The pandemic: new nightmares for the data center

Issues such as stranded capacity and budgetary constraints on your infrastructure were cause for cold sweats in the middle of the night long before the pandemic. Now they’ve become waking nightmares. But peace of mind is attainable if you can create a true model of your data center - a Digital Twin.

Pressure on the data center was already high. From the proliferation of apps and storage requirements associated with digital transformation, to the conflict over OpEx vs CapEx associated with the cloud / on prem debate - getting the most from a facility has been difficult for a long time. For Operations Directors, they are caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand they need to respond to capacity demands quickly, and on the other maintain reliability and use capacity efficiently. Failure to meet just one of these requirements puts operations immediately at risk of losing to external sources of capacity. 

This is a big worry, given data from the Uptime Institute tells us that 78% of organizations say they had an IT service outage in the past three years. The report shows that larger outages are happening more frequently, are becoming more damaging and ultimately prove most costly to the business. Most worryingly: “Operators admit most outages were their fault. Three-quarters of respondents admit that, in hindsight, their most recent major outage was preventable. With more attention and investment, outage frequency would almost certainly fall significantly.”

So a global pandemic could prove to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. But it needn’t be.

Get ready for disruption as normal

As the potential impacts of COVID-19 on global business started to make themselves apparent in the Spring of 2020, Gartner asked how many organizations were ready. The answer, it turns out, was not many. Just 12% of firms reported their readiness to take on this tumult. Based on the conversations we have with an array of global firms, we think if you asked how many firms have major disruption to business as part of their core strategy today, the numbers will be rather higher.

This is not an economy characterized by wild abandon, but instead one of careful consideration. In this sort of tense, ‘every detail counts’ kind of market, systems resilience has proven critical. Previously an unsexy topic at the nervous edges of the Board’s peripheral vision, the pandemic has put it squarely in focus. And at the same time that Gartner identified the lack of readiness for COVID-19’s global economic impact, Accenture similarly identified that just 10% of organizations felt they had truly resilient systems in place.

That’s why this ability to measure, model and predict is so important.

Commercial opportunity - won or lost in the data center

Amidst this global turbulence, the data center steps up center stage, ready to prove its strategic and commercial value once again. But after the accumulated pressure of performance demand and budgetary constraint, many facilities are left unable to respond to the real needs of the business.

This might be realized as delayed responses to demand from critical revenue generating lines of business, or urgent demand from the customer base. The problem of course is tied to stranded capacity, which your gut tells you is there, but you can’t quite identify just how much it is. In turn, this stifles planning and raises doubts about the need for more floor space. Collectively these issues can lead to missed commercial opportunities - an unforgivable failing in the eyes of the Board during a suppressed market.

So what’s the alternative? It’s a data center that is maximized in its utilization and resilience, allowing it to promptly and precisely answer business needs. It’s getting more for less, which will certainly keep the CEO and CFO happy.

Show the real value of your facility

This kind of analytical control of your data center is not a pipedream. In fact, it’s not even a new capability; it’s a long proven one. Today it’s more refined, and better-suited to the market in which we find ourselves. This is the Digital Twin for the data center.

Where DCIM solutions fell short of the predictive modelling that would allow you to identify and exploit this stranded capacity, the Digital Twin makes it possible. It allows you to analyze, model and test all your preferred scenarios in a risk-free environment. By providing a virtual replica of your real facility, you can fully explore the true capacity availability at your disposal.

This can have a profound impact on the cost associated with delivering against business needs. If you do need to increase or adapt your footprint, the Digital Twin provides the exact visibility needed to absolutely minimize risk, keep costs under control and concurrently to maximize the business potential of a data center project.

There has never been a time where the convergence of risk reduction, cost management and capacity utilization have mattered more for data center leaders. The Digital Twin ensures you don’t miss a beat in delivering these to your business.

Blog written by: Danielle Gibson, Lead Marketing Editor, and Sherman Ikemoto, Managing Director

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10 November, 2020

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