The data center landscape is in a state of constant evolution. Yet for data center managers, fast-paced change presents as much a challenge as an opportunity – so, how do you pre-empt advancing capacity demand to maintain performance, and prepare for the future of the data center proactively, rather than reactively?
With global megatrends such as mass digitalization, the rise of IoT, and the growth of the smart city increasing demand on data centers, it’s essential that data center managers are able to meet requirements and proactively plan to ensure that data center infrastructure is manageable and scalable. They must also continue to reduce the risk of costly network downtime and ensure the success of the organisations which rely on data center performance.
So, what should data center managers prioritize and focus on as they formulate a proactive strategy for the evolution of the data center? There are three key areas that, we believe, should be part of a successful strategy: Migration to higher speeds, infrastructure management and cloud performance.
However, beyond these three areas, there are additional factors that should be considered. Of these, the speed and accuracy of deployment may be the most important.
Studies demonstrate that the per-hour value of network uptime has increased significantly over the past decade. Although the average organization has cut downtime hours by 84 percent, the cost of outages has increased more than seven-fold – demonstrating that deployment speed and accuracy are critical. Unsurprisingly, human error is one of the leading causes of unplanned downtimes, accounting for an estimated 22 percent of all outages, suggesting that carrying out manual tasks is high risk. One of the most labor intensive tasks is installing fiber cabling; manual field terminations, troubleshooting, and error corrections result in extended deployment times, higher installation costs and increased downtime.
However, preterminated, pretested fiber assemblies are helping data center managers to meet this challenge. Compared to field-terminated fiber cabling, factory-terminated and -tested fiber has better optical performance and lower installation costs. As it is more precise and consistent, the factory-terminated fiber cabling greatly improves the loss and reflection attributes of the connectors. Therefore, when looking to decrease deployment times and potential unplanned outages, plug-and-play capacity is often the best option.
An infrastructure partner can be a key enabler in designing and implementing a successful tactical strategy in the data center. Even for a small enterprise data center, the process of designing, coordinating and selecting a best-fit solution involves thousands of decisions. Bringing an infrastructure provider into the process early can be invaluable, and large partners like CommScope provide a portfolio that include most, if not all, of the necessary components. These range from multiple and complete lines of fiber and copper cabling to cable routing and management solutions and infrastructure intelligence platforms.
When designing a data center strategy it’s best to take a holistic approach and view the data center as a single interconnected ecosystem that exists within the context of the organization, as well as taking stock of the granular issues and opportunities. Ultimately, a well defined, thoughtfully executed strategy should be simple to manage, efficient to operate and easy to scale.
Having a strategy in place ensures that data center deployment is faster and more accurate which, in turn, offers a wide variety of tangible benefits, including lower operating costs, accelerated mean time to repair, increased worker productivity, and reduced downtime.
This translates into increased revenue for the organisation and means that the data center manager needs to spend less time worrying about how to respond to changes due to growth, higher data rates, and network demands. Instead, they can focus on implementing a strategy, monitoring results, and refining the plan for the future. In this scenario, lower stress results in higher productivity.
You can learn more about considerations for the modern data center here.