In the current technology age traditional data centres suffer from slow response times, limited scalability and ineffective business continuity strategies which have a direct impact on business growth. This means organizations with unresponsive and agile data centers would have a detrimental impact on any business.
James Gicheru, Practice Lead, Next Generation Data Centre, Dimension Data says businesses and their end users are demanding for precise, real-time, secure and highly efficient systems and feedback. This, along with the proliferation of IT requires an agile data centre.
With this scenario in mind, Dimension Data rolled out a new maturity tool that helps organisations assess their capabilities and prioritise initiatives for building a next-generation data centre. The Data Centre Development Model–the first assessment that covers such a broad spectrum of the data centre –was created off the back of strong demand from clients seeking guidance and actionable plans to make their data centres more responsive and agile.
According to Steve Joubert, Group Executive for Data Centres at Dimension Data, global competitive pressures brought on by social, mobile, analytics and cloud have had a tremendous impact on data centres to transform to remain relevant. “Every client we speak to, is looking for ways to transform their data centres to become more responsive to business needs. This is not an easy undertaking.”
With the expansion of the data centre beyond traditional boundaries to include cloud, networking and security, it’s important to look at these areas holistically and not in isolation. A change in one area can have a costly impact in another. Most IT departments still have siloed functions and don’t understand the impact of their projects on other parts of the infrastructure, including the data centre. And deciding where to start for the maximum benefit, isn’t easy either.
For example, Dimension Data has seen that virtualisation and converged infrastructure projects that don’t include a review and strategy for the underlying network, can increase the ultimate cost of the project three-fold.
“It’s with this in mind that we developed theData Centre Development Model. It’s all about helping our clients make the shift to new operating models across the entire next-generation data centre, while focussing on business outcomes with technology being the enabler and differentiator, instead of a hindrance,” said Joubert.
Dimension Data’s Data Centre Development Model is ideal for organisations that need to understand the requirements of building a future-state data centre. The Model scrutinises the 11 critical domains in the data centre (“as-is” state) and what their future needs are (“to-be” state). The output of the workshop-style engagement is a roadmap which provides practical implementation recommendations forthe most valuable initiatives around their data centre.
Recommendations include identifying infrastructure gaps in an organisation; Determining the most efficient operating model for the data centre, inclusive of management and operations; understanding the best ways to exploit public cloud, hosting, and co-location where it creates value for the business; Ensuring the network is geared to support the journey of transformation; and Embedding security at every step of the journey.