The Changing Data Center and Workplace
By Chris Castro, Solutions Architect, cStor
The average company’s data center isn’t so much a data center anymore. By that I mean, you probably can’t give your clients/vendors a tour of your pristine, state-of-the-art server room and show them everything that you’ve accomplished. These days, the biggest flex seems to be how fast you’re able to provision resources and scale them back as the business demands them. Oh, and don’t forget about the 100% guaranteed uptime assumed by the business.
The Evolving Data Center
The truth is, we live in an always-on society that expects everything to work as planned and designed. If it doesn’t, we lose business and money. The era of the DIY data center is rapidly disappearing. Most of the clients I work with have been exclusively in colos for quite some time for either a primary or secondary site capacity. Cloud has been on the mainstage for a long time with a huge viewing audience, but it seems that more and more businesses see the value of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) that the major hyperscalers offer and are subscribing.
As we continue this journey together, rack space, power requirements and connections will be increasingly less of the requirements discussion. The discussion will be more focused on what part of the country or world your data will reside, any local government restrictions that need to be taken into consideration, which hyperscaler(s) will be used, and how the data is secured.
Much of the concepts are the same with hyperscalers, but as IT engineers, we no longer need to worry about physical equipment and architecting for physical failure. We are now focused on building redundancies within the application, backend databases, and making sure the data is replicated and accessible from multiple availability zones, and in some cases, regions without service interruption. Even as we speak, the conversation is morphing into how we get the data closer to our users, how we improve the quality of the experience, and how we apply artificial intelligence/machine learning to our datasets to reduce human error.
The Evolving Workplace
Along with the changing datacenter, our workplaces have drastically changed. Given the events of this year, some have welcomed the change with open arms and embraced it, while others have struggled.
Similarly, the concepts for being productive haven’t changed, but the methods have. We no longer need to physically gather in a room to get our ideas and concerns across the table. We now have virtual meeting rooms where we are able to collaborate and remain productive. Although the means for which we collaborate have changed, the actual conversation has not… that is unless you’re on mute.
Obviously, this isn’t fool-proof and many organizations and workers are new to this concept. They are still finding out the proper etiquette for virtual meetings and online protocols. Concepts such as on-time arrival, setting proper expectations at the beginning of the meeting, and sticking to the agenda are best practices that still apply to both in-person and virtual meetings. However, new etiquettes and requirements have also taken shape based on the changing workplace environments include knowing how to correctly use the mute button, having a stable internet connection, and making sure that your screen is clear of any information that should not be shared with the larger group.
Likewise, the technology requirements have also followed the data center shifts. The apps and systems required to do our jobs every day have remained. However, more remote workers require additional reliance on cloud and virtual systems. The need for secure systems and protocols has remained, and in many cases, expanded to include the remote work and multiple device environments. If you are one of the companies making a more permanent shift to remote workers, our blog on 5 tips for scaling and managing remote access provides some helpful recommendations.
As the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said, “Change is the only constant in life.” This is so evident in all facets of our lives today, but especially within the IT and workplace environments. And, as the data centers and our technology evolves, cStor will be at the forefront to help you make sense of it all and plan for the future.