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Web Hosting Solutions for Businesses

Linux Webhosting solution: Paramount hosting solution in Industry!

Linux hosting solutions imply that to control across several web servers that are interconnected on the contrary to the traditional hosting ways that like shared hosting, and dedicated hosting. It just means that your site is victimization the virtual resources of numerous servers to produce network for all the hosting sites. The load leveling along with the protection of hardware resources are nearly gift so as that they are gift whenever the necessity arises. The cluster of servers is termed the Linux which are hosted on the particular network.

Go4hosting provides a reliable, secured and managed business solution for growing your businesses across the market well. Go4hosting develops the customized solutions for every client in achieving their targets well in time.

Features of Linux Hosting Server

  • Flexibility: In Linux hosting functions, the whole server configuration are controlled by the web-based interfaces, so users have flexible system for operation. With Linux hosting functions offering a novel approach of region-specific data centers, this helps to attenuate the time needed to deliver the information to the alternative agents making it very acceptable for developers.
  • Operating system choice: With Go4hosting Linux servers, you may choose any package of your selection with best business features. For better and avid hosting solutions, developers can have better developing applications for the dedicated resources, with management of the applications and servers by themselves which is an addition, tedious task.
  • Lower latency: With Linux hosting, being offered for a quick Linux hosting servers, approach the users and additionally the developers, for creation of managed new development background that has provided effective latency management.
  • Develop high-performing applications: With the Linux hosting web developers can prove to various servers, managed and high performance functions on regular basis. Linux hosting solution, offers many ways to overcome the limitations which affect performance, quality as well as storage capability with presence of shared server resources. As a result, the performance depends to the discretion of the hosting supported with ease. This condition comes up from developing subtle applications like CRM applications.
  • Linux webhosting for timely delivery: With Linux hosting solutions, the developers offer best website application solutions for its internal as well as external scripts with quicker Linux hosting platforms. With native data center and advanced CDN, users can save time which is being spent by online servers for internal and external scripts.

Better business growth with Linux hosting solutions!

With quicker loading speed and user experience, the developers can handle all the critical stress as well as risks of webpages within few seconds for managing all the content functions well. Undoubtedly, the Linux server computing has brought a wonderful shift in internet world by offering intense, quick and managed hosting functions. With the developers presently having access to setup that are best-suited for developing website applications all the fraction of business prices are handled, making it the most desired, quick and effective approach of managing the client’s demand well in time.

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Key Concerns Of Using Colocation For Cryptocurrency Mining

Mining is an extremely popular activity with assurance of profits and scope for expansion of the mining operation. Although Bitcoin is the most sought after cryptocurrency of miners, other altcoins can also be mined by using advanced mining hardware.

Concerns of in-house mining

The most important concern of mining on your own is to arrange for space, enough electrical energy and resource of computing power for running software for mining.

There are very few people who may not agree that dealing in Cryptocurrencies is not a profitable venture. However, majority of those would unanimously rate mining as a highly dicey proposition. The most important reason for this may be a miner has to deal with more and more challenges that have only become complex with the rising prices of Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

There is also a specific reason for growing complexity of mining altcoins and it is associated with the presence of blockchain which is leveraged by operators to validate as well as secure crypto transactions. Blockchain is an innovative approach that is based on distributed architecture with peer-2-peer technology.

In order to mine new coins of any cryptocurrency such as Litecoin or Bitcoin, miners must ensure identification of secure hash algorithms by making use of mining software to add new blocks.

The hash algorithms are being solved by a great number of miners while competing among each other for solving before anybody else. This is further complicated by the fact that majority of Cryptocurrencies have put restrictions on the total number of crypto units available for circulation at any given time.

Competition for mining Cryptocoins is cut-throat and one may face extreme difficulties right from the word go. Alternatively, if one attempts mining some of the less sought after coins it may not be worth the effort due to the volatility of crypto market.

Mining- a cost intensive proposal

Mining Cryptocoins is a significantly costly operation due to the need to procure expensive hardware for powering mining venture. Some miners try to make use of a traditional Central Processing Unit of a home PC or there is another option of using a graphic processor that is custom made for the mining purpose. Modern technology has also enabled use of field gate programmable array or IC systems that are specially built for the mining operations.

In contrast to the small size of a mining hardware, the inbuilt ASICs as well as Graphic Processing Units guzzle huge amount of energy. Add to this the equally significant cooling costs for maintaining seamless performance of the system that is prone to overheat to make things even worse.

Another important parameter for running a successful mining operation is to ensure stable network connectivity. Moreover, mining is a competitive operation since several miners are also trying to solve blocks simultaneously. This needs a network with least of no latency to achieve faster results.

All hardware for a mining venture must be physically secured because of chances of theft. That is not all, a smooth mining operation cannot be guaranteed unless one has stringent security measures in place to thwart malware or DDoS attacks.

Over to colocation mining

Mining of Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is a highly profitable venture provided you have the right environment for running mining hardware. Considering a wide array of issues that have been discussed so far, colocation can be a right answer to address challenges of security, costs, and connectivity.

Let us look at the advantages of colocation from the miner’s viewpoint. Datacenters can be designed to deliver a large number of security measures consisting of physical and network security. Usually, security at data center comprises of continuous CCTV monitoring, armed guards and several electronic access control measures.

Mining operations can be guaranteed to receive support of high uptime due to top-class internet connectivity of data centers for seamless performance. On the energy front, miners can be assured to be backed by a data center’s huge capacity of catering to increased power needs.

Colocation can prove to be a right solution to the hassles of independent mining as the mission-critical mining equipment can be positioned at data center facilities for unrestricted network support and enterprise class security.

Downside of colocation

Although, colocation appears to be the panacea for all mining issues, one must also look at the other side of coin before arriving as a final decision. Redundancy is an extremely cost intensive proposition and it can substantially ad to costs of colocation hosting.

According to a renowned publication, cost of running a redundant Tier 3 data centers can be twice than operating a Tier 2 facility. This will automatically reflect in the prices of colocation hosting if a miner is placing hardware at a top tiered data center that guarantees incessant uptime.

Similarly, the fortress like security measures in a data center that include several layers of security can be a right choice for few organizations that have exceptional security concerns. However, for an individual Bitcoin miner the cost of colocation hosting plan may not be economically viable.

Choosing a right colocation service

It would be ideal to analyze power needs of your mining operation before embarking upon the search for a data center for colocation. Another factor that needs to be considered is the space requirement for housing your mining equipment as most of the colocation providers have hosting plans that are based on space or number of racks.

Colocation costs must be analyzed in terms of the parameters of energy and space and then compared with individual requirements in order to know whether adoption of a colocation plan would worth the effort as well as costs. You may not be in a position to go for colocation, since, majority of colocation hosts make it mandatory to pay one year’s advance.

In conclusion

Bitcoin mining can be a profitable proposition if you opt for a right Server colocation provider that has specifically designed hosting plans for supporting mining operations. Some of the trusted colocation centers that can be approached are Enhanced Mining, Mining Technologies, and Frontline Data Services. Some of these colocation providers are offering services at number of locations across US and Canada.

IOCL-Leveraging-merging-Technologies-to-Reinforce-DBT-Implementation

IOCL Leveraging Emerging Technologies to Reinforce DBT Implementation

Indian Oil Corporation Limited is a behemoth in the PSU sector. Its size of operations can be understood by few of the mind boggling figures such as its vast network more than 4000 LPG plants and terminals of 9500 km of pipelines.  IOCL serves 200 million consumers through a countrywide network of dealers and bulk users that are in excess of 50000 each.

Gargantuan task at hand

The enormous scale of IOCL operations is designed to support several functions that encompass project management, materials management, site work, production, sales, and engineering operations, just to name a few. IOCL must support a huge network of dealers to deliver petroleum products across the length and breadth of country to keep the wheels of progress running seamlessly.

Automation has been implemented to make sure that everything runs as planned. IOCL has built forty thousand touch points to guarantee automated fuel supply across rural regions. Adoption of automation has helped IOCL make sure that 8.5 crore families are able to cook food by using LPG cylinders. Add to this more than six thousand Kisan Seva Kendras that cater exclusively to rural consumers.

Need to adopt cutting edge technology

Unless you go all out in implementation of advance technologies, it would be impossible to bring transparency to government sponsored schemes such as PAHL or DBTL. Similarly high technology solutions reduce complexities, errors, and accelerate tasks on a massive scale. Needless to mention, government can achieve significant reduction in number of employees with help of automated systems.

These technologies have helped direct transfer of subsidies to bank accounts of end users and improved their confidence in the government machinery to a great extent. Since the largest share of IOCL products is commanded by cylinders of Liquefied Petroleum Gas for domestic consumption, it was essential to remove dual pricing which was rampant in the past.

DBTL- a unique initiative

Direct Benefits Transfer for LPG is an enormously successful government initiative of Indian government that was conceptualized with an aim to empower the consumer of LPG gas. The scheme reaches out to more than 10 crore end users of LPG who are serviced by oil companies including IOCL.

In order to get the benefit of gas subsidy, a consumer pays for a cylinder according to the current market price. The subsidy amount is then transferred to his or her bank account directly. The move to offer cylinder at the existing market price instead of a subsidized price was to curb the practice of black marketing and diversion of cylinders to elements other than domestic consumers.

IT- playing role of the enabler

Enabling such a scheme that would eventually benefit every Indian household requires support of Information Technology. The solution was developed to simplify the intricacies of processes to deliver benefits to a huge consumer base by adopting state of the art technologies, according to Alok Khanna, ED- Information Systems at IOCL.

Recent partnership of IOCL with a digital platform FreeCharge has facilitated LPG consumers to perform cashless transactions while purchasing LPG cylinders. The IT arm of the PSU is responsible for development of ERP systems on Cloud, application development, software development and implementation of all important IT functions of the organization.

Indane brand of LPG cylinders move through a myriad of steps and checkpoints before reaching the ultimate destination of consumer’s doorstep. The in-house software application developed by IOCL’s IT department has helped digitization of every transaction that is performed at the dealer’s end. This has enhanced transparency of operations and ensured real time visibility into a plethora of operations such as supply-chain, plant operations, and so forth.

The software for performing complex operations that must culminate in successful transfer of subsidy amount to the beneficiary account was developed in-house. The software application is also capable of maintaining a common code base for real time as well as batch wise processing. In addition to DBTL, the in-house platform is also enabling other schemes including Ujjwala and Give-it-Up.

The vast distributor network operates by maintaining seamless transparency. In order to streamline the distributor operations the architecture of platform is synchronized with exchange data as well as central server in real-time so the customers can always access updated data center from a public domain.

Development of a large number of analytical reports is backed by deployment of business critical intelligence applications to deliver information in intuitive formats such as graphics and other formats for visualization of data.

No wonder, transfer of funds to as many as 160 million families under the largest scheme of government has earned IOCL a coveted place in none other than Guinness Book.

Way forward

IOCL is undoubtedly the largest commercial organization of India and it is not resting on the laurels. It is working on acquiring a COTS Dealer Management System that will help every individual Strategic Business Unit work on a unified platform. According to Alok Khanna, when completed, the CRM system will be the largest dealer management system that has ever been developed in the petroleum sector.

This will also require adoption of cloud services and implementation of emerging technologies. IOCL has already hosted a large number of applications in the cloud. However, more and more emerging technologies including IoT, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence will have to be leveraged not only for enhancing efficiency of operations but also to support a plethora of processes.

IOCL envisages implementation of the proposed CRM system throughout the entire gamut of its Strategic Business Units. The Customer Management System will slowly replace number of special applications by a singular platform. There will be a large number of CRM functions, which will be brought under the umbrella of a unified platform. These functions include Sales Force Automation, Social Media Integration, Complaint Management System, Loyalty Management, and more.

In conclusion

The proposed system will be hosted on a private cloud due to its huge scope and will help IOCL build a direct connect with the large customer base that is spread across the vast geographical expanse of India. IOCL management will also gain enhanced visibility in terms of buying behavior of its customers.

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How Artificial Intelligence in Data Centers Promises Greater Energy Efficiency and Much More?

A data center facility is home to a plethora of components that include servers, cooling equipment, storage devices, workloads, and networking to name a few. Working of a data center is influenced by a coordinated functioning of all data center components offering a number of patterns to learn from. Know more about Go4hosting Data Center in India

Major Use Cases Of AI In Data Centers

Power consumption contributes significantly to a datacenter’s overall operating costs. One can achieve remarkable cost efficiency by reducing energy requirements of data center with help of Artificial Intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence has tremendous potential to enhance energy efficiency of data centers by continuously learning from patterns in the past. This has been demonstrated convincingly by Google DeepMind System as it helped reduce power consumption in one of its data centers by a whopping fifteen percent.

The reduction in energy requirement in this case was an impressive forty percent. This was achieved in a short span of eighteen months, thus paving way for energy efficient data centers by leveraging Artificial Intelligence.

Read More: How to transform urban traffic with Artificial Intelligence?

IBM has been approached by Nlyte to leverage its IBM Watson for integrating the same with one of its products designed for data centers. The solution is aimed at collecting diverse data from cooling and power systems installed at several data centers. IBM Watson is assigned with responsibility of analyzing the data to build a predictive model for knowing exactly which processors and systems would be breaking down on account of getting hot.

Vigilent has entered into a Joint Venture with Siemens to enable customers with an access to an optimization solution, which is backed by Artificial Intelligence for dealing with cooling challenges posed by equipment in data centers. The solution involves sensors for data collection by leveraging a combined resource of Internet of Things and Machine Learning.

Read More: How Can the Internet of Things Drive Cloud Growth?

This information is used in combination with complex algorithms for thermal optimization to reduce energy consumption. By controlling temperatures at proper level one can improve power efficiency by as much as forty percent. Lack of information or access to the tools needed to boost data center’s energy efficiency is the root cause of under utilization of cooling efficiency.

Influence Of AI On DC Infrastructure

Design of data center and its deployment is an extremely complex issue due to a number of facilities that are of various shapes and sizes. Add to this the exponential growth of data generation and need to handle byzantine networks to handle intricate computing involving algorithmic calculations to know the vastness of challenges that need to be handled by modern data centers.

Artificial intelligence is leveraged for improving data centers in terms of their power efficiency and compute power for addressing rising demand of data management in the modern scenario.

Thanks to the advent of emerging technologies such as deep learning as well as machine learning, there is an unprecedented demand for servers and microprocessors. Advanced GPUs are essential for implementation of applications that are backed by deep learning. These are also must to support image and voice recognition and is it is hardly any wonder why modern enterprises are planning to build data centers that support deep learning as well as machine learning.

Optimization Of Servers And Data Center Security

Proper running of storage equipment and servers with efficient maintenance is vital for the health of data centers. Predictive analysis is one of the most sought after applications of Artificial Intelligence, which is commonly adopted by data center operators for server optimization.

This application of Artificial Intelligence can even facilitate load balancing solutions to gain learning capabilities and deliver load balancing with greater efficiency by leveraging past information. Artificial Intelligence can also be applied for mitigation of network bottlenecks, monitoring of server performance and control over disk utilization.

Security is another important aspect of data center operations, which is influenced by use of Artificial Intelligence. Since every data center must implement measures to reduce possibility of any cyber attack, there is a need to consistently improve security for gaining an upper hand on hackers and intruders.

It is obvious that human efforts will not be sufficient to keep pace with the ever changing landscape of cyber attacks as hackers are using advanced measures to breach security measures. Artificial Intelligence can help security experts reduce the amount of human efforts and improve vigilance to a great extent.

Machine learning has been implemented to understand normal behavior and pinpoint any instance that deviates from the same to address threats. Machine learning or deep learning can provide a more efficient alternative to the traditional methods of access restrictions since these methods tend to fall short of implementing optimum security measures.

Data Centers Of The Future

As the demands for data centers with huge capacity to handle increased data volumes with speed and accuracy are growing, there is need to adopt artificial intelligence to support human efforts. Solutions with capabilities of Artificial Intelligence are specifically being designed to facilitate data center operations.

One of the latest solutions that cater to data center operations is called as Dac and is designed to leverage Artificial Intelligence for detection of any issues in cooling and server rooms including loose cables or faulty water lines.

Dac is backed by advanced hearing capabilities that make use of ultrasound waves. It will be supported by thousands of sensors that are positioned strategically to detect deviations from norms. Artificial Intelligence is also being adopted for developing robots to streamline data center operations in terms of handling physical equipment.

In Conclusion

Adoption of Artificial Intelligence by companies that range from startups to huge organizations including Google or Siemens underlines a novel approach to improve efficiency of data centers. AI has demonstrated that data centers can significantly improve power consumption to reduce costs.

Potential for use of AI, and other emerging technologies such as Machine Learning and Deep Learning is just beginning to be fathomed by us. These technologies will soon be operating entire data centers and will also help improve security parameters and reduce events of power outages by taking proactive steps.

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How Can You Keep Your Site Away From Hackers?

When you make your site live it is similar to keeping your office door unlocked with the safe open. In other words, it is an open secret that your data is vulnerable to anyone who enters the premises. And people with malicious intent are not rare to come by. So, the website needs to be protected at all costs from hackers. Site protection is somewhat similar to why you install locks for your safes and doors. The only difference being that you will perhaps not realize a theft has happened when you do fail to install protection systems. Cyber thefts happen quickly and the cyber criminals are fast and invisible. Hackers can target your data hosted on the data center for stealing or they may simply want to mar your reputation online. While undoing the damages inflicted by hacking may be tough, it is indeed possible to prevent these from happening in the first place.

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Tips to protect sites from hackers:

– One of the first things that you can do to safeguard your site from possible break-ins is to keep yourself updated with all possible threats. When you have basic idea of what kind of threats are possible, you can understand how best to protect the site.

– The admin level is where an intruder can get access into a website. So, your duty is to use passwords and names which cannot be easily guessed by hackers. You can also limit the number of times a user can try to log in, since email accounts are also prone to hacking. Login details should also not be sent through emails because unauthorized users can easily get access to your account.

– Updates are costly but absolutely imperative to protect websites from hackers. Whenever you delay routine updates, you are exposing the site to threats. Hackers are equipped to scan hundreds of sites in a very short time to detect vulnerabilities and when they find one, they will not wait. Since their networking is super strong, if any one hacker knows the way in, others will know it in no time.

– While you may feel that your site contains no information which will make it valuable for hackers, the truth is that hacking takes place all the time. These may not be done for stealing data only; the hackers may be interested in using your emails for transferring spam or they wish to install a temporary server to serve illegal files.

– It is important to beware of SQL injections that occur when hackers will use URL parameters or web form field for getting access to your database so that they can manipulate this. If you are using the Transact SQL, inserting a rogue code is simple and this may be used by hackers for changing tables or deleting data or extracting sensitive information. So, it is recommended that you use parameterized queries as most web languages will offer this easy-to-use feature.

– Another critical measure to keep website free from hackers is to protect them from XSS attacks. The cross-scripting attacks or XSS attacks will introduce malicious JavaScript in the web pages that run in your users’ browsers and they can alter the content or steal data and send these to the attackers. This is an important security concern especially with regard to all modern day web apps where the pages have been created mainly from user content. So, you need to focus on ways in which user-generated content is bypassing the limits you are setting and getting interpreted by browsers as something which is not what you intended it to be.

– You can install Web Application Firewall (WAF) which is either hardware or software based and this is between your data connections and site server. So, it will read every bit of information which goes through it. Most modern WAFs run on cloud technologies and are offered as plug-and-play features for modest charges.

– You should also be wary of the amount of information that is being shared on error messages. You are expected to give your users only minimal errors and ensure that these do not give away your server secrets, like database passwords or API keys.

– You can also hide admin pages because you do not want these indexed by the search engines. When these are not indexed, hackers will find it hard to find them. Besides, you can limit file uploads as these will often let bugs pass through even if the system checks them thoroughly. It is best to store these outside root directories and use scripts for accessing them when needed.

– You can also use SSL encrypted protocols for transferring user data between the database and website. This will make sure that the data does not get intercepted in transit or accessed by unauthorized users.

– Leaving auto-fill forms on sites make it vulnerable to attacks when the user phone or computer has been stolen or lost.

– To prevent the data from being corrupted or lost permanently, it is best to keep all data backed-up. You can conduct backups many times and each time, the backups should be carried out in multiple locations for data safety.

– You can also use website security tools which are known as penetration testing tools. You can choose from many free commercial products. For instance, Netsparker which is ideal for XSS attacks and SQL injection attacks, SecurityHeaders.io which reports security headers any domain enables and configures.

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Competition in Global Cloud Market Heats up with New Indian Data Center of Alibaba

Alibaba has been known to be the largest Chinese e-commerce organization for all these years. However, it is poised to present its new avatar in the form of cloud computing arm of the parent company. Alibaba Cloud has cleared decks for entering Indian cloud market, which is already dominated by its western counterparts.

Indian Cloud Computing Scenario

India has embraced cloud computing in a big way due to entry of giant cloud providers including Google, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon to name a few. It is hardly surprising that Alibaba Cloud has set its eyes on this large and lucrative market, which is second only to China in the Asian continent.

Indian enterprises have always been associated with futuristic vision and innovative approach when it comes to adoption of innovative technologies. Indian enterprises have experienced digital transformation, thanks to cloud computing providers that have empowered wide spectrum of industrial and commercial sectors.

Alibaba has chosen Mumbai as its first data center location due to the fact that it is the commercial capital of India and home to a huge number of organizations in terms of their head quarters. Alibaba proposes to help small enterprises and startups set their foot in the amazing world of cloud computing.

Reliance communications, a leading conglomerate with remarkable presence in digital sector, communications, retail, and media has offered to get associated with Alibaba through one of its subsidiaries, Global Cloud Exchange. The Indian data center of Alibaba has been designed to handle multiple aspects of cloud computing including content distribution, storage, compute power, big data, analytics, and networking to name a few.

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Advantage of Local Data Center Footprint

Millions of Indian enterprises will be able to leverage Alibaba Cloud’s expertise as these begin their voyage to the final destination of cloud adoption. These companies will also be able to seek valuable support through local cloud advisors that will be appointed by Alibaba to make sure that the clients are backed by of service planning and post sales service so that the cloud transition is free from hassles.

Alibaba Cloud has already been providing significant support to Indian clients and the announcement of new Mumbai data center comes only as a renewal of commitment to progress of Indian businesses. Indian enterprises are searching for a trusted cloud associate that will help them explore local as well as overseas business opportunities.

Presence of a locally operating data center will help Alibaba Cloud gain deeper insights into the specific needs of Indian organizations so that bespoke cloud solutions can be designed. On the other hand, all existing Indian customers of Alibaba Cloud will be able to get much better support with a data center on Indian soil.

Market Strategies for Larger Market Cap

The towering position of Amazon which commands more than one third of the global computing market that also includes some of the big names such as Google and Microsoft leaves hardly any space for a new entrant. There is a big gap between Amazon and its closest rival in terms of market share.

Cloud computing continues to be a strong focus area of the top companies. This clearly implies that a new entrant will have to do proper homework before entering the arena. One can clearly understand the level of emphasis on cloud products by the leading global organizations by observing their activities closely.

Amazon Web Services have recorded a massive forty two percent growth in their financial reports. Although, the growth rate appears to be retarded a bit, it can be attributed to the large sales volumes. Secondly the per second calculation of resource consumption has armed Amazon as well as Microsoft to rope in more clients that need such pricing model to address extremely volatile use of containers.

Microsoft has overtaken AWS in terms of YoY growth which is currently reported to be ninety percent over the previous fiscal. Google is also not to be left behind in the race and has disclosed impressive earnings that have grown by forty percent. In the recently announced partnership with Cisco, Google has revealed its strategy for gaining greater level of competitiveness.

Prior to its plans of setting up datacenter facilities in Middle East, Amazon Web Services have been successful in strengthening data center footprint in India. Microsoft and Google are also rapidly expanding their cloud computing facilities outside US in locations such as Africa, and in many more countries.

Takeaway

According to the recent observations by a lading US research firm that deals in science and technology, Alibaba is positioned to be a dominant global player along with AWS, Microsoft, and Google.

Global market for public cloud providers is in the consolidation phase with a dominant role being played by Amazon Web Services. Alibaba will have to leverage all its digital might for establishing itself in the fiercely competitive market segment of public cloud. Considering its past record of successful ventures, Alibaba is definitely a force to reckon with.

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Potential of Blockchain to Enhance Data Center Security

We need to build more efficient and responsive data center infrastructure that can satiate the need to handle huge volumes of information that is spewed out in the era of Big Data. The future data center belongs to decentralized architectures that are not influenced by human interference in order to seamlessly deliver end-user capabilities as well as applications.

There is hardly any doubt that distributed infrastructures of future data centers will need to deal with security concerns as the end users will gain greater access to the range of data center capabilities including their architecture. It is therefore essential to sustain data integrity by adopting blockchain methodology to build distributed yet secure data centers of the future.

A brief overview of blockchain

Although most of us refer to blockchain as a new technology, it is essentially a concept to address concern of mutual faith between two parties. While dealing with the trust issue, a blockchain delivers capabilities of an operating system that is focused on data security.

Blocks serve as storage units of data for a single transaction thereby contributing significantly to the security of the entire blockchain network. Blockchain is essentially a decentralized platform to resolve issues of monolithic databases in centralized data center architectures while enhancing security in a distributed environment.

Addition of fresh blocks of information in a blockchain is performed by simultaneously attaching the new blocks with their predecessors while maintaining absence of single points of failure. The robust linkage of data-blocks in a distributed blockchain network makes it absolutely impregnable to the hacker community.

The independently operating and seamlessly linked units of database structures in a blockchain is the fundamental attribute that can be intelligently applied to enhance security in future data centers.

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Operation of a blockchain

Working of any blockchain involves certain elements that signify the unique functioning of a blockchain. These five elements are described ahead.

P2P transmission- A blockchain is designed to enable P2P communications between any two counterparts. Every single node in a blockchain must maintain individuality the chain and its version should always be updated, so that a seamless P2P transmission is possible.

Distributed- The distributed nature of databases in a blockchain allows seamless accessibility to databases including their past history. Furthermore, ability of a node to verify entire or even a single unit of information is also a vital element of a blockchain.

Impervious to tampering- It is obvious that the past records of blockchain need to be tamper-proof.

Transactional clarity- Seamless visibility into every transaction in a blockchain is provided to every participant.

Freedom to program- In a blockchain, every user has right to create action rules or program algorithms because every transaction is purely digital.

Addressing DC vulnerabilities

Susceptibility of data to theft or intrusion is a major concern in centralized data center infrastructures. By storing all data throughout the given network, a blockchain is able to mitigate a wide range of threats such as intrusion, theft, or any other risk that may result into loss of data. This is possible due to a distributed network that house data in individual blocks instead of a central resource which is vulnerable to single point of failure.

Moreover, a blockchain is devoid of a single point of exposure, hackers cannot pinpoint a single entry to target the entire network. Every node with its unique copy of blockchain is uniformly trusted with flawless maintenance of data quality across the entire gamut of blockchain.

Implementation of blockchain in a DC

Blockchain offers an intelligent and contract-ready capability to facilitate a large spectrum of management functions in data center operations including applications that are driven by rules. Blockchain oriented management system can be relied upon to improve cost efficiency as well as clarity of data center operations.

Some of the vital functions that can be supported by blockchain implementation in a data center are management of assets, cooling and capacity planning in addition to workloads that need virtualization.

Cloud compatibility

Yet another interesting quality of blockchain operation is its potential to match major attributes of cloud hosting such as a distributed profile which is devoid of single point of failure. One can perform a wide array of autonomous workloads by achieving an enhanced security in terms of data assets with help of database multiplicity across the blockchain’s network of cloud.

Blockchain operations such as inter-node transmissions need to be backed by more robust security protocols due to the decentralized infrastructure, which is operating in a cloud environment.

In conclusion

Implementation of highly secure and transaction oriented applications that can be verified is a great virtue of blockchain that can be leveraged in future data centers. Although, blockchain is relatively a new concept in terms of its implementation in data center operations, there are several initiatives planned by enterprises in the finance sector.

Blockchain technology offers amazing opportunities for automation of datacenter operations. In spite of its speculative nature, experts strongly believe that blockchain is the future driving force for data centers.

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Indian Data Center Market and Emerging Technologies

Consistent growth in the demand for IT services is empowering exports of digital solutions in India. IT based operations are poised to get a huge boost according to the latest report. This fact is confirmed by the massive upgrading of data center facilities to enable companies acquire multi-tenant infrastructures. In fact, some of the major IT players of the world have already established their data center footprint in India.

India’s data center panorama

Current data center landscape in India consists of four major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangaluru, and Pune that account for more than eighty percent supply of data center services in India.

The five metro cities deserve to be termed at India’s leading data center hubs that serve multi-tenant infrastructures. These data center hubs have witnessed several strategic partnership and acquisition deals involving big IT players in the world.

Mumbai, the commercial capital of India is home to a large volume of data centers that is almost thirty percent of the total number of Indian data centers. It is observed that the DC facilities are developing advanced cloud infrastructures to meet rising demands of their clients based across the world.

Thanks to the phenomenal rise of e-commerce industry, India’s capital town New Delhi is steadily emerging as a perfect destination for providers of data center facilities to major ecommerce players in India. One can come across massive data center infrastructures in Noida, Gurugram, and other locations in and around the National Capital Region (NCR).

Being home to a plethora of IT companies, Bangaluru is blessed with an ideal ecosystem that provides immunity to natural disasters for development of data center infrastructures. Converged net connectivity can be an additional advantage to setup data center facilities in the garden city.

Data Center providers in India have fought against odds to enrich their spectrum of services that include managed hosting, cloud services spanning public, private and hybrid platforms, and enterprise cloud solutions just to name a few.

These factors have boosted Indian data center industry that has crossed the turnover of $2 billion. There is another factor to empower digital business in India and it is nothing but government sponsored campaigns such as Digital India and Make in India to name a few. Thanks to encouraging policies of the government, the market for data center business is poised to exceed $4 billion by end of this year.

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Models of data centers

There are two principal models of data centers adopted by businesses to facilitate their digital workloads. Captive or on-premise data centers have long been enabling organizations to look after their internal workloads. These are built and operated by organizations with help of internal staff.

In contrast, hosted services are availed by outsourcing data center facilities that helps organizations eliminate need to hire staff and manage infrastructures on their own. Data center outsourcing helps companies use Rackspace colocation and other supportive services such as cooling, security, power, bandwidth, and round the clock monitoring among others.

On-premise data centers are fast being replaced by outsourced data center services as there is no need to spend a fortune for establishing capital intensive in-house infrastructures. The migration is mainly driven by large sized organizations that operate in regulated ecosystem such as health, insurance, finance, and banking sectors.

Local concerns drive DC business

Local regulations and government directives have resulted in enactment of laws that promote DC localization. There is a growing demand for local data center services because companies from critical sectors including BFSI are reluctant to outsource their data center needs to overseas vendors.

Interestingly, companies from US and UK are planning to setup their data center facilities in India to ensure compliance with local data center laws. In fact, a couple of organizations such as IBM and NTT have already developed their data center infrastructures here.

Cloud native services

There is a growing breed of companies that are eying possibilities to setup their data centers in cloud by leveraging analytics and cloud mobility. The unique structure of cloud enables organizations to gain outstanding flexibility and scalability among other features.

There is a definite shift to IaaS adoption indicating a slow and steady migration from traditional data center services to cloud enabled solutions. Cloud enabled services are estimated to drive as many as seventy five percent of the organizations. Rest of the enterprises will slowly abandon outsourced services of legacy data centers to embrace cloud enabled IaaS solutions.

Since cloud enabled data center services are easy to adopt and are backed by excellent cost efficiency of pay as you go billing model, there are confirmed reports to suggest that cloud hosting services and IaaS will grow exponentially to replace two third population of legacy data centers.

In conclusion

India is blessed with a huge potential to establish herself as a global destination for data center market by leveraging cloud computing and other emerging technologies.

data center migration

How to Plan and Carry Out Data Center Migration

Data center migration becomes imperative for many organizations for a number of reasons. Such migrations may become necessary because of the need to consolidate data center facilities following mergers. Migrations may be needed for an expansion, or for situations when leases terminate, or because of regulatory requirements, or even for adopting the cloud.

There may be various causes leading to data center migrations but every such migration will need to follow a definite strategy. There has to be a proper map and inventory of every asset a data center owns in order to move these, replace these or completely do away with these. The data center inventory is therefore the road map for actions which need to be performed to close down one data center and relocate it. You can compile the data center inventory by using software like BMC Discovery.

Whether you use a third party plan or manually create your own DC checklist, below are the factors which must be looked into:

– Before you shift the data center assets, you need to review whatever existing contractual obligations you may still have with the one you are using. This includes penalties and termination clauses which must be respected; these will state all the duties which you need to perform before you can migrate a data center.

– The hardware inventory will identify the infrastructure equipments and servers which you must replace and those which you must move. This also includes all data center network components like routers, firewalls, printers, switches, desktops, web server farms, UPS systems, edge servers, modems, load balancing hardware, backup devices and power distribution units. These components have to be enlisted together with their appropriate manufacturer names and model numbers, operating system versions, IP details like the IP addresses used, gateway, subnet, relevant equipment-specific details, power needs such as wattage, IO voltage, kinds of electrical connectors etc.

– Besides the hardware inventory, there should be a communications inventory too which will cover non-tangible resources. These must be moved or replaced or retired when data center migration takes place. Here, you will need items like the Internet (class A, B or C) networks and where these were obtained from, internal IP addresses which the data center used, telecommunication lines, domain names, registrars for each IP address, DHCP IP reservations for specific data center and subnet equipments, firewall ACLs or Access Control Lists, contract information about leased resources which states the expiry dates for such contracts, termination procedures etc. Just like the inventory for hardware this inventory may have some surprises in store like IP addresses which the existing data center owns or telecom lines which are going to be valid for many more years according to their contracts or severe penalties for contract terminations etc which you need to be aware of.

– When you have made an inventory for the hardware and communications items you need to identify all those applications which run in the data center. These will include the core network applications like print servers and files, support services like WSUS servers or Windows Server Update Services which offer patches to the client devices, and third party servers which will update client software like anti-virus software, and email servers and databases, FTP servers and web servers, backup servers etc. You will need to include production applications in this list too and these are the ones which run the business like ERP CRM software, Big Data servers, business intelligence etc. You application inventory will also have list of servers and applications in data centers owned by third parties which are communicating with those in the current data center, PC applications which interact with data center applications, business partners that access these applications and network through firewalls in the existing data center. Other include email providers and apps used by email filtering services, and IP addresses which such entities may have used for contacting applications in your data center. So, this application inventory will reveal how well the data center is connected both within and outside the organization.

Do, the DC inventory is of utmost value when it comes to data center migration. It outlines all the things you need to do to successfully execute a shift to another physical or virtual data center. It works like a documentation of the entire network infrastructure which is responsible for powering your organization and the application connections which are dependent on such infrastructure. Using this information, you may create an effective strategy that will tell you how to move data centers. It can also help you to identify and prepare for risks that your organization can face when there is a data center migration.

Data Center Discovery

Secure Your Digital Footprint by Leveraging Data Center Discovery

The current trend of technology is certainly a reason to cheer. Widespread technology adoption has propelled a great number of traditionally operated enterprises into digitally empowered organizations that are ready to face the challenges of data intensive workloads.

However, the rise of cybercrime has been found to be in sync with the acceptance of modern technologies such as cloud computing. This can be confirmed by looking at the accelerated pace of information theft, thanks to the organized gangs of cybercriminals. The growth in number of breaches can be the most serious threat to technology development.

The only way to protect your organization’s digital resources as well as assets is to blend operations and IT security teams with help of mapping of dependencies and data center discovery.

Create a unified storehouse for configuration data

You can easily get rid of silos by building a comprehensive management process to involve configuration throughout your enterprise. This will enable you to arrive at decisions that encompass IT security, enterprise architecture, and systems management.

Common warehouse for configuration data can facilitate mitigation of efforts that are necessary for maintenance and collection of quality data from diverse sources while speaking common language with seamless agreement on data formats.

Multiple cloud discovery coupled with dependency mapping can eliminate complexity of implementation processes. It becomes easy to adopt scalable and multi-cloud deployments that can be designed to merge with security tools while satisfying the norms of industry certifications.

If we enable IT security group and configuration management team to work in harmony, then it is possible to allow rights of access while enjoying desired benefits of leveraging the latest data.

Compliance in a mature organization

In a digitally mature enterprise, consistent improvements and checks are the order of the day and so are inventory audits. This calls for continuous evaluation of all business functions of digital assets. This calls for seamless access to highly reliable reports which can be generated by implementation of automated discovery. Such process can also improve cost efficiency.

Collection and maintenance of inventory data can be a daunting process because of the accelerated pace of digital transformation. If you have adopted a multi-cloud approach, then your enterprise can easily adopt to changes that are taking place due to elimination of vendor lock-in.

Elimination of vulnerabilities

Analysis of a large number of security breaches has confirmed that these can be attributed to vulnerabilities in systems caused due to imperfect configurations. This scenario can be significantly improved by way of multi-cloud discovery that allows data to be handled through a process of vulnerability management.

There are several possibilities that can lead to flawed configurations. Adoption of unauthorized software applications or operating systems or use of hardware that is procured from unsupported source can impact basic technical data.

Lack of fundamental security tools can seriously hamper components that may not have any relation with business functions. If you are dealing with merging of diverse infrastructures following a merger or acquisition, then the following must be kept in mind. More profound and mission critical implementations such as dependency mapping must be exposed to complex evaluation of disaster recovery.

By making the entire process to rely on a robust process backed by dependable data sources, one can make a quick headway in securing digitally empowered enterprise.

Identifying and prioritizing vulnerabilities

No one can expect to eliminate all vulnerabilities but it is possible to at least chalk out priorities by identifying the most critical ones for isolation so that the impact of any disaster or data breach can be minimized. This can also facilitate effective deployment of resources.

In order to appraise the critical nature of a particular security issue, one must adopt sophisticated tools for scanning and accessing knowledge bases to understand vulnerabilities. Another perspective of priority mapping can be associated with gaining insights about impact scenarios and application maps for understanding business impact post data breach.

Following are the ways that enhance process of vulnerability management by implementation of dependency mapping as well as data center mapping processes.

These processes can enable you to gain valuable insights about process of application deployment and their security features. Secondly, you can tune your system components with business processes by adjusting impact specific priorities to secure the most critical components from enabling seamless business continuity.

Reinforcing adaptability to change

Change management is all about mitigation of conflicts among different security teams who are supposed to recommend system configurations and operations teams that must implement these. A frictionless working of these teams can guarantee a reliable and always available digital infrastructure.

By delivering a precise and seamless understanding of impacts that are bound to influence the organization, dependency mapping and multi-cloud discovery help achieve flawless transition.

The ultimate aim of any change management process should be smooth transition with help of meaningful collaboration and faster decision making for uneventful rollouts.

How to Select the Best Data Center for Migration

How to Select the Best Data Center for Migration

In this age of constant upheavals, mergers and acquisitions are the order of the day. This can make on site IT infrastructures totally obsolete and one is staring at the urgent need to consolidate and move these vital facilities to new destinations.

These new facilities could be either own data center or a colocation resource. In any situation the entire process is sure to cost heavily in terms of money as well as time. Modern data centers aim to be an integral part of an organization by delivering vital services such as customer engagement, apps testing, and much more.

Selection of the best data center for migration is a vital process for a smooth transition and seamless performance of all mission critical applications for years ahead. However, it is essential to analyze existing infrastructure before making a shift.

Significance of planned DC migration

Importance of a properly functioning data center for any business is a foregone conclusion. Every organization must analyze its requirements in relation with capacity of the data center. Many companies are found to operate with help of inadequate resources of data centers. Similarly, many data centers are not able to cope up with growing needs of companies due to presence of obsolete equipment and so forth.

Secondly, most of the facilities have been rendered inefficient because these are not equipped to handle advanced needs of power and cooling. It is therefore certain that every organization will have to take a call for migration of its data center due to passage of time and many more reasons.

It is therefore no wonder that globally three out of ten companies are exploring options for data center migration or data center consolidation. While planning a data center migration, CIOs as well as data center managers must pay attention to the good practices that are described below.

Plan a migration strategy

Migration of data center may be limited to part or all of the existing equipment. In fact you can exploit the opportunity to get rid of the old or outdated equipment so that it can be replaced with advanced alternatives. The Planning should be done in such a way that the new facility would have minimum life span of two years.

If you fail to properly chalk out a strategy for DC migration without paying attention to the advice by DC migration experts, your entire IT infrastructure would collapse. It is a must to pen down the strategy that addresses specific business requirements of the organization. The new data center would also have to be planned by studying new technology requirements that empower organization to face new challenges of growth and higher demands.

Layout plan of the new data center facility should be able to accommodate future growth requirements. Optimum use of available space would help save significant costs. Data center architects can provide valuable guidance for space planning.

After reviewing contracts that have been signed you can decide about the need to terminate these or continue in the new environment.

Some software providers can restrict use in terms of geographical locations. This can be a right time to get rid of some troublesome vendors. Ideally, you can explore new service providers to improve performance and affordability.

Data cater relocation is also a very good opportunity to review your existing design and plan for a more compact and efficient one. After finalization of the equipment to be moved to new site, you can plan if you should move lock stock and barrel or in parts.

Inventory of equipment

Prior to actual process of dismantling, one should refer to all types of documentation for checking if every part of different equipment is present. This should involve physical inventory checking along with actual workloads, and other aspects such as hardware components or software applications, which are present in the current location.

Adjustment of backup and disaster recovery systems should be performed concurrently. This is the right time to categorize and place backup according in cloud and on-premise environments.

Selection of right DC for migration

Reputed data center providers empower migration of onsite data centers through prompt execution. Perfect DC migration planning is backed by efficient and reliable network support. These service providers are driven by the passion to perceive clients’ businesses as their personal responsibilities.

Established Data Center migration service providers have remarkable experience of transforming hardware intensive on-site infrastructures to agile and efficient infrastructure that leverages software applications.

Their vast API and DDI resources are designed to deliver a robust platform for creating a software defined data center.

Security is at the core of data center migration and the service provider should be equipped facilitate ease of accessibility. If your business is looking forward to adopt significantly extensive services that are highly distributed, then a data center with proven capability of delivering seamless cloud connectivity is your final destination.

For Interesting Topic :

Does the provider offer data center migration/relocation services?

Key Data Center Attributes that are Capable of Evolving Businesses

Key Data Center Attributes that are Capable of Evolving Businesses

Demand for more efficient and scalable data processing resources has been exponentially growing and businesses are faced with challenges of keeping pace with diverse and more distributed workloads by adopting complex technologies. This is particularly true in case of organizations that are expanding their footprint across wider geographical locations.

Efficient workload distribution

It is found that all types and sizes of enterprises are in need of more efficient ways for distribution and control of data. It is not surprising that most of the enterprises are moving their workloads to cloud and also looking for more intensive solutions fir catering to their critical demands. In short, there is a growing need for adapting to cutting edge technologies that can satisfy complex demands.

Optimization of data distribution by building innovative architectures and highly efficient content distribution networks is the need of the hour. This also reflects in projected demand for content distribution solution that is posed to reach more than $15 Billion by 2020.

The growth in demand for CMS solutions implies that more and more enterprises from small and medium sectors have understood the importance of controlling as well as enhancing distribution of workloads across wider geographies. If you are able to find a right data center resource, then you can expect to grow your business and in case you are fortunate enough to partner with one of the best data center providers then you can definitely take your business to the next level. Ability to carry and deliver the data to the edge is a new mantra for choosing the right data center partner.

Remote distribution of data

The best approach to work with a data center provider is by way of creating SLAs that are focused at boosting your business growth and website availability. The business can grow by keeping the pace with current market trends if SLAs are designed to support business growth and to ensure efficient coverage of visitors across targeted geographies.

Agility and availability of data across desired locations can be achieved by making sure that the following resources are made available by the chosen provider of data center services.

State of the art interconnects

Integration with multiple providers of cloud solutions is an inherent ability of reputed data center services. These providers also offer array of Ethernet services and interconnects. In fact, several established providers including Rackspace, Azure, Amazon, and Internap have already integrated cloud CDN solutions with their hosting plans.

CDN services can also be leveraged from telcos such as AT&T, Verizon, NTT and Telefonica to name a few. If you wish to build your on-site CDN platform, then you need to get associated with CloudFlare, Aryaka, or OnApp to name just a few.

Whatever the approach you choose, the data center provider must be capable of working with you for achieving efficient yet economical dispersion of data that can be seamlessly cached. CDNs are much more than simple resources to transfer data across remotely located users. Your data center provider can help you explore wide range of benefits available with cutting edge CDN solutions.

You will not face any difficulty while identifying an efficient data center provider with state of the art CDN facilities. In fact, there are several service providers including Amazon CloudFront that have established their presence across continents such as Asia, Europe, and so forth.

These services are designed to cover five continents with as many as fifty-five edge locations. However, while procuring CDN services, one must make retain controls on the data that flows in or flows out. In most of the instances, local CDN management may be sufficient otherwise you can leverage REST APIs or similar methods for simplified management of CDNs. If you are using PHP, Java, or Ruby, then you will also be able to use robust management tools provided by open source code.

Optimized data distribution

Intensely distributed data workloads cannot be managed by providers with facility of only few CDN locations. You need to consider an efficient data distribution resource that is also affordable. Primary role of a CDN solution is to empower business owners and offer an excellent user experience.

You should also select the provider by understanding the nature of data that is going to be distributed. Some providers such as Yotta are specifically equipped for optimizing mobile as well as web services, while Aryaka focuses on facilitating robust solutions for optimization of WAN to boost distribution and delivery of data.

Need for efficient data centers

Data centers are mission critical resources for facilitating vital applications business tools, and user environments. Since data processing and storage requirements are poised for exponential growth, data centers will be required to deliver efficiency and economy while catering to client needs. Data center facilities will have to act as bridges between cloud services and enterprise infrastructure.

Data Centers in Cloud

Relevance of Colocation and On-premise Data Centers in Cloud Age

Cloud growth can be perceived in more ways than one. Cloud computing is growing in terms of number companies that are adopting cloud and total number or workloads that are being shifted to cloud environment from onsite IT infrastructures.

Migration of workloads to cloud

Although there is a considerable volume of software workloads being moved to cloud the onsite enterprise IT is not shrinking at the comparable rate. There is a remarkable improvement in on premise data centers’ facilities that are marked by adoption of cutting edge technologies. However, one must admit that these legacy data center infrastructures have ceased to expand in size and capacity parameters.

These observations are based on the survey and opinions of IT executives, and managers who have been assigned tasks of managing enterprise data center facilities of critical organizations including manufacturing, banking, and retail trading.

It is hardly surprising that almost fifty percent of the respondents that are operating IT infrastructure facilities have confirmed that they are engaged in upgrading infrastructures and redesigning power and cooling facilities that form the significant portion of capacity planning initiatives.

There are efforts to compensate the demand by leveraging cloud services as well as consolidation of servers. It is also worth noting that a considerable chunk of respondents have agreed that they are looking forward to build new Data Centers in Cloud

The results of these surveys confirm that in order to offset the additional demand, many organizations are leveraging third party service providers. These are the same organizations that have appreciated value of investments pertaining to on-site data center infrastructures that were made just before the beginning of 21st century. 

Data center expansion and upgrade

Thanks to cloud adoption strategies, many organizations have been able to get a bit of breathing time while handing the impact of data influx. There is considerable prudence in enhancing capacity and efficiency of the existing data centers rather than going for an entirely new data center infrastructure for catering to growing data processing demands of large corporate enterprises. In fact, a move to build large data center facility would not have been acceptable just about few years ago.

Modern IT executives are more inclined towards investing a small amount in upgrading the existing facility than pumping huge sum for creating an entirely new data center infrastructure. There is a greater need to extract as much workloads as possible from the current resources of data centers.

This explains the move to adopt colocation services, cloud computing, and processor upgrades for enabling enterprises to achieve more with less number of servers. These moves also reduce the stress on organizations to establish new sites and also save huge expenditure that is required to build entirely new facilities.

The surveys have also confirmed that there is a considerable quantum of organizations that have adopted an approach of moving lock stock and barrel to the cloud. One of the global news paper giants have begun moving all workloads to Amazon’s as well as Google’s cloud platforms from three colocation data centers.
 
The only exception is number of conventional systems, which are not possible to transfer to cloud and are being serviced by the colocation data center that exists only for supporting these legacy systems.

In case of one of the major technology vendor Juniper Networks, the company has shrunk its network of eighteen data centers that were owned and operated by the company to a single data center facility. The vendor has also adopted the approach of shifting majority of workloads to cloud similar to the corporate news conglomerate mentioned earlier. The single colocation facility is enabling its legacy workloads that are not possible to move to cloud.

Continuing with established infrastructure

It is also observed that instead of building newer facilities, many service providers are busy upgrading or expanding their existing data center facilities. It indicates that providers of data center facilities are reducing their expenditure for construction of new facilities but are not making any compromise with capacity expansion of their overall service offerings.

This leads us to believe that in spite of an apparent exodus of workloads to cloud, the importance of physical data center facilities has not eroded. Enterprise IT infrastructures and colocation centers are being leveraged by many organizations as established resources of managing critical and legacy workloads.

Colocation underlines the importance of owning a rack space without significant investment in on-premise facility. This can also free up IT workforce of the organization for more innovative projects. Colocation is also more reliable way to manage critical workloads.

From all these real life examples and the results of the survey we can conclude that over sixty percent of enterprises are adopting cloud computing, server virtualization, and optimized server performance to shrink its on-site data center footprint. Colocation as well as on site data centers are time tested and established resources for managing mission critical information and vital workloads.

Virtualizing The IT Environment

Virtualizing The IT Environment – Reasons Go Beyond Cost Savings

The rising demands for data center service are leading to escalating capacities of the existing ones or installation of new ones.

But unfortunately, there does not seem to be sufficient focus on scaling back power needs or putting into effect power saving mechanisms.

Yet, the call of the day is to have a greener data center and efficiency involvements like virtualization.

“We expect our management to provide us with a reliable, high powered infrastructure that can support our projects”, says a software engineer. “But at the same time our CIO is also trying to grapple with the rising energy costs”.

One CIO however says, “We have to leverage the financial incentives and rebates offered to reduce the greenhouse emissions”.

A recent study reveals that presently cooling and electrical costs is a little over 40 % of a data center’s TCO (or total cost of ownership).

The fact is both the needs of scaling up the infrastructure and reducing the emission footprints can be met by adhering to the following cornerstones.

  • Re-establishing resiliency – This means providing clients with the industry level service at all times.
  • Minimizing energy expenses – There are several strategies. Better management of data storage, consolidation of infrequently used servers, removing from service unused servers, and purchasing energy efficient equipment are some methods.
  • Recycling end of life equipment – The approach can include dissembling the components based on recyclable specs and transporting them to recycling units, and disposing off the hazardous components as per the prevailing rules and regulations.

Companies can adopt inexpensive methods as well to conserve energy. These can include:

  • Switching off servers that are not performing any work
  • Switching off air-conditioning in spaces that are over provisioned for cooling.
  • Removing blockages that are obstructing air flow

A more proactive approach can include, installing new state-of-the-art chiller systems and air delivery systems. But of course, this can result in higher CAPEX.

Virtualization
Let us talk of a relatively new kind of approach.

This is called virtualization.
Virtualization can be of immense help simply because you will need far fewer servers.

It is well-established that whether you use servers for 10 % of the time or for 100 %, the actual difference in power consumption and heat generated between the two is not very significant.

“We have realized that a server that is scarcely utilized costs as much as the one that is fully utilized”, says an IT manager.

In a nutshell, virtualization is a technology that allows for several workloads, each having an independent computing platform to run on a single computing machine.

It is obvious how this method reduces power consumption.

With governments making it mandatory for IT companies to report on their carbon emissions, virtualization can prove to be a very effective strategy in reducing the carbon footprints.

By enabling virtualization of physical servers in a data center facility, along with networking storage and other infrastructure equipment, the facility stands to benefit in numerous ways.

Here is a list of some major benefits.

Reduced amount of heat build-up
With virtualized servers, you are working with less hardware. The result is obvious – the data center facility generates less heat.

Less work
The amount of hardware required to be maintained reduces considerably, leading to reduced maintenance work by the IT personnel.

“With virtualization, we are spending less time troubleshooting or updating firmware”, says an IT manager. The good news is several virtualization providers are having excellent tools that are user friendly with the capability to consolidate many functions into a single interface.

“Upkeep of servers in a physical IT environment is very time consuming”, says an IT administrator. “Most of our departments spend good time adding and managing new server workloads”.

Leading virtualization vendors have intelligent automation capabilities, which do away the need for IT staff to manually perform routine maintenance.

Quick provisioning of resources
This by far is the biggest advantage a data center facility experiences. With a few clicks, a customized physical server can be provisioned.

Control over outage and downtime
Virtualization enables a secondary data center to be configured to take care of the failed machines of a data center facility.

This kind of backup is absolutely indispensable because business continuity is essential.

Instead of taking more than a whole day to restore data, with virtualization, the IT staff achieves the same recovery results in less than 4 hours.

Yes, simplified IT management is one of the compelling reasons for a data center facility to transition to virtualization.

These are the days when enhanced responsiveness is critical capability. With virtualization, a company achieves a dynamic platform that helps them react faster to changes in a highly competitive market.

It is true that cutting down of expenses will remain the key driver for virtualization. But a data center will seize this opportunity to also ensure business continuity, simplify management, reduce carbon footprints, and reallocate IT resources to more urgent workloads.

Choosing The Right Solution For Disaster Recovery

Choosing The Right Solution For Disaster Recovery

Nowadays we often hear the term DRaaS, short for Disaster recovery as a service. What does this term mean? It is the simulation or creation of mimic of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide failover in case of a disaster, either man made or natural.

Typically DRaaS requirements are stipulated in the Service Level Agreements (SLAs), so that the hosting vendor provides failover to the client.

But before we discuss DRaaS, let us understand the importance of disaster in an IT setting.

All IT companies put in place a disaster recovery plan (DRP).

After all, a business must continue to work without interruption. In particular the mission critical functions must have stability.

Disaster can come in various avatars. It can be a storm tearing apart your power lines, or some telecommunication staff digging and damaging your underground communication lines.

In whichever mode a calamity strikes, the result can be disastrous to your company’s business.

Companies experience a disaster due to any one or a combination of the following causes.

  • Mission critical application failure
  • Network failure
  • Natural disasters
  • Network intrusion
  • Hacking
  • System failure

“Disaster recovery is an important part of our business process management”, says a CIO.

No wonder companies go to great lengths to firm up recovery strategies. They perform a business impact analysis as well as risk analysis to establish the recovery time objective.

Cloud computing offers extremely fast recovery times at a fraction of the cost of traditional disaster recovery.

How?
With virtualization, the entire infrastructure including the server, OS, applications and data is condensed in a single software package or virtual server. This entire virtual server can be replicated or backed up to an offsite data center.

A compelling benefit of such a strategy is that the virtual server is not dependent on hardware and hence the entire bundle can be migrated from one data center to another easily.

This process radically reduces recovery time compared to traditional non-virtualized methods where servers must be loaded with the operating system and patched to the last pattern before the data is restored.

IT companies typically have two options to choose from as a disaster recovery solution – Cloud DR and DRaaS.

Which one is better?
This is not an easy answer by any standard. A company must choose either of the one after a thorough evaluation of both the solutions.

Cloud DR
Cloud DR is within reach of any company.

“Whatever drawbacks a cloud may have, one thing is clear. It is extremely effective when used as a tool for a disaster recovery plan”, says an IT manager.

“We are now able to create a cloud based recovery site as a backup to the primary data center”

Before creating a suitable DR strategy, you must keep in mind the following.

Assess your data protection requirements
An evaluation is essential to come to a conclusion as to what kind of infrastructure and configuration is needed to facilitate cloud DR.

Companies keep the primary backups on-premise but they mimic them to cloud storage so that they can disable the data center in case of any natural disaster.

Select the appropriate cloud provider
You must remember that not all cloud providers are alike. Some of them offer only storage. That is why it is essential to select the vendor who has the capability to build the right disaster recovery site for your needs.

Moreover, costs must never be ignored. The manner in which the vendor bill’s you can have a decided impact on your finances. A good strategy is to use a reliable cost calculator tool.

Control bandwidth
Cloud backup can consume copious amount of bandwidth. A judicious approach will ensure that the bandwidth consumption will not exceed to the extent that other workloads suffer.

DRaaS
Several small and medium businesses are not too keen to put in place a disaster recovery plan. They feel such exercises are for those with deep pockets.

Many of them perform frequent backups and store data offsite. These measures are no doubt satisfactory, but sluggish by today’s standards.

Taking help of DRaaS vendors seem to be a sensible policy.

Yet, it is important that clients must weigh-in each vendor carefully. Some vendors may offer an apparently straightforward solution while others may offer a comprehensive solution tailored to your specific needs.

Whichever solution you seek, the following points must be kept in mind.

  • The vendor’s capability to backup critical data
  • Fast recovery with minimal user interface – the vendor must specify the time limit for hosting the recovery environment.
  • Transparent and easily understandable billing modes
  • Solution has numerous backup options

Moreover, the DR solution offered must make it easy to move from the backup to the live state.

Business continuity is not just about backing up data; it is also about fast recovery from a disaster.

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Disaster Recovery