Future proofing data centre infrastructures is one of the key areas where IT professionals seem to lack the most confidence according to the research carried out by management specialists Eaton. Out of a survey of 300 respondents, just 37% said their facilities’ infrastructure was “Strong and future proof” and just 30% said the same of their resilience and disaster recover measures.
This study and survey show how recent and rapidly advancing trends like cloud and virtualisation have put pressure on data centres to keep up with the rest of the industry. As the report states “Business demands on IT are ramping up, and in a majority of organisations this is increasing the pressure on the systems infrastructure, and in turn the underlying facilities”
For business owners and service providers looking to outsource their infrastructure, this means choosing a data centre partner who is ahead of the curve – and the future proofing solutions should play a big part of your selection process. Whilst your requirements today are of course of most importance, you should also consider how your business will grow in the future and choose a partner who can meet those factors.
What is the capacity of your data centre?
As your business expands in size and complexity, so will your demand for capacity, power and cooling. Its important to ask your provider whether they can accommodate this growth and expansion. Capacity in terms of rack space is simple enough, but power can be a possible concern for many colocation customers today. According to the Eaton report, more than 34% IT professionals experience significant challengers in getting the right amount of power to their data centre infrastructure – making it a bigger problem than controlling their carbon footprint.
It doesn’t help that the average data centre’s power consumption per rack has vastly increased in the recent years. A few years ago, a rack would have required 2kW and now its drawing double that, reaching double figures in some cases. In turn, more power means more heat of course – so you need to ensure your data centre’s cooling provisions will continue to meet the demands.
Does the facility follow design best practices?
The way a data centre infrastructure is designed and maintained will give you a good indication as to whether it’ll be able to meet your needs in the future. It also tells you whether your provider is managing the data centre in a professional and efficient way – this will in return help grow your services and business.
For example, consider the relationship between power and cooling we recently discussed where to change to your power requirements will also mean a change to your cooling solutions. Some providers will have large amounts of power available, but without the cooling systems in place to deal with the extra heat being generated in the data centre expect failures and non-efficient results. It’s now more than ever important to ensure that your provider implements hot and cold aisle containment correctly and efficiently, with blanking plates to prevent the mixing of hot and cool air and sensors in place to monitor temperatures around the data centre.
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