The rapid bouts of innovation are not unseen by anybody. Alexa over there, a Google Home here—the world is driven by such technologies. These are made to cater to the growing need of the consumer and the need to stay relevant. Because if your competitor gets that feature right before you—you know your target audience will be flocking towards them—you missed the bus on this one.
How do these innovations happen? It’s not just a “Eureka!” moment. Someone in your company might’ve had an idea but it takes an army of technology and people to build into a consumable product.
The idea of this consumable product is continuously changing as well. One day it was cloud, then a new big data-driven technology, the next day it was IoT and now it is the onset of 5G—the needs of consumers are always changing. Irrespective of how much things change, if you want your business to thrive, you have to keep up with it.
It is also key to equip yourself with what is needed to enable this change. The core of any technology in an organization lies in its data and the data center. Any digital transformation in your business has to be supported by the right technology. This is precisely where the data center modernization comes into the picture.
What is data center modernization?
The definition of how a data center is modernized changes with the changing times. But, the idea behind it remains the same. Data center modernization refers to changing your data center to ensure it can keep up with what is required. The agility, flexibility needed to keep with consumer’s evolving demands. The capability to stay secure from the current threat landscape. The ability to ensure there is a balance between the previous infrastructure and the current one. All of these combined is data center modernization.
Why does your business need it?
Legacy infrastructure is synonymous with familiarity and comfort for most. It is known, the solutions around it have been for quite some time now. Yet, it is time to move on from them. The legacy equipment is mostly outdated.
The problem with legacy equipment is three-fold: cost, efficiency and security.
Cost: There is always a lot of apprehensions when it comes to cloud. Modernizing data center in combination with cloud usually has a counter-argument of cloud being expensive. Yet, the costs to sustain these legacy applications can be a cost burner as well.
According to an article on economic times, “A legacy UPS running at 88 percent efficiency has an additional energy cost of USD 400,000 due to inefficiency over a 10 year period as compared to a modern UPS running at 96 percent efficiency. Some of the newer UPSs can achieve efficiencies of even up to 99 percent.”
Not to forget, these are technologies that people currently may not have to a skillset to fix or rework on. So, if your in-house team cannot cater to it, an additional skill set is not just difficult to scout but also quite expensive.
The cost of modernizing data center may overwhelm businesses, but it is helpful to note that over time this is a worthy investment.
Efficiency: The legacy data centers are hard to scale to the current need. It cannot handle the current need for agility. Consider you need to scale your product with the latest edge IoT. This cannot be done with just a legacy system. Experts say that the system can even breakdown because of such overload. This is a huge cause for concern. Especially looking at how the world is migrating to the IoT.
The devices in a legacy infrastructure could also be outdated and might be their time to retire. Unless a data center is modernized with appropriate management tools, it is difficult to keep track of such devices—eventually resulting in devices within an infrastructure which has long passed their lifespan.
Such devices could end up taking up more power, increase the cost to run, and ultimately cause outages and failures.
Security: The legacy infrastructure wasn’t built with the current threat aspects in mind. The boom that is cloud, IoT and multiple devices was not predicated earlier at this scale. Some legacy equipment might lack the basic encryptions required as well.
Although cloud brings apprehensions because it is not exactly within your direct reach—the security of cloud is rapidly improving. Investing in a solution that braces you for the modern cyber threats, malwares and more, is something to think about.
Unless your business was born into a cloud-first space then adopting cloud infrastructure for your data center might be farfetched. Therefore a hybrid environment is a right way to go. This can create a balance between the modern needs of your business while maintaining the legacy infrastructure. A hybrid environment can let you cater to the consumer demands in par with your expectations. You could even make decisions such as data for an ‘edge’ facility closer to the end-user to avoid any delay. And keep critical workload in-house so that your compliance and security team could access it as needed.
The Gartner analyst Santhosh Rao says, “Hybrid architectures will become the footprints that enable organizations to extend beyond their data centers and into cloud services”.
He believes that it is a journey to a mix of IT- traditional, cloud and edge.