The five principles of a successful Next Generation Data Centre

NGDC design involves a unified approach to applying five architectural principles across each layer of the data centre framework

Data centre

Cloud computing is unquestionably on a growth trajectory. According to a Goldman Sachs forecast, cloud computing and infrastructure is estimated to grow at a 30% compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2018, compared to a 5% growth for enterprise IT overall.

Furthermore, Cisco's global cloud index report predicts that by 2018, more than 78% of workloads will be processed by cloud data centres.

Modern data centres simply can't be run efficiently with old technologies. Newer approaches focus on deploying new applications faster and more securely with greater agility and cost-efficiency.

Here are the five architectural principles which will ensure a unified approach across each layer of the framework in a successful Next Generation Data Centre (NGDC).

Scale-Out

In the NGDC, resource pooling provides non-disruptive horizontal expansion across the data centre layers. It's no longer an issue to project business needs two years, three years or five years out, because the infrastructure can scale incrementally as the organisation's requirements change.

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Linear, predictable growth of capacity and performance with a guaranteed quality of service is an essential operative in the NGDC, which makes scale-out design critical to success.

Guaranteed Performance

Raw performance is only half the solution in the NGDC. Quality of service controls must be incroporated across the entire infrastructure, or else any guarantee is only as good as the weakest link.

Legacy infrastructures were not designed to balance increased network capacity simultaneously with expected levels of service in large-scale cloud deployment. In the NGDC, resources like CPU, memory, bandwidth, storage capacity and storage performance are dynamically managed to deliver the application experience required and expected.

Automated Management

Enterprise IT is charged with enabling innovation and growth. If IT gets in the way, the enterprise risks revenue loss and significant disruption by more agile competitors.

Employing software automation to take charge of decision points changes the paradigm from the physical limitations of hardware to the unbounded design capabilities of software. NGDC automation maximises business results with policy-driven provisioning and resource allocation, and eliminates endpoint-centric administration.

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Automating tasks and orchestrating workflows are fundamental in the business if service-delivery needs are expected to be met at scale.

Data Assurance

NGDC data assurance includes seamless infrastructure resiliency without application configuration. Engineering for data assurance can be likened to designing buildings for earthquakes; there is no building that is guaranteed to withstand all earthquake activity, but earthquake-resistant structural design exponentially lessens the probability of disaster.

NGDC architects plan for failure while mitigating its likelihood of occurrence with a self-healing, fault-tolerant architecture.

Global Efficiencies

The traditional data centre model was built on the premise that more capabilities would require more resources - be it physical, financial or human resources.

In the NGDC, enterprises are not burdened with excess IT resources. Enabling global efficiencies begins with improved utilization of server platforms, networks and storage protocols, as well as the vendor and IT teams that support each layer.

In an era where IT is expected to ensure production-grade support with a plethoric flow of new applications and data, these principles will help with eliminating bottlenecks, increasing self-service and moving the business forward.

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