Defining data centre resilience
Simply put, a datacentre’s resilience is the measurement of its ability to continue to operate despite the failure of a component, such as its related equipment or power grid connection, or any other disruption.
Datacentre resilience can be considered from four aspects, namely:
- Telecommunications - the network
- Electrical – the power
- Structural - the physical building or room housing the datacentre
- Mechanical – the cooling system
As prescribed by The Uptime Institute, there are standard datacentre resilience measurements, known as tier ratings. There are four tiers of datacentre resilience, from lowest to highest: N, N+1, 2N and 2N+1.
Questions that help determine the priority that datacentre resilience has in your business
Continuous resilience improvement is a must today, with connectivity being for many a business’ life-support system, and so local C-level executives have to scrutinise their specific business requirements when it comes to its advancement.
The following questions could help to pinpoint the level of urgency that data centre priority has within the business:
- How much downtime is acceptable?
- How much budget can go towards improving resilience, which would need to take infrastructure, maintenance costs and more into consideration?
- Does the cooling system work, even if there is no power?
- Is it possible to generate power within the datacentre?
- Are the correct technical skills in place. Once these questions have been answered, a business’ uptime needs become clearer.
- Which makes more sense to host the datacentre internally, or outsource it to an expert?
Considerations for eliminating vulnerabilities in your data centre
To improve resilience towards reaching the five or six nines of availability can be an expensive exercise within an existing, in-house datacentre, to the tune of millions of Rands, only recoverable over the next seven to 10 years. It would require:
- The right equipment
- The right systems (data centre infrastructure management; building management and environmental management)
- The right staff
- The right maintenance contracts
- The right location
- Energy efficiency and accessibility to more power if needed
- Seamless connection to more than one telecoms provider.
Essentially, as availability is increased, so too is the cost ratio for each percentage point gained.
Benefits of outsourcing
The benefits of outsourcing datacentre requirements mean that the services partner will handle power and connectivity requirements, ensure that the right equipment is in place, and have the right staff and technical expertise on board – with uptime service level agreements (SLAs) in place. This will not only ease remote working requirements; it also allows businesses to step away from budgeting towards an OPEX focused model.
One of the major advantages of a hosted environment is the economies of scale; there is a fixed investment spread over a larger group of companies all accessing the service, and ultimately making a high availability, higher tiered environment more accessible to many organisations from a cost point of view.
- Power requirements
- OPEX model
- Support of remote working
- Economies of scale
- Increased resilience and higher availability
- Higher tiered environment
- Improved accessibility
Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of enterprises will shut down their traditional data centers. In fact, 10% of organisations already have.
Contact your Datacentrix representative to discuss this in more detail, or send an email to [email protected]