Think vertically to reduce data center TCO

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Think vertically to reduce data center TCO

The digital data explosion has brought many challenges to the business world. Even before managing or analyzing the information, companies must first be able to store it.

Writing for CFO Online., Stanford University lecturer Timothy Chou noted that enterprise data centers are quickly becoming responsible for much more than before. In fact, Chou said the old corporate computer used to be housed in one room, with adequate supply for power and cooling. However, today's mainframe room has become the “sum total of your compute, storage, data center and network resources,” meaning the computing ecosystem for most companies has expanded well beyond the walls of a single room. Indeed, it has gone beyond the walls of the company itself. Because of this, business professionals tasked with resource optimization have had to rethink their strategies.

One of the problems, according to Chou, is that many organizations have retained legacy practices from when enterprise computing was simpler. He said groups responsible for managing in-house infrastructure and teams responsible for managing cloud services don't often collaborate, even though the total cost of enterprise computing architecture is interconnected. The issue is further exacerbated when disparate teams don't clearly communicate with other areas of the business.

For example, “The real estate group focuses on finding low-cost locations, independent of the cost of power or the amount of network bandwidth your company will need to access the data center,” Chou explained. “The real estate group may also be unconcerned (or unaware) of performance latency problems, or even the safety of the chosen location. (Is it in Tornado Alley? Who cares as long as it’s cheap?) ”

TCO: Think vertical
As Chou's comments underscore, organizations looking to reduce IT spending must foster collaboration between tech teams as well as work with cloud providers to identify the best points of value. According to Chou, leveraging a range of interconnected expertise and technologies is essential for maintaining total cost of ownership for the modern enterprise computing ecosystem. For example, the decision to purchase more cloud storage may have an impact on a number of other systems—bandwidth, security, availability, overall performance—and this becomes more complicated as digital assets are migrated to the new technology. Organizations must then determine how critical the data is and implement safeguards such as backup and encryption, which will then impact storage capacity and performance needs.

The strategic application of storage
Just as any company must think about its technological deployments from an in-depth TCO perspective, data center builders must keep optimization a priority when choosing hardware components. Through what Seagate calls the strategic application of storage, businesses can optimize performance while keeping costs from spiraling out of control. This approach utilizes interconnected technologies to lower TCO from multiple angles, including power usage, downtime reduction, software optimization and security. And Seagate technology is positioned to tackle the TCO challenge across the most significant areas.

Seagate®  PowerChoice™ Technology
It's no secret that data volumes are increasing, and that has led to a number of challenges for the modern business. From the perspective of the data center manager, larger volumes ultimately mean more power usage. PowerChoice technology improves the efficiency of hard disk drives, translating to direct TCO savings.

Seagate RAID Rebuild™ Technology
Downtime is something that most IT professionals would prefer to avoid, but contingency plans must be in place. Many data centers rely on RAID technology to provide redundancy in the event of a disk failure. The problem is that capacities are increasing faster than recovery solutions can keep up. It can take several hours or even days to rebuild the RAID set, and downtime causes companies to lose both time and money. This makes it important to factor outages into the TCO of their technology. On the other hand, RAID Rebuild technology makes the recovery process faster and better preserves data integrity by minimizing the risk of secondary data loss.

Seagate Instant Secure Erase
Most businesses store valuable information whether it takes the form of private employee data or intellectual property. When hard drives leave the data center, many drives still have information stored on them. This creates a significant risk from potential data leaks, as companies can face regulatory fines and customer lawsuits. Seagate Instant Secure Erase (ISE) dramatically reduces the time it takes to remove stored information—the technology can remove 3TB of data in less than a second—so that companies can securely retire or repurpose their hardware.

Self-Encrypting Drives
Another vulnerability many businesses must address is the potential for at-rest data to be stolen. Traditional software-based encryption can have its own negative impact on TCO by consuming CPU cycles, which can affect performance throughout the whole system. Self-Encrypting Drives (SED), including FIPS 140-2 validated models, handle the process so that data security can be maintained without compromising performance.

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