Data centre operators are in the unique position of maintaining optimal conditions for hardware while still being able to meet the growing computing demands put on the facility. As these needs continue to strain available resources, many organizations have sought alternative methods that will increase cost savings and make their facilities more energy efficient. Research firm Gartner recently made a recommendation to enterprises in this regard, noting that a twin data centre strategy would be the best route for businesses.
Many organizations have multiple data centres to handle their computing needs without sacrificing performance or functionality. Gartner noted that limiting the number of facilities to two centres per continent would be most beneficial for companies that are looking to improve their savings and efficiency. Having too many centres in too many countries significantly lowers the company’s ability to implement internal changes. With numerous facilities, millions of dollars could be spent on operating costs, while the twin strategy offers a more streamlined architecture with significant saving potential.
“Although many global organizations will typically own all of the sites, in some cases it makes sense to use a hosted site that provides the physical building, power and cooling, while the global organization owns the IT assets,” according to the report. “This has been the case for many organizations entering regions such as India and China. In other cases, a service management contract may be appropriate where no assets are owned and a third party will provide IT services through two data centres in a region.”
Maximizing data centre benefits
Gartner’s twin facility model may seem like it’s limiting resources, but it’s actually expanding upon the ones already instilled within the business. This strategy offers numerous advantages, including improved disaster recovery efforts, better management and streamlined expansion. With less centres to focus on, the organization can better concentrate on how to leverage its assets for maximum benefits. The plan can also help businesses consistently deliver reliable performance and quality services, which will promote success for the enterprise as a whole.
However, there are several barriers to consider in extending assets to other locations. Existing language and cultural differences can be a significant challenge for sending talent to different continents. Picking up and moving everything when closing a centre will also be difficult for operators. Gartner’s answer to this is that the twin data centre model’s benefits will outweigh the costs as long as it is managed effectively.
“While these variations are logical and need to be incorporated into the decision process, they should be viewed as exceptions to the ideal model of a twin data center topology per continent of major business activity, rather than an accepted IT expansion cost,” Gartner research vice president Rakesh Kumar said. “By adopting this dual center approach wherever possible, the whole growth strategy will incorporate a belief system that will help to create an optimum data center topology.”
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