When leveraged correctly, data unlocks valuable insights that reveal room for business growth and opportunities. This is why we shouldn’t think of data centers as just places for storing and protecting data. A Modern Data Center has methods to move, protect, store, and obtain insights from data. In fact, a truly modern data center can be a powerful platform to enable organizations to adapt to ever changing business needs – and help capitalize on growth opportunities.
Evolving Solutions CTO Michael Downs and Senior Solution Architect Ted Letofsky sat down to answer five questions about modern data centers.
Q: What is a modern data center?
A: A truly modern data center has API-driven automation, orchestration, observability, and documentation throughout the entire lifecycle; comprehensive data management; effective processes that enable cross-departmental communication; and an adaptable, scalable infrastructure. This includes having capabilities in place that ensure the right data is available in the right format and with the right access. These components are essential for any organization looking to take advantage of the power of their data center. A modern data center also has the ability to respond proactively to dynamic workloads.
Q: Why is it important to have automation in data centers?
A: Automation is key in ensuring that a data center can meet the needs of its users. We define automation as the ability to have a repeatable task done without manual intervention. Orchestration is what integrates multiple repeatable tasks across the data center. For example, when virtual machines are deployed, moved to a vLAN for patching, then moved to different vLAN for production, and then added to a data protection service. By automating common processes such as system deployment or configuration changes, organizations can reduce manual errors while increasing speed and efficiency. Additionally, automated systems provide more up-to-date information than manual ones. This allows organizations to react more quickly to make changes when prompted by external factors such as customer demand or market shifts.
Q: How do you achieve virtual and scalable infrastructure in a data center?
A: It is important to create an infrastructure that can scale to meet current and future transformation needs. Virtualization enables businesses to quickly scale up resources as needed without needing additional physical hardware. This makes it easier to respond quickly when faced with unexpected workloads or unforeseen circumstances. A virtualized environment makes it easier for businesses to share resources between different departments or teams within the same organization, improving efficiency.
Q: Why is cross-departmental communications important?
A: Communication between different teams that oversee the data center, applications, public cloud, monitoring, networking, and security can be challenging. These organizations have different perspectives and levels of understanding of the data center environment. They also often have different goals and priorities. Closing these gaps can help your organization achieve end-to-end visibility. Cross-departmental communication can drive proactivity – working together to anticipate issues before they arise. Equally important, cross-departmental communication speeds resolution to concerns and problems. Having common language and access to observability tools enables the modern data center.
Q: How do you prevent tool sprawl and increased complexity in a hybrid environment?
A: Modern data centers operate in a hybrid world, which creates complexity. Automation can help reduce tool sprawl by streamlining the number of tools and processes, provided organizations invest in an automation strategy Having a common approach to collecting and analyzing operational data furthers that simplicity by ensuring that everyone has access to the same information and creates confidence in business and IT processes.
The modern data center has tremendous potential but only if it has all the necessary elements in place so that organizations can take full advantage of what it offers them on their growth journey. Implementing a modern data center allows businesses to be better able position themselves ahead of competition while leveraging new technologies like cloud computing services with agility confidence knowing they have all their bases covered from end-to-end across their IT operations landscape!