What is a Data Center Architecture and how to design one?

What is a Data Center Architecture and how to design one?

 

Traditional data centers consisted of multiple servers in racks and were difficult to manage. These centers required constant monitoring, patching, and updating, as well as a security verification. They also require heavy investments in power and cooling systems. To solve these issues, data center architects have turned to the cloud and virtualized environments. However, these cloud solutions are not without their own risks. These challenges have led to a new approach to data center architecture. This article describes the benefits of a virtualized data center and how it differs from its traditional counterpart.

 

What is a data center architecture?

A data center architecture is a description of how computer resources (CPUs, storage, networking, and software) are organized or arranged in a data center. As you may expect, there are almost infinite data center architectures to choose from. The number of resources a company can afford to include is the only constraint. Still, we usually don’t discuss data center architectures in terms of their various permutations, but rather in terms of their essential functionality.

Today’s data centers are becoming much larger and more complex. Because of their size, the hardware requirements vary from workload to workload and even day to day. In addition, some workloads may require more memory capacity or faster processing speed than others. In such cases, leveraging high-end devices will ensure that the TCO (total cost of ownership) is lower. But because the management and operations staff are so large, this strategy can be costly and ineffective. For this reason, it’s important to choose the right architecture for your organization.

While all data centers use virtualized servers, there are other important considerations for designing a data center. The building’s design must take into account the facilities and premises. The choice of technologies and interactions between the various layers of hardware and software will ultimately affect the data center’s performance and efficiency. For instance, a data center may need sophisticated fire suppression systems and a control center where staff can monitor server performance and the physical plant. Additionally, a data center should be designed to provide the highest levels of security and privacy.

 

How to Design a Data Center Architecture

The question of how to design a data center architecture has a number of answers. Before implementing any new data center technology, owners should first define the performance parameters and establish a financial model. The design of the data center architecture must satisfy the performance requirements of the business.

Several considerations are necessary before starting the data center construction. First, the data center premises and facility should be considered. Then, the design should be based on the technology selection.  There should be an emphasis on availability. This is often reflected by an operational or Service Level Agreement (SLA). And, of course, the design should be cost-effective.

Another important aspect of data center design is the size of the data center itself. While the number of servers and racks may not be significant, the infrastructure components will require a significant amount of space. For example, the mechanical and electrical equipment required by a data center will require significant space. Additionally, many organizations will need office space, an equipment yard, and IT equipment staging areas. The design must address these needs before creating a space plan.

When selecting the technology for a data center, the architect should understand the tradeoffs between cost, reliability, and scalability. It should also be flexible enough to allow for the fast deployment and support of new services or applications. Flexibility can provide a competitive advantage in the long run, so careful planning is required. A flexible data center with an advanced architecture that allows for scalability is likely to be more successful.

Considering availability is also essential it should also be secure, which means that it should be able to withstand any attacks and not be vulnerable to malicious attacks. By using the technologies like ACL (access control list) and IDS (intrusion detection system), the data center architecture should support the business’s mission and the business objectives. The right architecture will not only increase the company’s revenue but will also be more productive.

data center archietecture.

 

Data center tiers:

Data centers are rated by tier to indicate expected uptime and dependability:

Tier 1 data centers have a single power and cooling line, as well as few if any, redundancy and backup components. It has a 99.671 percent projected uptime (28.8 hours of downtime annually).

Tier 2 data centers have a single power and cooling channel, as well as some redundant and backup components. It has a 99.741 percent projected uptime (22 hours of downtime annually).

Tier 3 data centers include numerous power and cooling paths, as well as procedures in place to update and maintain them without bringing them offline. It has a 99.982 percent anticipated uptime (1.6 hours of downtime annually).

Tier 4 data centers are designed to be totally fault-tolerant, with redundancy in every component. It has a 99.995 percent predicted uptime (26.3 minutes of downtime annually).

Your service level agreement (SLAs) and other variables will determine which data center tier you require.

In a data center architecture, core infrastructure services should be the priority. The latter should include data storage and network services. Traditional data centers utilize physical components for these functions. In contrast, Platform as a Service (PaaS) does not require a physical component layer. Nevertheless, both types of technologies need a strong core infrastructure. The latter is the primary concern of most organizations, as it provides the platform for the business. DCaaS and DCIM are also a popular choice among the organizations.

Data Center as a Service (DCaaS) is a hosting service in which physical data center infrastructure and facilities are provisioned to clients. DCaaS allows clients remote access to the provider’s storage, server and networking resources through a Wide-Area Network (WAN).
The convergence of IT and building facilities functions inside an enterprise is known as data center infrastructure management (DCIM). A DCIM initiative’s purpose is to give managers a comprehensive perspective of a data center’s performance so that energy, equipment, and floor space are all used as efficiently as possible.

 

Conclusion

Data centers have seen significant transformations in recent years. Data center infrastructure has transitioned from on-premises servers to virtualized infrastructure that supports workloads across pools of physical infrastructure and multi-cloud environments as enterprise IT demands to continue to migrate toward on-demand services.

Two key questions remain the same regardless of which current design strategy is chosen.

  • How do you manage computation, storage, and networks that are differentiated and geographically dispersed?
  • How do you go about doing it safely?

Because the expense of running your own data center is too expensive and you receive no assistance, add in the cost of your on-site IT personnel once more. DCaaS and DCIM have grown in popularity.

Most organizations will benefit from DCaaS and DCIM, but keep in mind that with DCaaS, you are responsible for providing your own hardware and stack maintenance. As a result, you may require additional assistance in maintaining those.
You get the team to manage your stacks for you with DCIM. The team is responsible for the system’s overall performance, uptime, and needs, as well as its safety and security. You will receive greater support and peace of mind if you partner with the proper solution providers who understand your business and requirements.

If you’re seeking to create your data center and want to maximize uptime and efficiency, The Protected Harbor data center is a secure, hardened DCIM that offers unmatched uptime and reliability for your applications and data. This facility can operate as the brain of your data center, offering unheard-of data center stability and durability. In addition to preventing outages, it enables your growth while providing superior security against ransomware and other attacks. For more information on how we can help create your data center while staying protected, contact us today.

Tips to Manage Data Center build for Enterprise-Scale Software

Tips to Manage Data Center build for Enterprise-Scale Software

We’re all trying to improve ourselves and our companies. Start-ups aim to become a Mid-Level Company and a Mid-Level Company to become a Major Company. They want to expand into a global company, and so on. It is important to evolve how we handle our current and new data centers as our businesses expand.

The pandemic slowed us down earlier but also created a huge demand for more remote servers and software to help better the situation. the companies have shifted their office work to the remote. This has become important due to the ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus and the spike in death tolls. According to Worldometer, the number of people infected with the Coronavirus has grown to more than 114 million, with more than 2.4 million deaths. This is the stat as of March 02, 2021. To cut the cost and to be able to grow without expanding their staff numbers, companies have huge pressure on how to cope up. This requires huge changes in data centers to make them efficient. Growing software demands even during pandemic demand us to be smart and create smart data centers. Here at Protected Harbor, we create data centers that can host multiple parts of single huge enterprise software with ease and almost no downtime.

Even maintenance of these data centers has minimum impact on this software because we make all the new changes in development and only shift anything to production once after deep testing. We perform this maintenance during the weekend preferably Sunday evening and that is usually done in just a few minutes.

We can categorize all these measures we take into these –

Analyze

First and foremost, perform a complete analysis of the budget, the requirement, and then what would be the most cost-efficient method to build the data center without compromising performance. Points to remember during the analysis. Disaster recovery means what downtime is expected and how it would affect the client experience. Depending on the business of the customers they can be categorized and assigned a data center customized and build just for them or for customers exactly like them along with them.

Plan

Once the analysis is done following the most appropriate approach for the customers, the next step is planning the layout and detailed configuration of the data center to be able to hold huge enterprise software. Planning includes size determination, the nomenclature of the servers, and Virtual machines inside it, disk and memory allocation, temperature to maintain, sensors to install, and settings.

Automation and AI

This is not a stage but a very important approach to maximize efficiency. Automation to perform tasks to avoid increasing staff to monitor various parts of the data center is critical for providing the best services to the customers without increasing overall cost. Artificial Intelligence on the other hand can be even more efficient as it can read the statistics and help configure the setting even better to match the needs. Hence, saving production cost of the data center while improving performance.

Climate Control using Sensors

Another important tip will be to control the temperature around and in the data center. The recommended temperature needs to be set at all times in the data center to avoid damages. If a single component gets damaged it can result in complete failure of the system and thus resulting in the customer not able to work. Reputation risk is huge in this case. This demands smart sensors be installed.

Go hybrid

The term “hybrid data center” refers to a data center with a combination of computing and storage environments. So the tip is to take advantage by combining on-premises data centers, private cloud, and/or public cloud platforms in a hybrid IT computing setting, enabling different businesses we run and our clients to adapt rapidly to evolving demands.

Maintain

This is the most important part of the process. Yes, the foundation of the center is important like analysis, planning, and following tips but managing the data center can result in it irreversible corruption, failures, and extended period of downtime. It is important to plan the maintenance process as well. Setting up calendar events for daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance of the data center is the key. Always keep an eye on the data and operations in both structures and places at all times.

Along with the stages and tips to managed an Enterprise software ready Datacenter, there are some other important tips to keep in mind for better results.

Use custom built in house software to manage rather than depending on licenses and vendors.

Licensing tools are mostly used by tech giants to collect data on device installation and use. They are one-time-only and do not allow for further refinement, with others only offering knowledge that is beneficial to the seller. They would not assist us in optimizing your licensing. To control data center licenses, you’ll need solutions that are tailored to and climate and challenge.

Partnering with Vendors

This is another great tip that can cut costs while providing possibilities to customize the tools based on our requirements. Following this multiple features can be integrated into a single appliance.

To summarize these are the steps to manage an enterprise-ready datacenter, research on the latest and greatest methods and efficient tools. Then consider ways to make the data center more energy and space-efficient, or how to make better use of current facilities. After that comes the detailed plan layout. Specific details about the location, allocation, and the complete blueprint of the data center need to be put together. Then execution and maintenance.

Data Center Infrastructure Management

Data Center Infrastructure Management

 

Overview

Worldwide demand for new and more powerful IT-based applications, combined with the economic benefits of consolidation of physical assets, has led to an unprecedented expansion of data centers in both size and density. Limitations of space and power, along with the enormous complexity of managing a large data center, have given rise to a new category of tools with integrated processes – Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM).

Once properly deployed, a comprehensive DCIM solution provides data center operations managers with clear visibility of all data center assets along with their connectivity and relationships to support infrastructure – networks, copper and fiber cable plants, power chains and cooling systems. DCIM tools provide data center operations managers with the ability to identify, locate, visualize and manage all physical data center assets, simply provision new equipment and confidently plan capacity for future growth and/or consolidation.

These tools can also help control energy costs and increase operational efficiency. Gartner predicts that DCIM tools will soon become the mainstream in data centers, growing from 1% penetration in 2010 to 60% in 2014. This document will discuss some important data center infrastructure management issues.

We’ll also take a look at how a DCIM product can provide data center managers with the insight, information and tools they need to simplify and streamline operations, automate data center asset management, optimize the use of all resources – system, space, power, cooling and staff – reduce costs, project data center capacities to support future requirements and even extend data center life.

 

Why Data Center Infrastructure Management?

The trend for consolidation and construction of ever-larger data centers has been basically driven by economy-of-scale benefits. This trend has been accelerated and facilitated by technological advances such as Web-based applications, system virtualization, more powerful servers delivered in a smaller footprint and an overabundance of low-cost bandwidth. Not many years ago, most computer sites were sufficiently small so that the local, dedicated IT and facilities staff could reasonably manage most everything with manual processes and tools such as spreadsheets and Visio diagrams. It has now become painfully clear that IT and facilities professionals need better tools and processes to effectively manage the enormous inventory of physical assets and the complexity of the modern data center infrastructure. Experience shows that once a data center approaches 50-75 racks, management via spreadsheets and Visio becomes unwieldy and ineffective. The outward expansion and increasing rack density of modern data centers have created serious space and energy consumption concerns, prompting both corporate and government regulatory attention and action. DC has forecasted that data center power and cooling costs will rise from $25 billion in 2015 to almost $45 billion in 2025. Moreover, in a recent Data Center Dynamics research study, U.S. and European data center managers stated that their three largest concerns were increasing rack densities, proper cooling and power consumption. Seemingly overnight, the need for data center infrastructure and asset management tools has now become an overwhelming, high-priority challenge for IT and facilities management. At the highest level, the enterprise data center should be organized and operated to deliver quality service reliably, securely and economically to support the corporate mission. However, the natural evolution of roles and responsibilities among three principal groups within the data center – facilities, networking and systems – has in itself made this objective less achievable. Responsibilities have historically been distributed based on specific expertise relating to the physical layers of the infrastructure:

  1. Facilities: Physical space, power and cooling
  2. Networking: Fiber optic and copper cable plants, LANs, SANs and WANs
  3. Systems: Mainframes, servers, virtual servers and storage

Clearly, one major challenge is bridging the responsibilities and activities among various data center functions to minimize the delays, waste and potential operational confusion that can easily arise due to each group’s well-defined, specific roles.

 

What Is Data Center Infrastructure Management?

Basic Data Center Infrastructure Management components and functions include:

  • A Single Repository: One accurate, authoritative database to house all data from across all data centers and sites of all physical assets, including data center layout, with detailed data for IT, power and HVAC equipment and end-to-end network and power cable connections.
  • Asset Discovery and Asset Tracking: Tools to capture assets, their details, relationships and interdependencies.
  • Visualization: Graphical visualization, tracking and management of all data center assets and their related physical and logical attributes – servers, structured cable plants, networks, power infrastructure and cooling equipment.
  • Provisioning New Equipment: Automated tools to support the prompt and reliable deployment of new systems and all their related physical and logical resources.
  • Real-Time Data Collection: Integration with real-time monitoring systems to collect actual power usage/environmental data to optimize capacity management, allowing review of real-time data vs. assumptions around nameplate data.
  • Process-Driven Structure: Change management workflow procedures to ensure complete and accurate adds, changes and moves
  • Capacity Planning: Capacity planning tools to determine requirements for the future floor and rack space, power, cooling expansion, what-if analysis and modeling.
  • Reporting: Simplified reporting to set operational goals, measure performance and drive improvement.
  • A Holistic Approach: Bridge across organizational domains – facilities, networking and systems, filling all functional gaps; used by all data center domains and groups regardless of hierarchy, including managers, system administrators and technicians.

A comprehensive Data Center Infrastructure Management solution will directly address the major issues of asset management, system provisioning, space and resource utilization and future capacity planning. Most importantly, it will provide an effective bridge to support the operational responsibilities and dependencies between facilities and IT personnel to eliminate the potential silos.

Once again your Data Center Infrastructure Management will prove invaluable by collecting, mining and analyzing actual historic operational data. Data Center Infrastructure Management reports, what-if analysis and modeling will help identify opportunities for operational improvement and cost reduction so you can confidently plan and execute data center changes.

5 Ways to Increase your Data Center Uptime

5 Ways to Increase your Data Center Uptime

 

A data center will not survive unless it can deliver an uptime of 99.9999%. Most of the customers are choosing the data center option to avoid any unexpected outage for them. Even a few seconds of downtime can have a huge impact on some customers. To avoid such types of issues there are several effective ways to increase data center uptime.

 

  • Eliminate single points of failure

Always use HA for Hardware (Routers, Switches, Servers, power, DNS, and ISP) and also setup HA for applications. If any one of the hardware devices or application fails, we can easily move to a second server or hardware so we can avoid any unexpected downtime.

  • Monitoring

The effective monitoring system will provide the status of each system and if anything goes wrong, we can easily failover to the second pair and then we can investigate faulty devices. This way datacenter Admin will be able to find any issues before the end-user report.

  • Updating and maintenance

Keep all systems up to date and keep maintenance for all your device to avoid any security breach in the operating system. Also, keep your applications up to date. Planned maintenance is better than any unexpected downtime. Also, test all applications in a test lab to avoid any application-related issues before implementing them in the production environment.

  • Ensure Automatic Failover

Automatic failover will always help any human errors like if we miss any notification in the monitoring system and that caused one of our application crash. Then if we have automatic failover, it will automatically move to available servers. Therefore, end-user will not notice any downtime for their end.

  • Provide Excellent Support

Always we need to take care of our customers well. We need to be available 24/7 to help customers. We need to provide solutions faster and quick way so customers will not lose their valuable time spending with IT-related stuff.

Data Center Infrastructure Management

Data Center Infrastructure Management

 

In today’s world, Data Centers are the backbone of all the technologies we use in our daily life starting from our Electronic Devices like Phones, PCs going through all the way to Software that makes our life easier. And to run everything without any glitches Data Center Infrastructure Management plays an important role.

DCIM includes all the basic steps of managing anything which consists of Deployment, Monitoring and Maintenance. For a company that wants their services with no downtime (99.99%), they always look for recent development in the technologies that will make their Data Centers Rock Solid. This is where Protected Harbor excels. We follow every single step in order to make our Data Centers equipped and updated with the latest development in the tech world.

Managing a Data Centers involves several people who are experts in their own department and they work as a team to reach the end goal. For example, A Network engineer will always make sure the networking equipment is functional and there are no anomalies. The Data Center Technician will be responsible for all other hardware that is deployed inside the Data Centers. In sort here are few things which should always be considered while Managing a Data Center:

  1. Who is responsible for the Equipment?
  2. Current Status of Equipment.
  3. Equipment physical location.
  4. When potential issues might occur.
  5. How the Equipment is interconnected?

Monitoring of a Data Center is as important as any other factor involves because it gives every perspective of the hardware and software and will send an alert in case of any event.

Power Backup and Air Conditioning are two vital resources to run a Data Center. Most people do not think of these two when they hear about Data Center. A power failure will bring it down and without a Power Backup, this is highly possible. Data Centers consist of expensive Power Backups which also have redundancy which plays an important role in case of a power failure. Data Center equipment generates massive heat and that’s when Air Conditioning comes into play. The temperature inside a Data Center should always remain within its limit. Few degrees (1-2) increase in temperature will put the hardware in jeopardy. In order to make sure all of these are functional the monitoring gives accurate data and actions are taken as per those events.

While deploying a Data Center, Scalability is always kept into account. A Scalable and Secure Data Center is always needed.

Crashes, Failures, and Outages are the biggest problem of bad management, and eliminating them effectively is the primary job of Data Center Infrastructure management. The end goal of DCIM is always to provide high availability and durability. An unexpected event can occur at any time and how effectively it’s recognized and resolved will change the availability percentage. Application Interface is one of the top priority which should always remain online and in order to keep it that way the best practices are followed. In order to deploy a Data Center, the first step that is carried out is planning. The plan gets an overview of the Assets that will be required to deploy and Manage. Planning also involves the people assigned to each task that will be carried out in the successful deployment of the Data Center.

 

Scalability of DATA CENTERS and Why it’s important?

Technology is being more advanced every single day and to keep up with its development the Data Centers should also be capable of all the changes that happen in Technologies. Scalability provides the concept of Data Centers which can be expanded based on the needs and its expansion will not affect any previously deployed equipment. Scalability is important because how fast a Data Center can grow depends on it and increasing demand does indicate the same.

DCIM involves Asset Management which is basically keeping checks on all the equipment deployed inside the Data Center when they will need replacement or maintenance. This also generates a report on the expenses involved. Since it’s been established that Data Centers has lots of equipment which mean in case of maintenance there may be times when the Hardware Company will also have to be involved to fix broken equipment.

In the end, DCIM can be categorized as the backbone of Data Centers which plays an important role in every aspect of a Tech Company, and using DCIM tools high availability can be achieved.