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.