Data centers play a pivotal role in a company’s IT infrastructure by providing data storage and processing, as well as housing system networking and security. However, as your business expands, so too does the demand for data and computing power, necessitating the expansion of your data center. If done improperly, this expansion can negatively affect efficiency, reliability, and performance.
Fortunately, by adhering to the best practices outlined in this article, you can ensure your data center keeps pace with your business’s growth while maintaining optimal functionality and adaptability. First, however, you will need to understand data center scalability.
What is data center scalability?
Scalability refers to the ability of a system — in this case, a data center — to handle an increase or decrease in workload without compromising overall function or service level agreements. This can be achieved by adding servers, upgrading hardware, using virtualization, or using cloud services.
Before expanding your data center, it’s important to define specific scalability parameters that align with your business needs, budget, and projected growth. When you fully understand these factors, you will know the exact measures to take with scaling up your data center as your business expands.
Best practices for data center growth
Scaling your data center involves more than buying additional equipment or upgrading your cloud service subscription. It requires understanding various factors and implementing the following best practices:
1. Understand the relationship between business growth and scalability
Data center scalability is not necessarily synonymous with business growth. The data demands of organizations, regardless of their size, aren’t consistently steady. Even large organizations go through times of high and low demand, which can change hourly or weekly.
This means maintaining a data center large enough to handle peak loads at all times incurs unnecessary costs when demand inevitably dips. So instead, consider a more flexible approach where space and functionality can be adjusted seasonally to meet demand fluctuations while ensuring cost efficiency.
2. Adopt modularity
Modular design refers to using standardized and easily interchangeable components for your data center. By breaking down your data centers into individual, self-contained units, they can be easily added, removed, or replaced as needed. This approach makes your data center hardware more flexible and efficient to expand without disrupting your ongoing operations.
3. Invest in robust equipment
In addition to being modular, your data center hardware needs to be robust. Strengthen your data center with equipment and hardware that won’t need replacing for many years. This ensures your devices can handle growth without significantly slowing down performance or interrupting operations.
4. Explore hybrid cloud solutions
A hybrid cloud model combines on-premises servers and cloud-based resources. By offloading noncritical workloads to the cloud, this setup enhances scalability and flexibility of data centers while maintaining control and security for important data and applications on site. With a hybrid cloud solution, you can access a variety of services, platforms, and tools for customizing your data center’s needs according to the current demands of your business.
5. Educate your team
A data center cannot function or grow without well-trained staff, which means these people need the skills, knowledge, and tools necessary to manage and scale the data center efficiently. Support ongoing learning and offer chances for your team to enhance their knowledge in new technologies, data center management, and scalability methods.
6. Harness automation
Automation involves using software, programs, or policies to handle repetitive, routine, or complex tasks within your data center, such as IT setup and configuration, system monitoring, and data backup, recovery, or scaling. Automating these processes improves data center scalability and flexibility by reducing manual work, minimizing downtime and errors, and increasing efficiency.
By following these best practices, you can ensure that your data center remains in sync with your business’s growth and evolving needs, all while maintaining its efficiency, reliability, and performance. With the right approach, your data center will continue to be the backbone of your organization’s IT infrastructure.
Learn more about data center management and scaling by contacting the experts at Liberty Center One today. Call us or leave us a message.