Data Center Operations: Your Best Practices Checklist
With the advent and growth of the cloud bringing massive investments in state-of-the-art data centers, there are new standards for performance that are expected. Likewise, a growing body of experience and information has established best practices that allow a data center to succeed in an increasingly competitive environment.
If you have operational responsibility for a private or shared data center, you will want to ensure you address these vital areas:
- Security. At the top of the list for all data centers are proper security procedures and processes. There is a 24/7/365 war going on that has the penetration of your data center as its goal. This makes security a continual concern, not a periodic point of review. Best practices will include constantly updating all security procedures and proactive auditing and testing of existing security protocols.
- Availability. From network design to redundancy and fail over provisions, you must anticipate the steps necessary to ensure 99.9 percent uptime for your clients at each Open Systems Interconnection layer. In today’s environment, there are few if any excuses clients will accept for their networks being down.
- Scalability. Cost-efficiencies are only available when server load balancing and other steps are fully employed for server capacity utilization. This calls for automatic and seamless identification of “hot content” and proper use of virtualization, overflow and backup servers.
- Eco-Sensitive Energy Policies. Data centers are massive consumers of energy resources. Increasingly under scrutiny by regulators, clients and environmental groups, best practices call for you to ensure you are minimizing data use. This includes all aspects of operations, from rack space planning to the use of proper ventilation technologies.
- Flexibility. Rapidly changing technology from servers to networks and everything in between means every successful data center must constantly evolve and be designed for change. This includes designing in modularity in all details, from rack space utilization and floor layout to electrical and mechanical components and systems.
While these items only scratch the surface, they provide you with a good insight into the many areas of data center operations that benefit from a best practices management philosophy. Regularly updating your checklist for designing, maintaining and upgrading your data center operations will allow you to deliver the services and security your clients demand and deserve.