If the analyst forecasts are true, we’re about five years away from full-scale transformational changes to the way most businesses operate. These changes will make having access to scalable, agile, reliable networking and compute systems, absolutely necessary. Businesses that don’t invest in new technology will be unlikely to remain competitive. Changes are coming – will you be ready?
Remember a few years ago when Cloud was the talk of the town? And before that, ‘Big Data’, ‘Analytics’ and ‘Mobile’ were the terms on everyone’s lips? Now we’re talking about hybrid solutions, the Nexus of Forces and the Internet of Things as the ‘next big things’. When technological terms get bandied about like this, it can be hard to take them seriously and get a true understanding of what it all really means. With all the talk, how will you really know when it’s time to stop listening and start to act?
The truth is that technology really isn’t that fickle, and what we’re seeing happening right now is a long term and ongoing process of convergence of computing, networking, telecommunications, storage and sensing technologies. These innovations will have increasingly transformative effects on most aspects of our lives, and especially on how businesses operate. We’re still talking about all of these technologies because they are all still relevant and will become increasingly so in the short to medium term. Five years isn’t a long time to wait and now is definitely the time to start laying (or refining) the foundations if you haven’t already.
As you’ll know by now, data is king – the key to operational efficiency and success – the true product and currency that all of these technologies trade in. With the right data, as granular as we need to take accurate measurements, we can get a true picture of how our businesses are operating and performing. With the right data we can make smart data, enabling the right decisions, and possibly, even make accurate predictions about the times ahead.
It’s also worth noting that with the Internet of Things (IoT) on the horizon, the stakes are even higher. In the IoT, the objects that make up the physical world are identified, labelled and digitised. The virtual identities of these objects can then be controlled and managed – which will lead to great improvements in efficient use of scarce resources.
However, in some ways this will increase risk to physical systems, as these systems can be disrupted not just by physical threats, but by virtual threats as well. As the physical world becomes virtualised, the impact of outages to information systems conversely, also become more ‘real’.
The importance of data is not going to diminish, and with the take-up of a diverse range of new tech in your operation, its importance is going to increase. Data-driven technologies we think of as cutting edge now will be commonplace tomorrow. As such, it’s time we started thinking more strategically about what data means for your business and looking more closely at how it is managed.
As such we really need to start thinking about data centres a little differently. We really need to start recognising them as foundational infrastructure and giving their selection the priority and close attention it requires. Redundancy and availability, while still primary concerns, are no longer enough. Thinking of the technology your business will be using in five years means you need more in a data centre. Of course you need guaranteed uptime, but you also need:
When it comes to data centres, there are minimum benchmarks that need to be met if you want to take advantage of new technology. Data centres can be classified using the Uptime Institute’s Tier Classification System. Essentially, data centres are classified into four progressive tiers according to their capability for reliability (or uptime), with each higher level incorporating the requirements of the lower tiers. Infrastructure costs and complexity also increase with each level but it’s important to choose the right tier for your operational requirements.
Tier III, where every necessary component of the data processing system can be shut down and maintained without impacting your operations, can be thought of as the current gold standard. Nextgen can tick all the boxes in this space, and provide Uptime Institute Tier III Facility Certified data centres with:
Five years isn’t a long time to wait. Be ready for the transformations ahead and prepare now.