In Data Centers, Smaller Is Better
Achieve complete branch IT consolidation while boosting performance, improving data security and lowering administrative costs
With an unquenchable thirst for computing power and storage, government and commercial firms spent the last fifteen years building bigger and bigger data centers.
Thanks to advances in current technology, smaller is actually better.
“The performance and density of data center solutions improved 10x just in the last five years,” says Frank Watson, president of Nisga’a Data Systems (NDS). “Hanging on to capital equipment investments made five or more years ago may seem prudent, but it comes at a price—and with high risk.”
Data Centers’ New Order
Among the benefits of updating data centers are technologies such as Riverbed Technologies’ latest Storage Delivery solution, which can centralize all data at the data center. “By ‘projecting’ application/user services over the Wide Area Network (WAN) to all branch offices or remote sites, infrastructure costs at those sites can be dramatically reduced,” Watson points out. “This gives IT personnel a secure and manageable disaster-recovery solution while reducing administration and recovery time at each branch by provisioning services remotely.”
But there are caveats to consider before revamping an Enterprise data center strategy.
“We have entered the era of hyperconvergence, where all services—voice, video, data, wired, wireless, in addition to storage and computing—are delivered by a common IP network,” Watson says. “Server virtualization, virtual desktop infrastructures, edge-optimization technology and other architectures enable you to do a lot more with less—and in less space. But re-architecting and consolidation is not a simple IT job.”
Rely on Experts
Knowledge and expertise in architecture, communications and physical design must all be brought together. Equally important is intimate familiarity with the latest offerings from software and hardware vendors. NDS’s partnerships with leading hypervisor OEMs and hardware vendors allow it to apply the best technology and approach to customers’ requirements.
For example, NDS designed and engineered a virtualized enterprise environment for a public-sector customer that reduced space requirements from 12,000 square feet to under 2,000, while cutting power consumption by 44 percent. For commercial customers, reengineering their data centers also yielded rapid ROI.
Watson makes the point that in all cases, a rigorous process must be undertaken. Before making any recommendations, NDS conducts an audit of current IT assets to produce a comprehensive summary and reporting of the current environment. Then NDS experts determine opportunities for virtualization of existing and planned systems as well as possible secure and cost-efficient cloud-based alternatives.
“Innumerable approaches to computing exist in this era of hyperconvergence,” Watson says. “But no organization can remain competitive living with legacy systems. Don’t get left behind.”
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