Data Center Architecture: How Effective Design Keeps Data Safe And Companies Agile

Information storage is the lifeline for businesses in the ever-changing information age. How mission-critical and sensitive information is stored and made accessible is often the measure of the effectiveness of a business’s information technology resources. Optimized architecture combined with IT managed services is a vital part of keeping information safe and systems reliable.

For the majority of businesses, the most cost effective method of attaining optimal technology infrastructure is to utilize data center colocation combined with IT managed services. With this model, the best industry practices and latest hardware are available to any sized company.

Designing Around Data

Achieving the ideal system to meet business demands is first based upon the type of files that need to be stored and accessed. The most expensive option is to have data that is available for immediate and constant access. A lower-cost option is to back up and duplicate data on a routine basis to manage against the risk of loss. Acquiring, installing, and maintaining data storage and backup equipment can be expensive. A more cost-effective option is data center colocation, whereby you rely on an expert IT Infrastructure provider for that equipment. Ideally, you will work with a provider that can help you prioritize your data and store it on equipment based on its value. This is called a tier approach.

Mission-critical files are assigned to the highest tier. They are able to be accessed quickly and are frequently backed up. This expense is necessary to ensure business continuity and to have effective practices in place for disaster recovery. From there, information should be differentiated between varying levels of access and frequency of duplication in order to lower costs without compromising reliability or security. Data protection works best with this colocation tiered system in order to dynamically provide service at the best possible cost.

Utilizing specialized information technology firms and dedicated hosting facilities also enables any company to leverage the latest hardware and software along with industry best practices for safety. And, by leveraging the cloud computing paradigm, businesses only pay for what they use, allowing any sized company or scope of project to be cost-effective.

Smart Power Utilization

One of the largest operating expenses for maintaining information technology is power usage. Electric bills can be rather high when considering the cost of running hardware and paying for climate control to keep the air cool and dry. Then multiply those expenses by 24 hours a day every day of the week — the overhead is substantial. Reducing energy costs through efficient data center design is key to saving on costs while realizing the added benefits of green computing.

Older systems consume much more power than contemporary equipment designed with Energy Star(R) rated guidelines. Therefore, upgrading equipment, and especially utilizing the latest technology through data center colocation, is the single best action one can take to reduce energy costs.

Dynamic solutions are much more efficient than traditional implementations. Consider a virtual system that can be employed anywhere to any company across the globe that powers US and European businesses during their respective peak usage hours — all from the same set of hardware. Compare that scenario to the traditional in-house or data center colocation server that sits idle for the majority of the evening and overnight. The energy savings and increased efficiency create substantial cost savings and system reliability.

Infrastructure Design

Safe and reliable systems rely on careful design that can handle both normal operating demands as well as peak loads without having idle resources. Business cycles demand resources that can handle both expected and unexpected highs and lows in demand.

Through virtualization, resources are assigned and consumed on a subscription or on-demand basis to allow a perfect match between needs and supply. This creates resources that are safe and stable since they cannot be overtaxed and are not prone to crashing or data corruption.

At the end of the day, a combination of IT managed services and data center colocation provide the ideal solution for safe and reliable data storage. When data center colocation providers also offer IT managed services, even small businesses with little or no IT staff can run on top tier IT infrastructure architected by industry experts. The end result is a reliable system that runs to meet demand at the lowest cost possible, making efficient information resources available to companies of any size.
Steve Bulmer is CTO and an author for Consonus, a service provider of data center colocation and other IT managed services.