Data centers are the most critical aspects of a business in the twentieth century. Most companies have a cyber element; most interactions are online. The future readiness of your data center determines the pace of your business’s success.
Meaning of Agile and Future-Ready
Agile in IT refers to the practice of making rapid changes through incremental upgrades and iterative methods. An agile data center will be able to integrate new technologies immediately after they come to market. Such data centers are also future-ready, supporting data demands for decades. To be agile and future-ready:
- Understand your data centers: Your company will be a source of your agility and future readiness; try to know things like employee mindset and their ability to cope.
- Be open-minded about future technologies: Only data centers that embrace the latest technologies will survive in the future because customers always want new and improved products.
- Try to think of future changes: This is the essence of being future-ready. If you can predict flaws before their occurrence, you can save significant money. For example, you can analyze market trends and predict future data volumes your data center may handle.
- Start taking actions to improve: Being agile means constantly changing your data center in incremental steps. So you must start acting on the information gathered from analyzing and creating change.
- Keep collaborating & Expanding: Ideas form when inspiration strikes, so you need to look at others, ask for their help, and share your information. The needs of people constantly change, making innovation in your data center business imperative.
- Think about energy efficiency: Data centers must use energy efficiently; otherwise, while scaling up their resources in the future, the power usage may become unsustainable.
Characteristics of an Agile and Future-Ready Data Center
Building an agile and future-ready data center is all about being able to change with the rapidly evolving industry. Businesses need to know what they need and improvise accordingly. Companies must monitor, analyze, and report data accurately. Below, you can see the characteristics of a future-ready data center.
Your data center must have robust security; otherwise, a security breach may cripple your business processes. A secure infrastructure will have advanced monitoring, detection, and response tools. You can even use active threat hunting to ensure vulnerability-free infrastructure. Building an excellent security posture for your data center can be overwhelming; however, several data center services exist to help you by providing monitoring and threat detection tools.
On-premise data centers are great for being in control, but it would be a bad idea if agility is your primary focus. An agile, future-ready data center needs constant hardware and software updates; this can engage your in-house IT team, taking away their focus on core business activities. A cloud data center takes away the responsibility for hardware and software upgrades. Moreover, the cloud service providers will have experienced IT professionals who will reduce the probability of downtime.
A future-ready data center must monitor and analyze the usage; this will provide actionable insights for improving the infrastructure. That means data centers must employ advanced data analytics solutions for predictive analysis. Moreover, your data center must have efficient reporting functionalities so that you will know crucial analytics on time.
Future-ready data centers focus on sustainability, meaning using efficient ways to save energy. For example, using solar panels to deliver the energy needed for the data center can be highly effective for sustainability; however, ensure that it is practical. Another method is to use three-phase connections for your data centers. A three-phase supply delivers power more efficiently, reducing the expense.
Agile, future-ready data centers are scalable. You can improve the scalability of your data center by using pre-designed modular equipment instead of building servers from scratch. Such designs will make it easier to change faulty hardware; it can also become straightforward to detect faults. And you can expand your infrastructure capabilities more quickly.
Things to consider for a data center design
- Cabin and cable management
- Ensure that your design allows for future improvement; for example, consider that you may need to change the active equipment every five years. So the cabin must be able to accommodate future devices. Similarly, cable management must also allow for future reconfiguration. Poor cable management can also result in performance loss because of sharp bends; they may also block the airflow.
- Pre-terminated solutions and modularity
- To start making returns faster, you need quick deployment times. Therefore, consider the time required to build the facilities for your data centers; pre-terminated solutions and modularity are the two most crucial factors that improve deployment time. Pre-terminated solutions eliminate the need to measure and cut the cables. Modular cabins, racks, and cable management equipment can significantly reduce the time required for the setup.
- Efficient Utilization of Space
- Data Center operators used to buy oversized buildings; this provided scalability to some extent. However, a more efficient approach would efficiently use all the space by increasing the density without compromising airflow. To improve server density, stack them vertically, but you would need mounts carrying many racks and cables.
Future of data centers
According to Aerospike, industries will experience shortages in employees and hardware as more companies migrate to the cloud. And companies may not get the required cloud instances or employees, forcing them to opt for fully managed data center infrastructure services.
Axis Solution believes that data centers will entirely embrace zero-trust solutions, which have been rising since the past year. Currently, cyber security follows a Fort-like approach, where anyone inside an infrastructure is trusted. In zero-trust infrastructures, all entities have to validate themselves for every transaction.
Nathaniel Coffing of CSO believes that cyberattacks on APIs will increase, and only automation can efficiently mitigate the disaster. Automating vulnerability detection and monitoring in APIs will free cybersecurity experts to focus on the big picture; cybersecurity experts will have to be automation experts in the coming years.
According to Keith Neilson of Cloud Sphere, cloud migration will continue to increase as companies realize the benefits of clouds. Clouds can reduce upfront and maintenance costs and eliminate the responsibility of managing upgrades.
In conclusion, the burden on data centers will continue to increase, and new hardware and software technologies will continue to emerge. Companies must focus on building agile and future-ready data centers to remain competitive. Your data center design must focus on scalability, sustainability, cloud computing, and data analytics; predictive maintenance is the key to smooth operations. Implementing all these points is tedious and requires expertise. Getting assistance from third-party companies providing data center infrastructure services can reduce the pressure on you.