Hands down, one of my all-time favorite movies is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off—and aside from the side splitting comedy, one quote always stands out to this day as being almost Zen-like in nature. Said simply by Mr. Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”
Now, John Hughes musings aside, it’s my belief that quoteshould be on the wall of every data center in the world. After all, in the modern times we live in, life and business move at speeds never before seen. The challenge is taking the time away from that speed of business to look at infrastructure in a detailed way—to address the care and feeding it may and will need to maintain its functions.
But, here’s the issue. IT departments of all sizes are now tasked with so many daily challenges that in many instances data centers can experience neglect. Now, of course, I don’t mean that in a bad way that somehow IT professionals don’t care—they do. More so, it’s about the fact that there is only so much time in a day to get things done. Maintaining systems, ensuring business-critical processes are working, and building out the next big project can leave little to no time for data center maintenance. At least not until something goes wrong.
But what if the weaknesses inherent with data centers were addressed before a catastrophe hits? This is where Data Center Assessments become so critical for business.
You see, all data centers are vulnerable to weaknesses, and those weaknesses can come in a variety of flavors. For instance, perhaps a company is experiencing drastic (or even subtle) changes in business needs. From the need for new equipment to perhaps optical networking infrastructure, any one of these could impact time-to-market, new product roll-outs, digital transformation initiatives, and more.
That’s why scheduled data center assessments are so critical: they ensure that all critical and non-critical systems are running at optimal levels, and they ensure all supported business processes continue to run without fail.
Furthermore, you need to make your assessments count. Assessments can be composed of a multitude of highly focused areas. These can include everything from power and cooling, to specific feature/functionality aspects of the environment, to communications infrastructure such as fiberoptic networking, copper and network resilience and storage.
Every one of the aforementioned data center attributes can impact business in either a very positive or a very negative way—you need to make sure you’re on top of it.
But this brings back the ever-present challenge of time. If so many aspects of IT and the data center are in a constant phase of management, the time left to assess what is needed can fade into the background, leaving the data center neglected and vulnerable. But not all is lost.
Find a partner who can do this for you—one who knows the data center environment and who has the processes to evaluate your needs based on your highly specific business requirements for now and in the future. Once done, your data center can be addressed in all of the ways needed to ensure minimal impact on continuity, even during the heaviest of upgrades.
In the end, think of the data center and all its possibilities that can help grow your business. If you assess it properly and plan for extraordinary business opportunities, the world opens up in ways never imagined. As Ferris also said, “The question isn’t ‘what are we going to do,’ the question is ‘what aren’t we going to do?’”