Data centers today need to be built for flexibility and scalability. That means technologies like virtualization and cloud computing—along with newer technologies replacing legacy architectures—need to operate efficiently to ensure application and data availability. This road to data center modernization is often paved with trepidation. Modernized infrastructures are today unified, whereas the legacy architectures inherent in many data centers are often siloed.
After completing numerous, successful data center modernization efforts, here are four things we’ve learned about dealing with data center complexities:
- Scrutinize your IT infrastructure along the way and don’t be shy about scrapping unnecessary or costly platforms. You need to balance the value you get from a technology versus the cost required to acquire it, and sometimes it’s just not worth it. If you fail to balance this correctly, cost and complexity will increase at an above-average rate.
- As you modernize, concentrate on major applications first and be sure to involve key players on both the technology and business sides of the table. When both are involved from the start, an enterprise-wide vision is much more attainable.
- Start with an application mapping assessment that includes executive support and buy-in. Assembling the right mix of executive team members as you assess your application environment will help create a solution that results in IT infrastructure agility.
- Tribal knowledge can cause serious problems if you’re not ready for it. Tribal knowledge is the highly-specialized, unwritten and unshared knowledge that employees obtain throughout their employment. This information can be an inherent risk, as it’s not discoverable using automated tools, and it’s often not captured manually through formal processes. (BONUS: For 4 reasons why capturing this tribal knowledge is important, check out this blog.)
The risks associated with these lessons help add to the overall fear that data center modernization efforts will lead to downtime, data loss, or another type of upgrade delay. Recognizing that up front will help lead to smoother data center upgrades that position your organization for the agility to stay competitive in today’s global landscape.