Businesses and other organisations of all sizes rely heavily on their data centre in order to run their operations. In this article, we’ll take a look at seven of the most crucial requirements of modern data centres.
For many organisations, if a system was to become unavailable even for a short period of time, it could have devastating affects on their ability to function, with costs potentially running into the millions. As a result, one of the most important factors to consider in the modern data centre is continuity. A data centre must minimise or, ideally, eliminate the potential for downtime — for example, with emergency backup power generation should the data centre suffer a power outage.
Another key concern is security. With so much critical and often classified information being stored on data centres, it’s important that this information is protected from the threats of unauthorised eyes. Another security concern relates to the threat of an unexpected disaster such as fire or flood. Data centres should have backup options available should the system fail, and should remain secure at all times.
3. Individual or co-located?
Data centres can be split into two categories. The first category involves data centres that serve the needs of an individual company (a large data centre located on the premises of a large business, for example, and which has been customised to suit that business’s purposes). The second involves data centre services where equipment and bandwidth can be rented by many different customers or businesses. This is known as a “co-located” data centre.
4. Low costs
With the data centre such a crucial part of so many businesses, it’s obvious that the costs associated with installing, maintaining and upgrading a data centre are going to be significant. As a result, any steps that can be taken to lower the costs of data centres can result in huge savings for a company — savings that have the potential to put them at a competitive advantage against other organisations.
5. Environmentally friendly
Data centres are one of the most energy-intensive parts of any organisation. In fact, data centres alone make up about two per cent of the world’s annual electricity bill. Because data centres rely so heavily on energy, it means that their carbon footprint is quite high. With governments around the world taking steps to minimise carbon emissions, companies are now expected to find ways to lower the energy output of their data centres. This can have tremendous cost savings as well, both in terms of electricity bill spending and also through avoiding impending government carbon taxes.
When a data centre is being installed, one of the most important considerations is its scalability. After all, as a company grows, data centres may reach capacity, at which point the data centre will need to be upgraded in order for an organisation to continue its growth. Scalability must be planned for from the outset, otherwise companies may find themselves needing to replace their data centre altogether, which can be quite costly.
Data centres that can almost eliminate the need to be accessed by IT personnel (except under special circumstances) are known as “dark data centres”, and these can had tremendous benefits for the business. Many of the maintenance processes associated with such data centres are automated, saving the cost of man hours and also saving electricity due to eliminating the need for lighting.