With many of today’s data centers operating on decades-old technologies, downtime disasters such as last month’s Delta Air Lines fiasco have become increasingly common. Companies are falling prey to these potentially fatal issues in large part because their existing infrastructures are unable to accommodate the rising demands of today’s enterprises.
In fact, one survey of 1,750 IT industry insiders found that 91 percent believed their data center facilities were not adequately equipped to meet the needs of current consumers and clients —even though 75 percent reported having upgraded their infrastructure within the past three years. Yet even more disconcerting is that 41 percent revealed that data center-related issues had resulted in lost revenue.
Unfortunately, many firms do not have the budget allocated to upgrade their facilities. So what can be done to solve this dilemma?
1. Maintain. Studies have shown again and again that regular preventive maintenance is the single most cost-effective approach to optimize the lifespan and performance of your equipment. Equally important is selecting the right maintenance organization to oversee the ongoing health of your critical infrastructure. Opt for an experienced service company with a well-documented track record and reputation, and one that specializes in servicing critical infrastructure. Also, any maintenance tasks that will be completed in-house should be clearly defined, with staff properly trained.
2. Document. Ensuring that all your records and documentation are up-to-date — including verification of all maintenance tasks performed — is vital for your operation, as well as to fulfill regulatory requirements. Tie every procedure to an internal goal and objective.
3. Replace. While regularly scheduled preventive maintenance is paramount to the ongoing health of equipment, there are times when replacing a legacy system is ultimately the best (and cheapest) option. Use each maintenance visit as an opportunity to gather and analyze trend data to help determine the best option for your specific devices.
4. Evaluate. To ensure effective decision-making, it is imperative to forecast the growth and requirements of your facility over the next 5 to 10 years. You may want to consider hiring a data center design company to evaluate your site’s layout, especially if it is approaching capacity. Often these firms can provide viable solutions at a fraction of what it would cost to construct a new data center.
5. Monitor. Environmental monitoring provides an accurate, real-time assessment of data center conditions at all times — an especially helpful gauge for older servers that are prone to overheating, a condition that can quickly spiral into unplanned downtime. In addition, by implementing virtualization initiatives and software-defined networking workflows, companies can dramatically boost the effectiveness of their network infrastructure even if limited budgets prevent a complete overhaul.
Is your infrastructure in need of a checkup? Then stay tuned. In part 3 of this series, Unified Power will break down the qualities you should look for in a service provider for your critical power equipment.
At Unified Power, we are committed to delivering exceptional, timely maintenance performed by highly trained industry professionals. For more information on critical power maintenance, please visit our web site.