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Top 10 Findings from ConvergeOne’s Data Center Resiliency Workshops

Posted by Hassan Kassih on Dec 17, 2019 10:00:00 AM

As we approach the end of 2019, it’s important to think back to the accomplishments and lessons learned this year. I am fortunate to lead a team of highly talented Data Center Solutions Architects, and we’ve had a very busy year. One of the new things we’re offering in 2019 is a Data Center Resiliency Workshop, which is a two-hour workshop we conduct with customers. We ask over 160 questions and evaluate eight technologies:

  • Data Center Facilities
  • Compute
  • Storage
  • Data Center Network
  • Virtualization
  • Data Security
  • Data Protection
  • Disaster Recovery

At the conclusion of the workshop, we provide a detailed report with an IT Infrastructure Resiliency Score based on over 80 technology points, over 100 core findings, and a detailed analysis of areas of strength, areas to prioritize, areas to improve, and areas of risk.

As a team, we’ve conducted over 75 Data Center Resiliency Workshops and counting. Here are the top 10 trends that we’ve noticed along the way.

1. Many organizations lack the advanced monitoring, management, automation, and analytics tools needed to effectively manage their infrastructure.

The Data Center is the heartbeat of your organization, impacting every budget, set of applications, and infrastructure availability. It should be the cornerstone of your strategic plan, yet many organizations have failed to devote the proper amount of resources to it.

2. Data Security, Data Recovery, and Disaster Recovery can be significantly improved.

To get this point across, I only need to mention one word: Ransomware. Many organizations are not adequately prepared to withstand a ransomware attack – despite the fact that an organization gets hit by ransomware every 14 seconds.

3. Uptime and High Availability are still top priorities, but a single point of failure (SPOF) still exists in many organizations’ Data Centers.

Sure, your Data Center may be recoverable, but how long does it take to bring data and systems back to their previously functional production state? The answer could be minutes, hours, days, weeks, or more. This is why it’s so important to avoid SPOFs to assure Uptime and High Availability.

4. Communications between different Data Center Teams can be improved.

The underlying technology may be the backbone of your Data Center strategy, but your team is critically important to carrying out your objectives. Poor communication leads to avoidable errors that can cost your organization greatly.

5. The “end of life” issue for hardware and software can cause a series of costs and compliance/security issues.

Data Center technology changes at a rapid pace as we continue the shift from monolithic architectures to compact and dynamic software-defined systems. It can be difficult for organizations to keep up with this pace.

6. The Infrastructure Resiliency level is lower than expected.

Infrastructure Resiliency should be a foundational element of any Data Center. Maintaining Data Center uptime is more critical than ever, and the key to maintaining high availability is to prevent downtime before it even occurs—yet many organizations aren’t being proactive enough about this effort.

7. Keeping the lights on is still consuming the majority of the Data Center Infrastructure Team’s time.

Data Center Infrastructure Teams are preoccupied with putting out fires rather than spending their time focused on strategic priorities—such as delivering services that improve business operations and the customer experience.

8. Organizations lack a clear direction on how to move out of a traditional Data Center model to a Multi-Cloud Enterprise Architecture.

Many organizations have a mandate to move “everything” to the cloud, but such a move has many intricacies that most organizations have not yet considered.

9. IT cost-cutting has disappeared as a top priority.

Organizations are placing extra focus on technology—most importantly, customer-facing technologies. Deploying the right technology to ensure an excellent customer experience has become more important than conserving costs.

10. The surplus of Data Center technology options is causing Analysis Paralysis.

Traditional, Converged, Hyper-Converged, Software Defined, Cloud—which is the right choice for your organization? Determining the answer is a complex process. However, the bottom line is that the Data Center needs to be the focal point of any organization that is interested in remaining modern or undergoing digital transformation—and that should be every organization.

We have already made significant progress in helping customers address these findings and concerns. When was the last time you evaluated your Infrastructure Resiliency? It may be the perfect time for a refresher.



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Topics: Data Center


 

Hassan Kassih
Hassan Kassih  -- Hassan Kassih is the Data Center Practice Director for ConvergeOne, leading a team of highly skilled data center solution architects. Hassan has more than 20 years of experience in building data center infrastructure and aligning IT with business outcomes. His expertise expands across all data center layers, including power, cooling, compute, storage, networking, virtualization, and cloud technologies.