How to weather a perfect storm of storage costs

Don't let the perfect storm of data demand sink your data center.

By Max Burkhalter
September 30, 2015
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Ask anyone who makes their gold on the digital seas, the cost of doing business is on the rise. According to Tech Pro Research's 2015 IT Budget Trends, hundreds of hardy IT professionals from around the globe reported an average 45 percent increase in IT costs. Considering the rapidly rising demand for storage in the increasingly data-dependent commercial, industrial and public sectors, it wouldn't be wise to expect this storm to let up anytime soon. If surges of customer demands for data storage are beginning to flood your data center, it's time to baton down the hatches of your network.

"You can expand your digital cargo holds without emptying the company's treasury."

Thankfully, there's plenty of ways to expand your digital cargo holds without emptying the company's treasury. Much like encroaching seawater, rising customer demands for data and storage should be dealt with quickly to prevent employees from finding themselves up to their ears in inefficient and disorganized hardware configurations. Map out your voyage to a more streamlined, resilient data center according to these seaworthy landmarks.

Recognize your ship's limitations
You can't turn your data center into a worthy seafaring vessel without knowing just how much water she can take on before sinking. That includes recognizing that not all of the data your company utilizes throughout the day needs to be or should remain on your on-site network. The Data Center Journal emphasized that few businesses short of tech giants like Google and Amazon and hyperscale storage vendors have the budget or capabilities to be withstand the current downpour of storage demand while sailing into the future proof horizons. These days, IT teams are better off identifying which systems could run on the public cloud than try to keep up with the overwhelming, unpredictable growth of storage demand.

Get the knots out of your cables
Much like the ropes on the deck of a ship, cables in a data center must be orderly and neat in order for the ship to stay on course. In fact, AFCOM's State of the Data Center report surveyed IT professionals about their data center infrastructure management needs, and nearly half reported that insufficient cabling was a major leak in need of repair, according to Data Center Knowledge. There's multiple ways to reorganize cables to maximize the organization of your hardware, and new configurations can be added with small investments in new network gear. For example, IT teams interested in adding new hardware to the network while simultaneously to reducing costs could benefit from tools managed media converters. These pieces of network gear can help IT staff to make the most of existing, less costly resources like copper wires to extend the facility's Internet connection.

Automate on every deck
Data centers workflows include multiple layers of operation, just like the decks of a ship, said Network Computing. Automating these processes, both improving their efficiency and enhancing their synergy with one another, is key for any IT team looking to overcome the churning whirlpool that is the demands of modern data storage.

The topmost deck of your ship is the physical hardware itself. Automating maintenance reviews for your hardware is an easy way to ensure that the networks won't regress in efficiency over time. Just below this deck is the application layer, where DCIM programs can be used to fully utilize the software tools at your team's disposal. Companies running virtual servers must manage an additional layer as part of their data center, the virtual layer, to manage information sorted onto blade servers.

Adventure on the digital seas calls for seaworthy servers.Adventure on the digital seas calls for seaworthy servers.

Address regulations before being boarded
Much like the Royal Navy and merchant ships had to keep a close eye out privateers , so too must IT management think ahead to prepare for compliance issues and visits from auditors. This warning goes double for companies storing classified or otherwise sensitive data for their clients. The stakes are higher and the potential rewards are greater, but the ship will be scrutinized that much more harshly by regulators interested in making sure your facilities are being operated up to code. Waiting until data center operations begin to feel overwhelming is far too late in the game to start analyzing your hardware for weaknesses - putting it off will almost guarantee the task goes uncompleted before your next compliance officers arrive.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.

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