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A Small Business Guide to Data Center Management
Data center management isn’t the easiest task to accomplish. In fact, it’s so complex, given all the technical matters that have to be addressed within the data center. All those begin with the protection of customer data, and then moving forward towards ensuring that the data is physically safe at all times. Likewise, there’s that added pressure of facing customers’ ever-increasing needs and demands plus the coming in of more technological advancements.
For data center managers, that’s a whole lot of job functions to perfect and get done right. This is the reason why even small businesses have to aim for the best possible data center management tactics and services, like those from reputable data centre services. It’s a lot to learn, but it’s one of the most important facets to learn, in the name of business stability and success.
Here’s everything you need to know as a small business, so you can get the ropes of what it entails to have good data center management.
Understand A Brief Background First on What Data Center Management Is
A good data center management practice can’t commence if you don’t even have a basic background on what data center management is. For small businesses in the startup phase, it’s understandable that you’ll have a lot of catching up to do to beef up your knowledge on data center management.
To start, here’s a brief guide. Data center management refers to the job functions of professionals, known as the data center managers, to oversee the technical and IT-related issues of a company. These include functions such as:
- Management of computer and server operations.
- Protection and security of the data.
- Working through large amounts and quantities of data.
- Going through the services and applications that must be used for this purpose; and
- Ensuring the privacy and security of data, to comply with good cybersecurity practices.
Essentially, many of those job functions can be managed directly. Nowadays, nonetheless, technology has made it possible to automate some of those job functions. Through automation, unnecessary manual tasks are eliminated, paving the way for more efficient data center management.
Maximize The Storage Space You Have
For small businesses, one of the biggest challenges you may face is the lack of enough storage. Because you’re still in the startup phase, it’s expected that you’ll be very practical and careful about your expenses. This also entails not spending any more than is necessary for the data you need to store.
The key here is not to feel compelled to have very big storage space. The space you have now is enough, for as long as you know how to maximize storage. This is a key trait to learn, so you’re ready for when your business expands, and you’ll have more information to store.
With data centers, the ‘space’ being talked about here is the capacity to hold information. It’s thousands of terabytes and petabytes of information you have to keep. As you maximize the storage space, your effort should also include ensuring that the available space is efficient.
For example, you may want to switch out your outdated systems to newer ones that have re-write speeds capable of meeting customer demand. Networking storage devices work, too, as those are more flexible and have lower overhead.
Implement Real-Time Monitoring
Real-time monitoring is one of the best ways to check the overall performance of your data center. This is very important, given how data centers work 24/7, round the clock. There’s no room for any delay or inability to cope with any unforeseen failures that may come along the way.
Data centers are very complex, with quite a variety of elements in place. You have applications, power distribution, cooling systems, and storage units, to name a few. With that, continuous monitoring to have real-time data and metrics is needed to come up with sound decision-making in data center monitoring.
Here’s a bonus tip for you. A data center infrastructure managed (DCIM) solution is a software or tool which can help your data monitoring team achieve real-time monitoring of all those metrics. By using one, you can effectively analyze, monitor, and produce reports in real-time, so that decisions can be made accordingly, without any delay.
Be Alert About Some of the Common Problems Faced in Data Center Management
For small businesses, it’s not enough simply to learn about the basics of data center management. It’s imperative to go as far as actually coming face to face also with the common problems encountered in a data center.
When you’re aware of what those are, you’ll be able to determine whether or not your data center is potentially going through those problems as well. The earlier you can decipher those, the higher the better the chances you’ll have to work towards overcoming the onset of those concerns.
Those potential problems faced by data centers include:
- Difficulties in deploying new applications and services faster, when your business has a limited understanding of resource availability, accompanied by inconsistent structure and policies.
- Management of various vendors, simultaneously, as well as their respective equipment, operating systems, and applications. On top of that, there are also the underlying upgrade processes and warranty policies of each.
- Manage the cost of running the data center, to make it as cost-efficient and budget friendly as possible, whereby every movement is decided upon that which is identified to be the best cost possible.
Know What Your Assets Are
Proper management of the data center as a whole also involves getting to know at an in-depth level what your assets are. Take note of those individually, so that every asset is properly accounted for. Documentation is essential to good data center management so that any doubts and gray areas you have are ironed out smoothly. Assets management is also up for innovations.
For example, study and understand how certain equipment affects and interacts with another. In a data center, everything is interconnected. When you have information on this matter, the data center manager and operations team will also know how to layout the storage facility, to make for higher operational efficiency.
Final Thoughts on Data Center Management
Without a doubt, one of the most important assets in today’s business operations is data. Technology has paved the way for information to be readily available. This is an advantage for businesses when compared to how operations were run in the years prior. With this advantage, however, comes tremendous responsibility, beginning with learning how to best manage those data, stored in a unified data center.
The strategies mentioned above can pave the way for a strong foundation in data center management. By doing so, the information you’ve gathered and kept can continue to be a good business resource for your company.