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Brain surgery for your data centre?



Gary Middleton | Global BDM Network Integragion

Gary Middleton | Global BDM Network Integragion

When you think about a data centre, what’s the first analogy that comes to mind? I think of it as a brain that stores information and distributes it to wherever is necessary, controlling the nervous system of the business. Like brains, data centres are always changing and evolving, particularly in terms of their capacities. More data is being collected, stored, and transferred at a higher rate than ever. The nervous systems of our businesses therefore need to handle the new capacities that evolved data centres can unleash. But can they?

Updating physical capacity through innovative tech is only one part of this balancing act. The organisation’s ‘brain’, so to speak, should be large enough to handle all the information your business requires. Servers are far more powerful today with faster microprocessors and larger storage capacities – but don’t get too caught up in these new abilities.

Top-of-the-line servers without the corresponding network to support them can affect your business’ performance negatively. A network’s inability to deliver the capacities that the data centre infrastructure generates can put your business into a sort of ‘coma’ – functions may happen slower, or not at all.  And, as we all know, any downtime could be potentially devastating.

In order to accommodate upgraded infrastructure, the functions of the data centre brain require seamless operation. The software and applications required to run data centres and their networks need to be in place. The nature of these applications requires multiple tiers of operation while delivering a unified experience to the user. This unified experience is a result of market demand – users expect the same performance from these applications no matter where they are.

What we also need to be looking at, when developing the ‘brains’ of our businesses, are automation and virtualisation. Our human brains are capable of making certain processes in our bodies automatic – breathing, heart rate, and so on.  Data centres should have similar functionality. Automating many functions allows the whole network to be more flexible and easier to manage.

Overall, we need to approach updating our data centres with a multifaceted plan, one that works to deliver the capacities we want, as well as the ability to manage and utilise those capacities seamlessly. It’s very much like brain surgery – everything needs to be done carefully, and in sync. Otherwise, a malformed or lopsided approach could seriously jeopardise the health of our data systems and our businesses. This latest thinking article has some more sound advice as to how to go about this delicate operation.