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Align Your Data Center with Your Business and IT Strategy
My name is Doug Theis and I’m VP of Business Development at Lifeline Data Centers. My passion is helping companies optimize their IT strategies and decisions. As VP of Business Development, I work with companies to help them determine the best solutions for their production data centers and disaster recovery centers. Using external data center (colocation) facilities is one of the easiest ways to manage IT costs while improving service reliability and uptime. I’ll show you how! Find me on Twitter: @dougtheis
Big Data and Data Centers
Big data is a phrase that you will probably hear a lot today, especially if you are in the IT industry. In simple terms, big data is nothing but a huge reservoir of data and information that have been collected periodically from customer and prospect interactions over the phone and email, as well as social media, demographic commercial characteristics, and more.
Of course, for big data to become a reality, you need data centers to host them or store them for further processing and analysis. This amount of information is the biggest wealth for brands as well as marketing professionals because it helps them make their biggest decisions regarding how to market, where to market and when to market their business. Toda,y you will not find many big brands without a specialized analytical wing.
But is big data’s potential being fully utilized? According to Forrester, the answer is a disappointing NO. According to their recent report, only 7 and 9 percent of top IT executives and business heads respectively feel that their investment on big data have been a resounding success. This low level of penetration definitely needs to improve.
The costs involved in big data analytics is another major factor that deters possible interests in big data investments. If you are worried about the risks and costs involved in setting up a data center facility for your big data analytics, then you can seek help from us. We make sure that you get the most effective data center service with 99.999% uptime gaurantee as well. Visit our website to know more.
How to Reduce Data Center Energy Use by 74%
Energy Logic 2.0 has an excellent vendor neutral roadmap on the top ten strategies that can help increase data center efficiency and provide tips on how to reduce data center energy. The roadmap focuses on reducing energy consumption at the data center as well as on increasing data center output as part of its solution.
According to industry statistics, 52% of energy in a 5000 square foot data center is consumed by IT equipment and 48% by support systems, which cooling alone contributes to a whopping 38%.
The Energy Logic 2.0 roadmap highlights the cascade effect where-in 1 Watt of energy saved at the server component level results in 2.84 Watt of saving in total consumption. What is also interesting to note is the research that shows that a 200W idle server results in a power wastage of 381.2 at the utility entrance. The report also reveals the top three energy saving strategies as using high efficiency power supplies, low power processors and server virtualization.
The main four takeaways from the Energy Logic 2.0 roadmap are as follows:
- Leverage the cascade effect.
- Availability and flexibility should not be compromised for ffficiency: It is possible to have all three at the same time.
- Better efficiency can be gained from higher density.
- Capacity is the flip side of efficiency.
If you would like to ensure that your data center is following the best practices when it comes to energy efficiency, choose http://www.
The Mystery of Data Center Regulations
When it comes to data centers, the words regulations and compliance are sure to follow in every conversation. Did you know that according to a recent independent survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute and Tripwire, Inc., the average cost of compliance was estimated to be around $3.5 million a year, while the cost of non-compliance was slated to be around $9.4 million? In other words, non-compliance cost was 2.65 times the cost of compliance for the 46 organizations that participated in the survey.
Some of the most difficult data center regulations to adhere to are the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), various state privacy and data protection laws, and the most dreaded SSAE 16 certification for data centers dealing with the financial sector.
The Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE ) No. 16 replaces the Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS70) in part and comprises of the new Service Organization Control (SOC) reporting framework comprising of the SOC1, SOC2 and SOC3 reports. The SOC1 reports are focused on organizations that have a well-defined financial accounting system and internal controls for financial reporting (ICFR). SOC2 and SOC3 reports are focused on reporting for service organizations oon factors like “Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and/or Privacy”.
Another compliance issue that needs to be adhered to is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standard for the health care industry. The Health Information and Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act also applies to data centers that store and transmit electronic protected health information (ePHI).
With so many controls and reports to be in place for the data center, it is better to be safe than sorry and resort to professional data center compliance advisors and consultants. Lifeline Data Centers, headquartered at Indianapolis, have an excellent track record of meeting and exceeding regulatory compliance, and can help in setting up and running a compliant data center in the most cost efficient way.
The Impact of BYOD on Your Data Center Strategy
The bring your own device (BYOD) wave is revolutionizing the enterprise IT world, demanding a much awaited modernization of data center strategy. This paradigm is here to stay, and CIO’s and CTO’s will have to gear up to handle the pitfalls, challenges, and opportunities that come with this strategy.
According to a recent Gartner survey of IT enterprises across the world, seventy percent of respondents have, or are planning to have, a BYOD policy in the next twelve months. What is also astonishing to note is that one third of the businesses already have policies for mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. How does this change the data center decisions and policies?
For one, the security threats increase exponentially when people start bringing their own devices and connecting them to the enterprise network. Data center security policies will need to be reworked so as to authorize access for mobile and remote computing, while protecting corporate data from external access.
What also changes the data center landscape is the ability of the data center personnel to support a multitude of devices that are outside of their traditional controlled technology stack. As per the Gartner survey, 32 percent of enterprises surveyed provide support for personal smart phones, 37 percent for tablets, and 44 percent for laptops.
If your organization is also hit by the BYOD culture and if you are looking for the best ways to support and integrate your current infrastructure and IT teams with BYOD, it’s time to talk to the experts at http://www.lifelinedatacenters.com/ for the easiest ways to adopt BYOD into your data center strategy.
Ignoring power costs in your in-house data center? It’s a common and dangerous practice
Ignoring data center power costs in your in-house computer room? It’s a common practice. Most companies with an in-house data center fail to include the cost of power used in the computer room in their yearly budget. Companies also fail to include the cost of power when making comparisons of alternatives when considering outsourced alternatives like cloud computing and colocation.
Why is the cost of data center power forgotten? Because most companies do not have a way to segment out the power costs in the data center from the power costs in the rest of the building. The power bill comes as a single total, and the person paying the bill often has no understanding of the amount of power that the enterprise data center uses.
This lack of understanding regarding power costs is compounded by the fact for every kilowatt of power used by IT equipment, another kilowatt of power is used by the air conditioning systems required to cool the IT equipment. So even if the IT group is measuring the power used by the IT gear, the measurement is only around half of the actual utilization.
What are the risks when power costs are not considered?
When companies don’t monitor electrical usage, power costs can run wild. What you measure you control, and if you’re not measuring power, you’re not controlling it. Many believe that the three year ongoing monthly power costs now are higher than the costs of the equipment that is being powered.
When companies don’t include power costs in a comparison of in-house versus outsourced alternatives, the risk of a bad decision is high. In-house solutions seem significantly cheaper than outsourced solutions, with no regard to the ongoing power costs.
Need help determining your data center power costs? Give Lifeline Data Centers a call. We’re data center power experts and we can help you determine your true costs of power.
Best Practices for Designing N+1 UPS Configuration
Editors note: Lifeline Data Centers uses N+N redundancy in construction of both power and cooling facilities. N+1 redundancy is less resilient. This post describes N+1 redundancy and its characteristics.
N+1 (or parallel) redundancy is one method used to ensure system availability in the event of component or power failures. In engineering terms, it is “the duplication of critical components or functions of a system with the intention of increasing reliability of the system, usually in the case of a backup or fail-safe.”
In data centers, it is the total number of necessary power equipment + 1 extra/ backup power supply to ensure uninterruptible power supplies. Some tips to design a reliable N+1 UPS configuration in data center include:
- Redundancy shouldn’t be for a single UPS in a data center. Data centers which use legacy systems may have to deploy static transfer switches (STS) in front of a single input load which transfer the load to a bypass source during power loss at UPS output. Whereas, modular systems have extra UPS modules that come in to action when any module fails.
- Use separate power branch circuit sources for each power supply to achieve redundancy in case of power loss at the source.
- It is ideal to have the same output current and voltage ratings for every power supply. Undersized power supplies might lead to current sharing which defeats the purpose of an actual redundant system.
- To allow for proper setup, each individual power supply should have adjustable output voltage, and should be enabled to operate reliably under no load conditions.
- Use high power density UPS for data center blade servers as these servers have 4 times higher power requirement than normal servers.
- As opposed to the 75% usage of efficiency in normal UPS, N+1 redundant UPS is used only to 50% of its efficiency. Generally, full load efficiency of any system is higher than its part load efficiency. Thus, improving part load efficiency is a challenging factor.
- If the UPS works on a wide range of input voltages, the UPS batteries can be avoided altogether. But when there is more battery usage, it wears out soon, requiring expensive replacements. Choose advanced battery management technologies that carefully control the battery charging.
Need more tips and suggestions on how to improve your data center uptime? Contact the experts at Lifeline Data Center today.
The Benefits of Using Blade Servers in Data Centers
When discussing data centers, the term blade server often comes up as well. For the non-geeks, this post will define ‘blade server’ simply and explain why blade servers can be a valuable component of a data center.
A traditional data center uses a rack-based storage system with multiple servers. The rack-based system and servers will often be accompanied by a lot of cabling, consuming a lot of power, and consequently require a lot of cooling. A blade system consists of a single chassis with slots for multiple blade servers, which are thin versions of a traditional server, usually positioned vertically rather than horizontally. Blades can offer more processing power in the same rack space, simplify cabling and power consumption. A blade system can offer up to 85% reduction in cabling as compared to a the same number of conventional 1U (one rack unit) servers.
Here are some statistics that demonstrate the main reasons that organizations move to a blade-based system.
- Physical Space Savings: 31%
- Reduced TCO (Total Cost of Ownership): 20%
- Dynamic Resource Allocation: 12%
- Improved Reliability: 11%
- Reduced Management Costs: 9%
- Power Consumption Savings: 5%
While there are a number of pros to convince you to move to a blade system, there are cons as well. Blade servers can tie you down to the blade vendor and restrict the architecture to the design of the underlying hardware. Blade systems can cost more than equivalent traditional servers. However, if you have an aging system of cables, fans and the good old rack-based servers, the time has come to consider blades for your data center and whether blades might provide real value. For further inputs and expert advice, consult the data center experts at Lifeline Data Centers.
Using a Data Center to Prevent Data Loss
What will happen to your business if you suddenly lose all your data and cannot recover it quickly? Or completely? Chances are that you will go bankrupt. Approximately 93% of enterprises that suffered from a data center down time for more than 10 days filed for bankruptcy within a year of the outage. And even though the cost of data center downtime is hard to measure, a recent study initiated by Ponemon Institute indicated that on an average, downtime can cost an alarming $5,600 per minute or $336,000 per hour!
If you are one of the 58% of companies reported by the International Data Center that are using local backups to protect your data, then it is time to wake up. A local backup cannot in any way protect your data against ground realities such as theft, hardware and software failures, and other near fatal disasters.Most internet and technology-based businesses are data driven, whether they belong to the Fortune 500 category or the SME category. What is surprising though is the value that is given to the data and the sheer ignorance of the multiple risks a company faces when they lose their data.
Using a data center can help mitigate the risk of data loss, either due to physical conditions or due to bad management of data. A data center is professionally managed and is accessible only to well trained IT personnel. An organization, whether big or small, is not equipped to manage a data center on their own, because it is not their core competency and it distracts them from their main business. An organization that does not rely on a data center as part of their disaster recovery and business continuity plan is living on the edge when it comes to risk management and mitigation.
If you agree that a data center is the solution of choice when it comes to protecting your business and data, visit Lifeline Data Centers for a tour of our data center facilities or for a consultation.
The CFO won’t approve two generators. How do I guarantee high data center uptime?
“We’re moving our headquarters and we need to do something about replacing our data center with a more reliable facility. We’ve discussed building a new data center at the new headquarters location. But the CFO won’t approve two generators. How do I guarantee high data center uptime?” A recent visitor to our data center spoke these words to me as she toured Lifeline Data Centers’ Eastgate campus.
This IT Director had done her homework. She knew that in order to achieve extremely high uptime (28 minutes of downtime per year or less) she needed a facility that had true N+N data center redundancy. She knew that N+N meant having two of everything important: two utility feeds from the power company, two generators, two UPS systems with battery backup and two data center cooling systems and two telecommunications paths. But her CFO was unwilling to spend the capital to build an in-house Tier IV data center facility.
Yet the nature of her company demands that data center downtime be kept to a absolute minimum, because the company’s clients expect the mission critical applications to be available day and night. To her company, downtime means lost credibility, lost revenue, lost productivity, and the risk of lost clients.
So she visited our data center to see if Lifeline’s facilities might solve her problem. Her requirements were similar to many companies:
- 99.995% uptime to meet her requirement of 28 minutes of downtime per year or less
- A simple data center pricing model that is both predictable and fair
- Low cost access to the three telecom providers they use today multiple
- Flexibility to grow and change as the company needs change
Her IT staff is sophisticated and capable, so IT services were not important to her. Her requirement was for a Midwest data center facility, not an IT service provider.
The IT Director’s needs are similar to many companies; facilities play a key role in reducing data center downtime and improving systems reliability. She knew that he quality of the data center is the most important factor maximum data center uptime, second only to avoiding human errors in the data center.
How important is uptime in your data center? Do you lose productivity if your systems are down? Or do you lose clients? Her CFO was pleasantly surprised that Lifeline’s pricing model eliminates data center capital costs and replaces them with operating expenses. And when the CFO is happy, the IT Director is happy too.
Want to learn more about improving uptime while reducing capital costs? Call the experts in Midwest data center facilities.
Why You Must Pay Attention to DCIM
The ultimate goal of DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) is to utilize physical assets in the most optimum way to smoothen out operational inefficiencies in a data center facility. DCIM can be considered as the notifier of the following concepts within a heavy infrastructure facility such as a data center.
DCIM helps streamline energy consumption in the most optimum way by making the necessary changes to operational parameters. This guarantees efficient performance when the facility needs it the most, while offering savings in terms of power consumption when the need is minimal.
Bring Costs Under Control
With proper energy monitoring and consumption, related costs for cooling and supporting infrastructure also go down, thereby bringing down the maintenance costs forf the company. Furthermore, frequent visits to the facility and maintenance can be avoided to a great extent if the facility is maintained by using DCIM principles.
With an effective DCIM strategy in place, you can minimize downtime-related issues, as a backup plan will always be ready with your engineers should an unprecedented contingency occur. Service restoration can be accomplished as fast as possible.
Compatibility with Technology Upgrades
When things are done in an organized manner, it is always easy to accommodate new changes. This fact applies to data center facilities as well. DCIM always has an eye for the long term needs of the business, thus making it possible for you to integrate future infrastructure upgrades to the existing system without any disruption of service.
Risk Management and Recovery
When you have a solid DCIM strategy at work, risk management becomes less of a headache to your facility manager. Your engineers and technicians at the facility will already have access to resources, tools and information as to how to restore the facility in the best possible way.
So when you choose a data center service, make sure it follows strict adherence to a standard DCIM strategy. At Lifeline Data Centers, we can assure you with the best return on investment for your data center operations as we can manage your resources in the best possible way, providing maximum service reliability and accuracy. Visit our website to know more.
Since 2001, Lifeline Data Centers has helped companies improve uptime and control data center facilities operating expense. Lifeline is an innovator in wholesale colocation, continually finding ways to reduce downtime risks while driving down costs. Our approach is simple: delight customers with flexible, cost-effective data center floor space, office space, and services.
Lifeline Data Centers is a wholesale colocation facility; a high tech landlord. We provide data center and office real estate to companies who require uptime, connectivity, and room for growth. Lifeline provides secure hardened data center buildings, highly reliable power and cooling, and access to many telecommunications providers. Some clients choose to use Lifeline purely as a landlord, fully managing their own information technology infrastructure.” Other clients Lifeline’s colocation facilities and office space along with Lifeline’s managed services to augment their IT staff.
Lifeline Data Centers serves over hundreds of companies in health care, software, utilities, pharma, cloud computing, and government. If you value uptime, consider Lifeline Data Centers' flexible wholesale colocation and office space solutions.