Logicalis - Data Centre Overview


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Logicalis - Data Centre Overview

  1. 1. Data Centre OverviewEvery IT organisation is under pressure to react and respond to a rapidly changing businessenvironment, changing business priorities and higher user demands, with less available spend. Inparticular, data centre infrastructure must respond to these demands and transform from atraditional, somewhat consolidated and virtualised environment to one that is efficient, automatedand service oriented, thereby driving cost reduction, reducing management complexity, and enablinggrowth.Today’s data centre must be a highly provisioned and operationally efficient business asset, a mix ofarchitectural excellence and best in breed management solutions wrapped with a personalisedoperational and service model.Data centres are, generally, physically secure locations used to host an organisation’s IT systems -such as servers, storage and backup facilities. A typical data centre will provide space for hardwarein a controlled environment, for instance using power and environmental cooling and air conditioningto enable the equipment to perform at its optimum level with maximum system availability.A data centre provides various levels of resilience in the form of backup power supplies andadditional communications connections that may not be used until a problem occurs with the primarysystem - this is known as redundancy.The main purpose of a data centre is to run core business applications and store operational data aswell as providing Disaster Recover (DR) facilities. Typical applications will be enterprise softwaresystems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management(CRM) services.Common components include firewalls, VPN gateways, routers and switches, database servers, fileservers, application servers, web servers and middleware - all contained on physical hardware or onconsolidated and virtualised platforms.The Telecommunication Infrastructure Standard 942 provides guidance on standardisation of datacentre design and classifies data centres into four tiers with level 4 being the most fault tolerant andguaranteeing 99.995% uptime, compared with Tier 1 which will guarantee 99.671% uptime. Thisstandardisation is important for customers to understand and measure service providers against. 1 www.logicalis.com
  2. 2. Business benefits of a data centreMost data centre deployments are carried out for the following reasons:  Availability: Maximising the availability of IT services to the organisation.  Business continuity: The redundancy, monitoring and infrastructure provided by most data centres means that the potential for business interruption is very low  Lower TCO: Where an organisation has several ‘silos’ of data, it can combine resources and reduce the amount of separate data servers required. Staff overhead is reduced as administrative operations are simplified, whilst energy and floor space costs are reduced  Agility: Centralising IT infrastructure within a data centre creates greater agility since new deployments do not have to be rolled out to multiple physical locations.Considerations  Power Usage Efficiency – When designing new services or indeed a new data centre, it is important to consider this factor. An internationally recognised metric used to measure the efficiency of data centres in terms of energy, it measures the efficiency of power being provided to the whole facility, compared to power used by the ICT equipment, and provides a ratio of efficiency. For example a facility’s ICT equipment may draw 800Kw, and the cooling and environmental systems may draw a further 800Kw, this would be a PUE ratio of 2.0, where it is taking twice as much energy as is required by the ICT equipment to run the overall facility. PUE ratios of close to 1 are the most desirable, as they are the most energy efficient.  To consolidate, virtualise or not? Consider whether all infrastructure is going to be hardware- based, or virtualised. An all hardware model will use more energy, whilst full or part consolidation and virtualisation will reduce energy consumption  Monitoring - How is the data centre to be monitored and who will be doing this? What is the escalation process and where do lines of responsibility start and end? Is energy efficiency being monitored on an ongoing basis?  SLA – The increasing role of the CTO in negotiating contracts is crucial, in particular the SLAs that govern data centre and provider performance www.logicalis.com 2
  3. 3. Data Centre GlossarySystems Integrator: An organisation that makes various IT Hardware components and IT serviceswork together to meet the needs of a client.Power Usage Efficiency – A metric to measure the efficiency of the data centre infrastructure inservicing the ICT equipment hosted within it.DCIM: Data centre infrastructure management. A range of products that can help data centremanagers identify and eliminate sources of risk.Lights Out Data Centre: A data centre that has almost entirely eliminated the need for access bypersonnel through automation - there is therefore no need to have lights on consuming power.Server Farm: A collection of servers that provides enterprise capabilities. Typically located in a datacentre. 3 www.logicalis.com