This past week I read an interesting article in Forbes that I thought was worth sharing. The piece looks at optimizing data center performance and why it matters to the c-level. It makes some points about the data center being so important because IT “…is the engine for business intelligence that feeds product development, marketing, sales, and competitive strategy…” which is a good way to sum things up.
What I thought was most interesting was when the piece walked through what it calls the data center metrics that matter:
1. Capacity – The ability of the data center to receive additional workloads.
2. Reliability, Resiliency, and Downtime – The likelihood that the data center is operational; the speed with which operations are resumed after failure; and the total business cost associated with failures.
3. Sustainability – The environmental and social impact across the entire lifecycle (deployment, operation, and decommissioning) of the data center.
4. Efficiency – The ability of the data center to deliver a consistent, high level of service with as few inputs and as little waste as possible. Note: this is where many data center operating costs come into the picture.
5. Security – The likelihood that the data center will withstand attempted physical, logical, and/or custodial security breaches, and the total business cost associated with such breaches.
6. Flexibility – The ability of the data center to meet a variety of customer needs and the speed with which new capacity can be deployed.
7. Latency – The time between execution request and completion (e.g., the time it takes an application to load onto the user’s access device).
8. Longevity – The expected useful life of data center infrastructure.
Ultimately, all of those metrics flow into one: the total value delivered, which accounts for both the cost of the data center and the value generated when the data center enables the enterprise to achieve its objectives. When data center performance on the first eight metrics is optimized, the total value that the data center delivers is maximized.”
Now, you can argue about the correct order of importance for these, and whether all of them are of critical importance to your business, but the list does touch upon some of most important considerations a company needs to think about when making decisions about who to work with as a data center partner.
Does your partner offer you the reliability and uptime you need? How flexible are they? Can they provide you with the ability to expand operations at a moment’s notice? How about security – can you feel safe that your critical company data and information is protected – and available to you and your company whenever needed?
Here at the Markley Group, we take this entire list to heart. We help companies eliminate upfront initial capital costs, while giving them the always-on reliability they need. It simply doesn’t make sense in this day and age for companies to invest in running their own data centers – the cost of backup fuel and generators alone can make this an unprofitable venture for any company.