Matthew Dent, CEO of Volta Data Centres, examines what today's digital revolution means for the once-humble ‘comms room’?
Today’s businesses are quickly having to adapt to a world that’s always ‘on’ - constantly collecting, analysing and outputting enormous amounts of information on a real-time basis. As a result, every connected business is considering how to better handle its IT infrastructure and data storage needs for today as well as tomorrow. But what do each of these processes mean for the once-humble ‘comms room’ whose job it is to back up all this technology and ensure information really is seamlessly accessible on a constant basis?
Firms can either store data on-premise in their comms room, outsource to a data centre / collocation facility, or a combination of both. It all depends on the business model of the firm, the ambition of anticipated growth and the scale of required data handling. Whatever the site, firms are seeking resilient, reliable and flexible infrastructure.
When businesses weigh up the options for comms rooms versus outsourced data centre they tend to focus on a number of requirements ranging from internal resource and expertise, to cost management, resilience of power and connectivity and also location. Each firm will put different store on their storage and management needs, but broadly speaking they all outline the following requirements:
1) Diverse connectivity
In order to access global markets, firms are looking for diverse carrier feeds, providing both domestic and international links, to ensure fast and effective connections. Connecting these feeds into in-house facilities can be a challenge, whereas, by nature, data centres have multiple carriers with diverse links already in place.
3) Resilient power
Location can also be a factor when companies would like to feel more in control when accessing their systems. Whilst Smart Hands technical support service should be a prerequisite of every modern data centre, there are times when engineers prefer to be able to get quick access in person. Data centres located in proximity to your offices could be a potential attribute.
Time will tell
As firms are considering their data management, storage, handling and potentially cloud strategies, they are considering how to support and serve the growth at the right pace and in a way which will immunise them against having to over-invest in order to stay on top of technological developments. Whether this is a full cloud or in-housed approach, or perhaps a hybrid approach with data centre support, 2014 will be filled with debate about how today’s firms will need to innovate and adopt technology, including their approach to data management.