With data now playing a key role in any business, being able to store, process and manage it effectively is critical to the success of all companies, and this makes the data centre an area that demands close attention.
But for many firms, this part of their operation is still reliant on older technologies that may not be well-equipped to meet today's needs. However, there are several key signs that can indicate it is a good time to refresh their data centre. Information Age listed a few that all firms should be looking out for.
As data volumes grow, this is likely to translate into higher costs for running a data centre. This isn't just down to the need for additional hardware infrastructure - it is also a result of greater demands for electricity and cooling requirements in order to keep server racks running effectively. If you're seeing a significant increase in power bills, this could be a sign your data centre is in need of modernisation.
Nearing the end of a cycle
Information Age noted it’s typical for businesses to refresh their hardware every three to five years, and if you're nearing the end of this cycle, this could be the ideal opportunity to rethink how you manage your data centre, instead of simply replacing hardware on a like-for-like basis.
The publication said: "Coming to the end of this cycle is not just a chance to shop around for a better deal, but also an opportunity to reflect on your utilisation levels as a whole and incorporate your company's growth into your data storage plans."
A hardware refresh also gives businesses an opportunity to evaluate how their business needs have changed over the last few years, particularly as the need to process large quantities of data has grown. New data centre technologies such as high-performance computing and initiatives such as the open compute project are among the ways in which businesses can achieve efficiency in their data centres.
The need for redundancy
Being able to ensure that your business can survive issues such as power outages or hardware failures is critical today, and this typically means having some form of offsite backup separate from your primary data centre. If your efforts in this area are lacking, this is another sign your solutions need an overhaul. With options such as cloud and colocation more practical and affordable than ever, this is one good way of keeping a data centre highly available.
Changes in regulation
The imminent arrival of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will introduce tough new standards for how businesses need to protect their data. But while much of the focus so far has been on issues such as data governance and storage, there are also physical security requirements that have to be considered, and this may mean changes have to be made within data centres.
Information Age noted that making any necessary upgrades can be expensive, but with large fines for those that don’t follow the new rules, it's crucial you review your current setup to check whether it is compliant.