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Four-point guide on why should you know your data center

Four-point guide on why should you know your data center

A document, an image and a video, everything is a form of data.

McKinsey’s report on data describes it as an asset beyond our imagination. Indeed. The humongous data that surrounds us are key to fuelling business growth.

More the data, more the concern and trust factors. Unfortunately, the current wfh scenario has made data more vulnerable to theft and cyberattacks than ever. The most critical asset can only be protected by a secure data centre. Yet, the growing demand for data centers poses a question.

You are entrusting your mission-critical systems and asset with an unknown service provider. How well do you know them? Or do you know your data center at all?

Let us help with the four-point guide.

1. Type of data centre
Data centers could be off or on-premise. Cloud data centres are off-premise locations where data is hosted on any of the public cloud or on AWS, Microsoft Azure, or IBM Cloud.

Enterprise data centers, Managed services data centers and colocation data centers are on-premise where data is stored in a physical location.

Enterprise data centers are owned by an enterprise and are built within the dedicated campuses. On the other hand, managed service data centers are managed by a third-party service provider which rent or lease the storage infrastructure from the owners. The fourth type is called Colocation data centers where infrastructure is shared by multiple parties. Hosting, security facilities, speed, and firewalls are shared between the occupants.

2. Physical location
The physical location of data centres is of utmost importance to data management and security.

The best services have facilities for in-country or local data centres where implementation becomes seamless. Single data centres are prone to risks. Security, bandwidth, speed and risk mitigation becomes critical in such an environment. Also, the intended customer experience cannot be yielded by single data centre solutions.

3. Infrastructure facility and certification
A data centre must adhere to standard ANSI/TIA-942 certification to ensure compliance and is vital in protecting the hosted systems.

Based on infrastructure complexity and redundancy, data centers are classified into four; tier1, tier2, tier3 and tier4.

The most basic of all is tier 1 which is designed for small businesses. With a single path of power and cooling and minimal or no redundant components, tier 1 has an uptime of 99.671%.

Tier 2 data center offers an uptime of 99. 741% with redundant components including USP systems and generators for cooling. Tier 3 is designed for enterprises which require high security and seamless end-user experience. 99.982% uptime and multiple distribution paths ensure seamless data access and management.

Tier 4 or the most secure infrastructure ensures total protection from data theft and mismanagement. It offers round the clock monitoring without disruption with 99.995% uptime.

4. Credibility & Expertise
If all the above points are convincing enough, credibility and expertise of the service provider must be the deciding factors for choosing a data centre.

How reliable is the service provider to protect and safeguard your data?. Do they have proven experience? How much have they delivered and how much have they helped their clients are needed to build trust.

CtrlS being India’s only Rated 4 data centre has always ensured to surpass client expectations. Our Hyperscale data centers assure uninterrupted power supply, 100% network availability, ISO 27001 and 20000-1 certified security policies, 99.995% uptime with scalability on-demand and faster completion.

Does your data center have the same to offer?
Get in touch. Our experts are ever ready to help you provide the best suitable data centre solution.

 

Datacenters In Global Pandemic – Defining New Strategy & Redefining Operations To Maintain Availability

Datacenters In Global Pandemic - Defining New Strategy & Redefining Operations To Maintain Availability

After months and multiple phases of lockdown, businesses across every geography are grappling with the new normal and re-opening of office space. Yet, a recent report by Bitglass points out that the majority of employees and leaders in the US and EU continue to root for work from home (about 84%). But are businesses ready with the secure access and infrastructure for remote working?

With the start of lockdown, IT has been trailblazing the world of collaboration, striving to make its entire breadth of services available for the remote workforce, spread around the globe. With the possible continuation of remote work for many, companies will continue establishing new practices and tools to upend the pre-existing IT infrastructure.

However, not everything can be “Remoted” – especially mission-critical facilities like Data Centers.
Besides the given factor of their non-transferrable infra support like power-grid access, security protocols, backups, etc., one has to consider the sheer volume of highly complex workloads managed by such facilities. But, given the surge in remote work, every byte of organizational data must be managed and secured, now more than ever before.

So, what are Datacenter Providers upto?

  • First priority, which by now has translated to an established SOP for most, has been to re-examine data center operation strategy from the purview of COVID-19.
  • The second and current priority is rebalancing Hyperscale data center services, ensuring uninterrupted access, and how the services continue to evolve as the pandemic progresses.

How CtrlS, India’s leading Rated4 Data Center provider is addressing these –

1 – COVID-19 data center operation strategy

Disruption in IT operations was the reality during the first wave of lockdown. Quick-action to maintain uptime and client business continuity, and parallel ensuring on-prem staff safety, was the need of the hour.

To ensure safety and maintain social distancing norms, about 67% of the CtrlS workforce was sent home for remote functioning, as 33% (those in charge of mission-critical IT assists) remained at the facilities, under rigorous safety protocols. Every entry-point hosted no-contact temperature scanning and isolation areas, with employees screened for body temperature and other symptoms.

Today, the same continues as SOP, with masks, gloves, and PPE suits provisioned for everyone working in datacenters. Teams are provided dedicated operational cabins for social distancing and announcements over PA systems for limited face-to-face interactions. Besides these, clear demarkations in public areas for social distancing and frequent sanitization are commonplace. CtrlS continues to collaborate with certified medical experts who conduct virtual training sessions for COVID-19 awareness – mandatory for every employee on the field.

Technology was another route to mitigate disruptions, with the use of AI-driven predictive analytics for better asset management and remote infrastructure-monitoring to automate fault resolutions.

2 – Rebalancing data center services

COVID-19 has forced the world and businesses to adapt fast, with people adjusting to new work paradigms. The outcome – spiking internet traffic and increasing data exchanges over applications. CtrlS has incorporated edge computing capacity in data centers to meet these shifting demands.

Instead of re-inventing the wheel, CtrlS has strengthened its existing infrastructure with better capacity management. This has been effected with efficient management of power, network bandwidth, etc. CtrlS has set up near-site solar plants for DC consumption, parallelly ensuring zero carbon emission and continuous power availability. Besides 100% uptime, this has eliminated any dependency on unreliable shared power grids, allowing to scale datacenter service. The result – a significant reduction in energy bill – saving costs for customers, and no-downtime, avoiding possible business risks in this already volatile business environment.

Summing it up…

With COVID-19, multiple social, economic, and business operation changes will be permanent. This is an indication that the next phase of managing and providing data center resources is about scaling mission-critical infrastructure to ensure client business continuity. Stakeholders at CtrlS are mapping this out, with planned expansions of DC space and Edge Datacenters – for the new normal post COVID era.

Solar Powered Datacenters Drive Sustainable Growth

solar-sustainability

Each stroke of the keypad, each search on internet, every click, every swipe consumes energy. More than 40,000 searches are made every second on Google, amounting to consumption of power equivalent to a ceiling fan running non-stop for a month. And most of the energy consumed – 90% of it, by an estimate – is attributed to datacenters. Yes, the “connected world” is powered by huge datacenters that consume almost 10% of total electricity produced globally. In the next decade, demand for datacenter is estimated to increase by 10 times, consuming 13% of electricity, the world over.

India is arguably the fastest growing datacenter market in the world, currently having 252MW of power. With a compound growth rate if 20% yoy, it is expected to reach 536.1MW by 2024, almost double is current state. Such rapid growth can put pressure on environmental health, unless datacenters are designed and operated sustainably. The need for optimized resources and the urgency of environmental protection has led to a sunrise – solar powered datacenters.

Solar Powered Datacenters for Sustainable Growth
UN mandates Sustainable Development Growth (SDG) for technology operations worldwide. The increasing threat of climate change and depleting resources demand organizations to innovate and adopt  a balanced approach for their operations. The next generation of

sustainable datacenters strive to achieve zero carbon, zero emissions, and zero waste. And it all begins with clean energy. Solar energy is emerging as the most feasible alternative to traditional power sources. It is produced on or near site for consumption on a per kilowatt hour basis with zero carbon footprint, zero emission, and is able to scale rapidly.

Optimized Costs, Maximized Efficiencies
Solar powered datacenters are not just environment friendly but cost efficient. It brings down the energy bill by almost 70%, a benefit directly passed to customers, resulting in huge cost savings. The zero emission and zero loss of power during transmission increases efficiencies and curbs wastage. It also eliminates the concern over extreme volatility and un-reliability of regular power grids. Relative stability of cost of solar power over ever increasing cost of traditional power gives a lot of headroom to organization to invest in innovation. There is no barrier to scale as well. Sun being an infinite energy source, solar powered datacenters can easily scale to meet their growing requirements.

CtrlS Brings Sustainable Datacenters to India
CtrlS has been at the forefront of innovation and sustainability. We are the first Datacenter in the world to be accredited with a ‘LEED Platinum’ certification from United States Green Building Council (USGBC), validating our commitment to sustainable growth with healthy, highly efficient and cost-optimized green infrastructure.

Our Mumbai datacenter is country’s largest solar plant in façade with 1.3 MW installed capacity generating 42,000 units of power per year. Carrying forward our vision to minimize environmental impact and move to zero emission, zero waste, zero pollution operation, we are all set to build captive power solar plants with capacity of 200 MW. The first phase of this project will be completed in next 9 -12 month, with 50 MWp capacity generating 75 million KWH.

Sustainable practices are the only way forward to keep the balance between rapid pace of technology led transformation and environmental impact. Resilient and efficient infrastructure by design and optimized operations drive responsible growth. CtlrS has pledged to support the exponential rise of data economy with unflinching commitment to ecological health. The solar powered datacenters are our first but decisive step towards a greener earth in the face of monumental energy requirements.

Many Models One Cloud: Overcoming the Jigsaw Puzzle in Cloud Selection

As cloud computing is gaining adoption by organizations due to its immense benefits, not all cloud models will work for every type of business. There are subtle and major differences with each model and the working of each model is unique. Each cloud model has its own advantages and shortcomings. Organizations planning to implement cloud services in their operations must carefully examine the pros and cons of each model and decide the most appropriate model to suit their business and generate value in the long run.

Cloud computing is emerging as a potential driver for business innovation and growth. Cloud computing promises new business models, planning for business strategies to obtain competitive advantage in markets and offers global business potential. All of us understand, cloud is a service model that offers IT resources and services for any type of business and ensures flexibility in terms of volume and scale. Users can access cloud services and applications, using any web browser on a desktop, laptop or on a mobile device connected to the internet. Some of the key enablers offered by cloud in terms of business benefits include,

  • Flexibility in terms of cost: The costing in cloud models is a variable. Cloud implementations allow business companies to ‘pay for the resource as and when needed.’ This offers the benefit of reduced capital expenditure in upgrading and running an in-house IT infrastructure.
  • Business scalability: Cloud provides flexibility. Resources in the cloud can scale up or down to support business growth and in times when business is lean. This is another benefit.
  • Adaptability in the market: All cloud models enable faster time to market, and provides scope for business innovations and explore new opportunities.
  • Context-driven variability:Increases the relevance of products and services and enables user defined experiences.
  • Connectivity with the existing ecosystem: Cloud models offer capabilities to fully integrate into existing infrastructure.

In cloud models, business firms have the opportunity to leverage cloud business enablers for achieving competitiveness in markets through innovation across customer value propositions and in the industry value chain. Cloud services are available in three major service models namely, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Cloud computing models are available in three deployment types namely, Private Cloud, Public Clouds and Hybrid Clouds to suit the requirements in different types of operations.

Making the right choice – Selecting the most appropriate model

It is highly important to have a closer look into the service offerings while choosing the right infrastructure model.

  • PaaS: This service allows applications and programming models to be deployed easily. Specialized services such as authentication, payment gateways, data access, etc. are implemented in PaaS. It offers the benefit of creating web applications and eliminates the need to buy hardware and software that is required in software application development scenarios. System developers need not worry on how processing is done, how much memory and storage is to be used, etc. these are taken care by the cloud infrastructure. PaaS offers all the services required to fulfill the processes (end-to-end lifecycle of development, testing, deployment and hosting complex web based applications) of application development in order to deliver it as a service. Creating and maintaining an infrastructure for efficiency and scalability is time consuming and costs lot of money. PaaS model help businesses to get rid of this major problem. PaaS is gaining popularity and adoption by IT solutions companies, engineering enterprises, etc.
  • SaaS: This service offers the benefit of deploying applications online thereby attracting consumers (users). In SaaS, applications and software can be used by a web browser over the internet and the software is managed centrally. Since applications are centralized, software upgrades, patches, security, etc. are handled by the service provider or client. API integration is possible between different software components. SaaS is very popular because it provides various benefits for business companies. SaaS offers the maximum benefits in scenarios such as, email applications and business productivity tools, e-commerce portals, helpdesk/support services, data processing capabilities over the web (payroll processing, billing, etc); collaboration software, etc. Applications are available for multiple clients using a variety of devices. SaaS model is widely used by businesses for the purposes of e-mail, helpdesk/support services, logistics tracking, monitoring progress in sales and marketing domains, financial management, customer relationship management, etc. SaaS can be a viable option for SMEs looking to maximize business value with minimal IT budgets.
  • IaaS: Infrastructure as a service enables on-demand provisioning of servers running several choices of operating systems and customized software. IaaS delivers the infrastructure (servers, storage, network and OS). This is a fully outsourced service available for on-demand access and offers to deliver resources, provides dynamic scaling, pricing model based on utility usage, support for multiple users and so on. IaaS is suited for organizations without capital to invest in hardware and most suited for organizations where growth is rapid and there are problems in scaling up. IaaS eliminates the need of maintaining expensive server hardware and network components within the firm which is saves hardware costs. In fact, IaaS is a facility given to businesses that allow users to leverage on compute, network and storage space in servers and data centers.

Companies looking for the right cloud service must choose from PaaS, SaaS or IaaS Service models depending on their need and the chosen service model must fulfill their business objectives. It is important to ensue the chosen service model must blend seamlessly into their existing business operations. In addition to choosing the service model, there are some factors to consider by business in choosing their deployment model.

Factors to consider in Implementing Cloud Computing Services in Business

Deployment models available in cloud are private clouds, public clouds and hybrid clouds. Firstly, companies must develop a blueprint which is developed by exploring answers for the following questions,

  • What is the current state of business and how well it operates today?
  • Where are the efficiencies, gaps, risks, and opportunities for change?
  • What is the plan to manage change and achieve the intended ROI?

When a company is considering a cloud for improving business outcomes it should consider how the cloud can fit into its business strategy and associated functions. Cloud implementations are not limited to one type of deployment. There is a wide spectrum of choices available for a company to choose from. Here are some more criteria to consider for selecting a cloud deployment model.

  • Criteria for Public Clouds: The public cloud provides a cost-effective service to business services. Public service model helps businesses to understand the missing components in existing IT portfolio such as outdated applications, issues in extra processing, storage and capacity when needed. The major reasons for adopting a public cloud model for business are cost, speed and specialization. The public cloud offers pay-as-you-go pricing model which gives substantial savings compared to capital expenditure (CapEx) and operational expenditure (OpEx).
  • Criteria for Private Clouds: A private cloud is deployed mostly by very large enterprises and works on the notion of self-service on premise infrastructure managed and maintained by in-house IT. The private cloud can fulfill both the perspectives of business goals and the expanding IT workloads due to increased business activity. A private cloud is designed to deliver better service results, improve agility and efficiency and improve collaboration between the various departments within the organization. A private cloud is designed to solve many of the IT and management problems and offers service availability and centralization of data and applications.
  • Criteria for Hybrid Clouds: Hybrid clouds are a mix of private and public clouds. Hybrid clouds are often viewed by enterprises as an ideal solution to fulfill compliance, avoid vendor lock-ins and to overcome data security and privacy issues. Hybrid clouds are also seen as a strategic option when the private cloud environment cannot always provide the resources required by an application with unpredictable growth patterns. As the application grows the available resources in a private cloud may not be able to support the growing user base. In such cases a hybrid cloud is considered by the organization to own some portion of the infrastructure and the public cloud is used for the remaining resources. In order for a hybrid cloud to be effective, the company must define policies for security loopholes.

A few architectural principles to consider when implementing cloud for the business will include aspects such as

  • Service Orientation
  • Service Foundations for workload profitability between private and public models
  • Service Standards are maintained to ensure business operations without disruptions
  • Ensure Ecosystem alignment to mitigate issues in service or resource availability

Despite the advantages and benefits offered by the cloud models one should make a decision on the right model after carefully weighing the pros and cons and examine service level agreements (SLA) carefully before adoption.

Breaking free from data tangles

Making use of Cloud computing platforms can empower a business to select the resources required, instances of operating systems, amount of storage, memory and the processing power according to one’s requirement. Achieving economies of scale thus becomes much easier for companies with ancillary functions taken care of.

Picture this, you are a medium-sized organization, have just started out on your business, grappling with day-to-day activities. You deal with an online shopping portal for clothes and fashion accessories. With more than 1000 stock keeping units to handle, one can imagine the amount of data that the portal has to deal with.

As if the load of setting up the new business itself was not enough, there is an additional database to be managed with details of every transaction that took place or is going to take place. With online transactions, comes the additional requirement of keeping a record of the payment modes and related data. A meticulous data entry is to be maintained at all times for each of the items in stock, the items that leave the warehouse and the ones that are to be procured. Such a data management calls for a system that can not only store this data but also help process it for future use.

This is where many of the small and medium sized business are tempted to maintain a center of their own. However, they underestimate the efforts and the cost of managing such voluminous data when they start. When the system turns out to be a white elephant, the organization starts to wish there were help for the data mangle.

This is where data center outsourcing services come into picture. When one is in need of the infrastructure but is not sure how to manage the same, the best thing to do is to outsource it to the experts. It helps reduce infrastructure complexity, operating costs, controlling the staff turnover risks and improve utilization.

At times of economic downturns, outsourcing equips companies to achieve high performance and sustained profitability. With all your data requirements being taken care of, one can respond to market changes quickly, jump start growth, and improve efficiencies. Cost efficient, flexible and scalable infrastructure model ensures that one can concentrate on their core competency to achieve higher scales.

Reliability is one concern for many businesses that want to venture into data center or infrastructure outsourcing, but the high security and agility with which the systems are handled can keep all kinds of qualms at bay.

Making use of Cloud computing platforms can empower a business to select the resources required, instances of operating systems, amount of storage, memory and the processing power according to one’s requirement. Achieving economies of scale thus becomes much easier for companies with ancillary functions taken care of.

Thus to sum up the advantages of the data center services, one can avail the following end to end management facilities:-

  •  Systems monitoring and management
  • Instant and anytime access to data
  • Data security and confidentiality
  • Database administration
  • Storage management
  • Technical services
  • 24/7 Support
  • Predictable pricing
  • Disaster recovery
  • Quick adoption of new technology
  • Flexibility and agility

Thus it is a wise option to break free from the tangles of the humongous data by letting the data experts handle it all for you. This way one ends up making informed decisions and operating efficiently too.