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Data Centres: Problems and Solutions

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A data centre’s main function is to house IT equipment necessary for the processing, storage and communication of data.

According to Robert Thorogood, group director, Hurley Palmer Flatt: “The IT systems have either multiple servers (or mainframes for legacy DCs) that do the processing, storage arrays with hard disks, solid state drives, or in the case of older systems tape and network, or switches that direct and deliver the data within or to the outside world via fibre links.”

Why?

But before you commit to data centre solutions, ask yourself why?  Mark Young, Director of Systems Engineering at Tintri, suggests we ask ourselves “what’s the currency in which we want our data centre to operate? If it’s LUNs and volumes, then legacy infrastructure will suffice. If the answer is virtual machines and containers,” this will require “solutions specifically built for virtualisation and cloud.”

Then take into account two considerations:

  • Date centre solutions require power which is reliable and constant
  • Cooling is required to take away the heat, this too must be reliable and constant.

Escalating demands, and software-defined support

Tony Martin, UK and IE Managing Director, FalconStor warns that “when the contract is signed and a solution is purchased, things can get tricky for IT teams. Although the initial deal for data storage may have looked attractive, hardware or cloud providers can lock organisations in without them realising. This means should they want to change the location of their data or create multiple versions of it, they will need to purchase additional storage from the same vendor at a high price.”

He suggests that “IT teams should consider looking at a software-defined solution (SDS) to support their purchase. SDS platforms can allow for data optimisation, disaster recovery, business continuity and allow organisations not to be locked into one single data centre provider. Organisations require these solutions in order to manage their data in a flexible & cost-effective way.”

On this theme, Paul Timms, MD at MCSA says that “For some time, virtualization has reshaped data centre operations, by enabling the deployment of affordable, rack-based servers that can be pooled and allocated to shifting application demands – however, the transformation is incomplete. The advent of the software defined data centre (SDDC) claims to change the status quo by providing automation, flexibility and efficiency to transform the way IT is delivered. With SDDC, computing, storage, networking, security, and availability services are pooled, aggregated, and delivered as software, and managed by intelligent, policy-driven software.”

Growing popularity

Paul Timms adds that data centre solutions “are becoming a major part of large-scale, national infrastructure assets that support our information economy.”

The trend

He continues: “Businesses will continue to store their most critical applications and sensitive data, on premise, in traditional virtualised data centres – albeit with hybrid cloud capabilities. Issues such as data residency, information protection and segmentation compliance, will also drive this trend for the foreseeable future. This means that while the number of companies opting to consume cloud services continues to grow, we can expect that private data centres will continue to coexist for an extended period of time too.”

Public Cloud based solutions

Finally, returning to Timms, he said; “Public cloud-based solutions will also mature over the next five years, offering enhanced performance and improved security. Additionally, with advancements in software that enables organisations to transparently move and migrate their workloads into the cloud, means that most organisations will find cloud-based, data centre-driven, computing an attractive proposition.”

 

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Tags: IT Transformation, Technology