, leveraging a software-defined infrastructure enables you to manage data easily and efficiently. 

4.) Invest in the extra Gbps

Some organizations become “penny wise and bit foolish” when it comes to gigabits-per-second storage options. For example, if a company’s public-facing website is rendering a slow transaction time, it’s probably hemorrhaging cash and customers. Don’t settle for 1 or 10 Gbps when your data center really requires 40 or 56. The “time is money” cliché couldn’t be truer in this scenario.

5.) Incorporate solid-state drives (SSDs)

Organizations are processing extreme amounts of input/output operations thanks to SSD technology. As SSDs get faster and more affordable, we’ll only see more of them in enterprise data centers. In fact, Gartner predicts that up to 25% of data centers may use all-flash arrays for primary storage by 2020, with ROI of under six months in some cases.

Good news: The price of SSD technology is dropping. Today, you’re paying pennies per gig. Although SSDs are more expensive than HDDs, the cost for both has decreased dramatically. Companies have long ditched 60GB capacity drives for the cost savings of 256GB, 512GB and 1TB SSDs—with larger data centers investing in multiple TBs at a time. Other factors, including IOPS per watt and capacity and performance per rack, also make SSDs attractive across the enterprise.

Read more about building SSDs into your data center.