In today’s fast-paced, information-reliant business world, high availability of data centers is a must. Hardware and systems availability increases employee productivity and reinforces a company’s bottom line. Availability of data is a large part of what keeps a company viable.
How Adhering to Industry Standards Influences High Availability
The availability of a data center is only as good as the data center itself. That’s why it is so important for data centers to adhere to industry standards. These standards ensure that a data center functions properly and is reliable and available to clients.
Since data centers were often originally designed without established standards, today’s data centers sometimes face the challenge of selecting technologies and implementing them in less-than-ideal space constraints. When selecting a data center, it is important to ensure that these standards have been met.
How to Evaluate High Availability in a Data Center
A data center interested in high availability of systems will place a great deal of emphasis on operational processes and standards. In addition, service assurance policies are expected, and lifecycle and maintenance strategies are well-established and regularly reviewed. Before choosing a data center for your business, make sure high availability is a priority for that particular data center.
Standards for Physical Layout
Because computers are sensitive to changes in environment, physical layout standards are an important part of ensuring high availability in a data center. The ideal physical environment is a high priority for many organizations.
– Backup power supplies should be available. This can be accomplished by a generator or by an uninterruptible power supply.
– Effective fire protection systems are a must for a high availability data center. Fire prevention programs should be a part of regular system operations, and passive and active design elements should also reflect this goal.
– Duplicate systems, such as backup systems and electrical systems, help avoid single points of failure and a loss of data center availability.
– Air conditioning is needed to control the data center’s ambient temperature. The large consumption of electrical power can rapidly increase the temperature in a room if air conditioning is not used to counteract this effect.
– Raised flooring generally a recommended standard for data centers. This allows air to circulate beneath the equipment and assist in cooling, and it also provides a space for cabling.
– Physical security is also of the utmost importance for high availability data centers. Restricted access, video surveillance, and full-time security personnel help maintain a secure environment for data.
Standards for Network Infrastructure
Just as the physical environment of a data center has a direct impact on availability, so does the network infrastructure. The availability of data is totally dependent on the network’s ability to transmit information. That’s why there are important standards in place for network infrastructure.
– Cabling systems must be flexible and capable of handling a wide range of technologies, including current and future applications.
– Redundant cabling and components reduce the risk of a loss of data center availability.
– Creating and maintaining simple documentation ensures accurate knowledge transfer and reduces loss of information.
– All components should be properly labeled. This prevents confusion and helps reduce downtime.
The Single Most Important Quality
In short, adhering to these important standards helps a data center increase its availability. Availability may be the single most important quality to consider when selecting a data center, so special attention should be paid to how effectively these standards have been met. Make sure you ask about whether a data center adheres to these industry standards.