As SMBs realize the need for processing, analyzing and protecting data, they face the challenge of effectively managing and developing a small data center within the organization. Managing a data center in an SMB context often means juggling a range of challenges like budget constraints, cultural boundaries and perceptions, and spacial limitations.
IT World recently gathered several lifelong IT leaders to discuss the specific challenges for building and managing a small data center. Here are five key considerations these leaders recommend focusing upon when reviewing your small data enter plans:
1. Prioritize Investment – Some data centers are pieced together a little at a time. The end-result can be hardware/software conflicts, inefficiencies, downtime and more. Other businesses may try to overextend their limitations with poor results. Michael Miller of Omikron Data suggests, “Some organizations will try to build a data center that does everything that people want it to, but for half the dollars necessary, and that’s a recipe for failure—you give up doing regular backups, or you buy really inexpensive drives that don’t perform. A better approach is to have less ambitious goals for the data center. You should be saying, ‘For the money we have, we can do this. And as we grow, and get more money, we can improve it.” Form a priority list of what is essential and what is optional and what might be developed later with effective planning.
2. Communicating Value – Not all the key influencers in the organization may be ready to invest the necessary technology. IT talk is often confusing and ineffective in persuading. Some business leaders fear technology may be a never-ending drain on bottom line. It is essential to link data center investment with business goals and not simply reviewing a laundry list of technology needs.
3. Protect Data – Securing data must always remain a top-priority. This includes protecting what and who comes in and goes out as well as backup and disaster emergency plans.
4. Managing Space – Small data center equipment must be located in an actual place. Unless you set up a virtualized data center, that space in somewhere on your premises. This means you need be prepared to face cooling and power issues. The type of equipment, cabling, fiber ring switches, and such also impact power usage, network speed, and such.
5. Future Thinking – It is important to think long-term at the outset. Strategic planning involves considering your business goals over time. By mapping IT investment alongside business development, you can plan to build out data center functionality from the outset and mismanaging development over time.
Integracon helps our clients with IT and business goal planning. As you make plans for developing you small data center, we can help you consider options, plan investment, and implement solutions. To talk with one of our IT experts, give us a call at 865-330-2323 or chat via Integracon.com.
 Christ Nerney. “Small Data Centers:Unique challenges, unique opportunities.” IT World, 2013