In simple terms a data center implies a central repository for servers, storage, management and dissemination of information. Data center is an infrastructure facility to provide computing capabilities, storage and networking. The services offered by data centers are data storage, redundant data communications, and other security devices. Data centers offers the physical or virtual infrastructure services for companies to house computers, servers and networking systems and components for the company’s IT requirements.
The original idea of data center began as a private server room in a company connecting user computers to the server and running applications on the server for access by users. In earlier days the organization was responsible for maintenance of servers, storage, and networking components and this required many IT personnel to manage the facility. Even today large organizations maintain their in-house or internal data centers and are able to maintain service levels at a high cost.
As business and data grows constantly, in house data centers face the challenge of constant hardware and infrastructure upgrades. To overcome this challenge third party data center service providers offer IT resources for clients (companies and organizations) for use in their business operations. Many business enterprise organizations are hiring services from third party data centers, such as cloud computing. Hence, we can understand that a data center requires huge server farms, storage arrays and networks and redundant telecommunications network and components to cater to the various needs of different types of organizations. Data centers to ensure reliability in services without any disruptions from the perspective of the user.
Data center performance and benchmark standards were developed by Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) in 2005. This is known as TIA-942 was first such standard to address data center infrastructure, particularly in the design and development process. TIA is accredited with ANSI and has over 600 members globally. TIA provides necessary enhancements for organizations involved in telecommunications, broadband, cellular and wireless services, IT, networks, satellite communications, unified communications and environment friendly technology. TIA-942 standards for data center performance and reliability is based on evaluations on general redundancy and availability of data center in its topology. The design aspects include site space and cabling infrastructure for tiered reliability along with environmental considerations.
In order to maximize efficiency and uptime in data centers, Uptime Institute Inc., a consortium of companies provided a tiered classification system for data centers. Uptime’s tiered classification is an industry standard for site infrastructure design and uptime of data center. There are four tiers (Tier 1 to Tier 4) explained by Uptime Institute related to the performance of the data center, investment and Return On Investment (ROI). Tier classifications are derived based on performance of actual site availability and by combining design topology and site location. The data center tiers and their characteristics are mentioned below to show the service availability for each tier.
|S.No||Tier Requirement||Tier 1||Tier 2||Tier 3||Tier 4|
|4||Staffing||None||1 Shift||1 +Shifts||24XForever|
|5||Single Point of Failure||Many||Many||Many||None|
|7||Representative failure||6 Failure in 5 years||1 Failure every year||1 Failure|
every 2.5 years
|1 Failure in 5 years|
Tier 1: Basic site infrastructure (N). Availability: 99.671%
- Vulnerable to disruptions from planned and unplanned activity
- Single path for power and cooling
- Data center is shut down completely for performing preventive maintenance
- Annual downtime of 28.8 hours
Tier 2: Redundant Capacity Components Site Infrastructure (limited N+1). Availability: 99.741%
- Less vulnerable to disruptions from planned and unplanned activity
- Single path for power and cooling includes redundant components (N+1)
- Includes raised floor, UPS and generator
- Annual downtime of 22.0 hours
Tier 3: Concurrently Maintainable Site Infrastructure (N+1). Availability: 99.982%
- Enables planned activity (such as scheduled preventative maintenance) without disrupting computer hardware operation. Unplanned activities can still cause disruption.
- Multiple power and cooling paths (one active path), redundant components (N+1)
- Annual downtime of 1.6 hours
Tier 4: Fault Tolerant Site Infrastructure (2N+1): 99.995% availability
- Planned activity will not disrupt critical operations and can sustain at least one worst-case unplanned event with no critical load impact
- Multiple active power and cooling paths
- Annual downtime of 0.4 hours
Despite the advantages offered by each tier classification, operational sustainability plays a significant role in site availability which is ensured in tier 4 data centers. Tier 4 data centers are designed to provide continuous availability of services with reliability.
With the advent of cloud computing many enterprises today are able to meet their hardware and software requirements with IT infrastructures hosted in huge data centers. Data centers have become an absolute necessity helping enterprises to not only reduce the hardware and software costs but also curtail the ever increasing operational costs. Hence there is no doubt in saying that the future of storage and processing lies in cloud computing and virtualization provided by these data centers. Aiding enterprises, carriers and hosting providers with power, flexibility and economics of cloud computing infrastructure is CtrlS Datacenters headquartered in Hyderabad.
Founded by CEO Sridhar Pinnapureddy, in the year 2008, the IT infrastructure and managed hosting provider delivers infrastructure-on-demand services with automatic scaling of applications, thus exploiting the key benefits of cloud computing. Additionally, with a combination of highest uptime SLAs, low latency networks, 20 percent savings in energy consumption, CTRLS provides benefits to clients with improved business performance, cost effectiveness, and elimination of capital costs required for IT operations. This flexibility also includes security, cost stability, and enterprise-grade performance of a dedicated private datacenter. Based on these factors, the company offers its niche cloud products-CTRL4C and MyCloud.
A four Copy Cloud: CTRL4C
CtrlS, catering to the needs of businesses which wholly revolve around continuity, compliance, customization and control, build a cloud suite that has been built to combat the 4 ‘C’ factors that are key to effective business management. The Four Copy Cloud, CTRL4C is built on the practices mandated by NYSE and RBI for 100 percent data availability and accessibility by provisioning 2N+N network, making it disaster proof. Governed with unique features such as complete compliance and customization, the product offers complete control over IT operations. Thus, with Tier 4 DC offering 99.995 percent infrastructure uptime, it provides the very foundation of the 4C cloud.
Moving on, the company aids enterprises who are on the lookout to harness the power of the RISC, by providing scalability and flexibility of a cloud infrastructure, through MyCloud. With MyCloud, companies get instant deployment of infrastructure for critical business applications or automation projects with ensured cost savings as MyCloud slash Cap-ex to zero. MyCloud also offers capacity on demand with any component mix, be it backup and storage or application and server hardware.
In addition to Ctrl4C and MyCloud, the company further provides certain cloud services for each specific cloud domain, specifically, private cloud, real cloud and the enterprise cloud. In the Private cloud through its range of hypervisor platform, aids companies in meeting the hardware requirements which have been coupled with security and stability. While most customers fall behind in finances while adopting the private cloud, CtrlS, with its cost effective structure provides an advantage. The company further provides a multi-layered management model with its Real cloud, offering a choice in OS images, together with unmatched connectivity and near instant scalability. Companies hence put up and manage applications with ease. Finally, with Enterprise cloud a complete authority is provided to oversee collective resources with use on-demand. Thus, individual elements like memory and disk space are easily scaled and commissioned, making operations live on-demand.
Array of Security Measures
Even though customers benefit from the cloud, security issues are always at the back of their minds. CtrlS averts the concern with its 4C architecture by integrating a list of modules for compliance with an array of security measures. Offering security on a packaged basis (Silver, Gold, Platinum), the company’s security measures range from SSL Encryption, DDoS protection, Web Application Firewall to Host Based Intrusion Detection Systems. Additionally, the Gold and Platinum customers benefit from managed services aligned with the security operations center for proactive monitoring.
Expertise in DRM as an Emerging Differentiator
Moving ahead, the company also boasts of expertise in DRM, through its Disaster Recovery on Demand and Zero Data Loss solutions. CtrlS aids enterprises to bounce back from a disaster, ensuring speedy recovery through its DR on Demand product. With individual IT disaster recovery plans coupled with pay-per-use solutions and negligible cap-ex on disaster facilities, CtrlS makes recovery simple and economical. Taking DR on Demand forward is Zero Data Loss, enabling safeguarding of data by surpassing the Security protocols setup by the Exchange Board of India (SEBI) recovery point for exchanges and depositories.“With CtrlS’s cost effective Zero Data Loss, you can have all the advantages of building your own infrastructure at the fraction of the cost and in almost no time,” says Pinnapureddy.
CtrlS with its secure and fully redundant networks, offering 99.995 percent uptime with zero data loss proves to make a distinction from other competitors in its space. Certified as the Tier 4 datacenter and leveraging over with its 5 ‘9’s capable cloud, CtrlS further plans on building its 4C platform with added ‘control’ capabilities making it user friendly. By providing a rich API aligned with an external SLA management, user experience and provisioning systems, the company continues to offer security, cost stability and enterprise-grade performance creating a robust cloud infrastructure that guarantees success for the enterprise.