From customer data and transaction records to proprietary insights, data centers ensure that businesses have robust data storage and management capabilities to access, organize, and safeguard their wealth of information.
Without a reliable data center, businesses may grapple with sluggish data retrieval, compromised security, and a disjointed organizational framework. In fact, according to one global study, CIOs and IT engineers reported not just financial losses due to increased data center downtimes but also losses in reputation (41%), data (45%), and customer satisfaction (47%).
From running applications and processing massive volumes of data to ensuring data security and compliance, modern businesses need their data center to operate efficiently in order to support their daily operations and increasing reliance on digital infrastructure. As the global data center market is projected to reach a value of over $200 billion by 2025, it’s clear just how important the role that robust, scalable, and secure data centers continue to play in keeping businesses competitive and innovative.
Whether you’re evaluating the effectiveness of your current data center or exploring alternative solutions for your business, we’ve compiled the three key components of reliable data centers with practical tips for optimizing your data center’s efficiency. Let’s dig in.
3 Key Components of Reliable Data Centers
Historically, data centers were rudimentary, often small in scale, and primarily served as a repository for essential information. They were often on-site and predominantly responsible for data storage and basic computing tasks. Fast forward to today, however, and the digital age has paved the way for significant transformation and advancement of these tools.
The modern data center has evolved into a complex, sprawling infrastructure crucial to an organization’s most core functions. They now operate on a global scale, leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as virtualization, cloud computing, and advanced security measures for impactful performance.
1. Reliable data centers boast efficient data storage.
Businesses generate and process massive amounts of data every day. Traditional storage solutions may struggle to keep up with this influx of information, which is why it is critical to adopt a reliable data center solution designed for the demands of today’s businesses. The consequences of failing to do so usually include issues with scalability, accessibility, and speed.
Modern solutions can address some of these challenges by introducing innovations such as cloud storage and advanced storage architectures. Cloud storage, for instance, enables businesses to scale their storage infrastructure dynamically, adjusting to fluctuating data volumes. Advanced storage architectures, like software-defined storage, provide centralized management and automation, streamlining data storage operations in the process.
For instance, companies adopting right-sized cloud storage solutions enjoy cost reductions of up to 50% while gaining the ability to scale storage resources on demand. This is where cloud or hybrid data center solutions can provide great value.
2. Reliable data centers include advanced security measures.
As data breaches become more prevalent and cyber threats more sophisticated, the protection of customer data, proprietary insights, and business transactions is a top priority. Implementing robust security measures ensures the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of data, forming the foundation of trust for both businesses and their clientele.
As a best practice, your data center solution must include a multi-layered approach to security, often involving physical, network, and cybersecurity measures across your IT ecosystem. Physically securing data centers involves controlled access, surveillance systems, and environmental controls to safeguard against physical threats. Network security focuses on securing data during transit and employing encryption and intrusion detection systems to thwart cyber threats. Cybersecurity measures can involve a combination of regular audits, vulnerability assessments, and real-time monitoring to detect and mitigate potential risks.
Why are these protections so critical? According to a report by IBM, the global average cost of a data breach as of 2023 is estimated at US$4.45 million, which represents a 15% increase over the last three years. The financial impact of inadequate security measures is justification enough for putting in place the kinds of robust security protocols required to protect your data center assets effectively.
3. Reliable data centers contribute to a robust IT infrastructure.
It goes without saying that businesses rely more heavily than ever before on digital processes. This is reason enough to advocate for greater consideration of your data center in your organization’s overall IT strategy. Doing so correctly can ensure efficient data processing, quick retrieval, and secure storage. So, what does this look like?
For our partners at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (with which UDT holds a Silver Partner Solution Provider designation), they begin crafting their data center roadmap by combining internal IT transformation experience with client transformation experience. This way, they are able to collaborate with their clients in the development of a practical and right-sized data center and IT strategy that is aligned with specific business goals.
Top Strategies for Data Center Optimization
Optimizing your data center involves an intricate balance of performance and resource management. In an era where data reigns supreme, honing strategies to enhance the functionality and scalability of your organization’s data center is paramount. From maximizing storage capacities to streamlining workflows, implementing the right methodologies can significantly impact the operational effectiveness of your data center.
To get you started on the right track, consider these strategies for data center optimization that you can leverage, whether you are simply evaluating your current state or a potential new solution:
- Implement regular performance monitoring. Conduct a thorough assessment of your current IT infrastructure—not just your data center—and identify areas for improvement. Ensure your business is aligned with best practices for security, reliability, efficiency, and cost optimization throughout.
Don’t forget to check your data center’s performance against compliance and regulatory requirements to make sure you are meeting your obligations to industry and government regulatory standards.
- Upgrade and update for impact. For your data center specifically, there may be opportunities to consolidate servers, utilize server management solutions, optimize data lifecycle management, and upgrade your security protections to protect and preserve the integrity of your data.
Automation tools and orchestration frameworks can also be optimized to streamline tasks, improve efficiency, and reduce human error. Likewise, you should upgrade your network infrastructure for improved connectivity, bandwidth, and reliability to ensure seamless data transfer and access.
- Embrace virtualization and cloud computing: Virtualization allows organizations to maximize server resources, reducing hardware costs and enhancing overall efficiency. Cloud computing platforms, such as Microsoft Azure (of which UDT is a designated specialist partner) enables scalable and flexible solutions that align with the evolving needs of businesses.
For example, Capital One left their data center behind for a 100% cloud services solution that enhanced agility and innovation for the organization while helping them achieve cost savings. It’s a good case study on why the best optimization strategy may be not having a data center at all, but moving into a cloud or hybrid solution—depending on your unique situation and needs.
Optimize Your Data Center, Cloud or Hybrid Solution with UDT
With a proven track record of helping organizations optimize their IT infrastructure, the experts at UDT are your partner for a smarter, more secure, and efficient environment. As your digital journey evolves, UDT ensures your data center, cloud, or hybrid solution strategy remains efficient, outcome-based, and secure. Connect to our team today for your consultation.