Today, data centres sit at the core of running a modern business. This term refers to the building – or space within a building – that houses the computer systems and components associated with it, such as storage systems and telecommunications networks. Obviously, without this infrastructure, a business will lose internal connectivity as well as its connection to the outside world and grind to a devastating halt.
Given the key role data centres play in the continued operations of companies, it is only to be expected that the optimal management of these spaces has become a leading priority for many organisations. Even so, it isn’t unheard of for these systems to falter as IT departments struggle with the upkeep of these systems. This can be due to a variety of reasons – outdated technology, insufficient planning, human error, and even apathy as some managers underestimate the impact of non-compliance.
Data centres require much more than a dedicated space and power source to function optimally and be resilient against failures. Here are some of the main factors business and IT managers must consider managing this system in an acceptable way:
The Need for Accountability
Data centres require a standardised approach to create a predictable operating environment. This includes creating a system of accountability, where all interactions are tracked and logged. Visitors should be signed in and supervised at all times, and all activities must be monitored and approved by the relevant team members.
Nothing should be left to chance or subjected to open interpretation when it comes to data centres. Every single process should be supported by a clear and documented policy that is both accessible to the relevant parties, as well as supported by management. This includes everything from system access to how long backups are stored.
It is absolutely imperative to carefully regulate the environment to ensure the correct functioning of the equipment and to avoid damage and subsequent catastrophe. This includes managing the temperature and humidity of the centre, as well as factoring in aspects such as power distribution, airflow and fire suppression.
A proactive approach is vital – there is no time for being reactive. The risk and subsequent losses are simply too big. The health of all systems must be monitored, as do aspects such as energy usage, available storage space, how much bandwidth is being used, and even how much physical space is available in the centre.
Aside from the people who work for an organisation, data centres typically house the most valuable assets of a company – and a target for criminal minds. Strict security is a must, including lock and alarm systems, security guards, access control, and backup power for your security system. These are all options that should be considered.
Additional Capacity Provision
Scalability should be an ongoing concern. A growing company will require larger server capacity and more connections as time goes on. Choose a space that can easily fit your needs and provide space for expansion. Also consider things like server racks, additional connections, and upgraded hardware proactively.
IT management does not come with the luxury of time. It is imperative that downtime is kept to a minimum, as interruptions can lead to significant losses. Data centres should be neat and set up in a logical fashion. Clear policies and up-to-date documentation are part of this. An organised centre will make troubleshooting and support much faster and effective.
Trust the Experts
CCI Technology Solutions are industry experts in the building of data centres and network rooms, as well as providing infrastructure management. Contact us for more information on our services, installation, and to request a quote.