Data Centre

Data Centre

Operational Risk and BCP

Assess, Assure, Data Centre, Process Design, Strategy
photo credit: rcbodden via photopin cc

photo credit: rcbodden via photopin cc

There is nothing like learning from mistakes and experience.  Strategy and process design is best grounded in the reality of experience.  I would like to share a real story of an incident that I remember to often when looking at plans and remind myself that there is always more than the obvious to learn when things go wrong. On the surface this story has one key learning point but digging deeper revealed three.

A major trading organisation data centre loses their air con system to one of the two chillers that cool the data centre.  Most people even in IT are not aware that air con is as fundamental as power in data centres. Put simply, 10,000 servers produce a lot of heat.   In this case the temperature in the cabinets furthest from the working units reached 120 degrees Celsius – despite emergency fans being added to circulate the air and direct the hot air to the cooler end.  120 degrees – oven temperature!  To keep temperatures down all non essential systems had to be shut down, all live BCP running was removed to reduce load and as many as possible MIS and other non core transaction processing systems had to be shut down; as the incident constitutes an emergency.

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IT Strategy and User Behaviour

Tags: , , , , , , Assess, Data Centre, Strategy
photo credit: redjar via photopin cc

photo credit: redjar via photopin cc

Many CIOs will look at their IT Strategy as portfolio optimisation, choosing the most effective tools for each area of the business. However, an effective strategy with a holistic approach should also attempt to look at the way the tools are used and adapt the behaviour within the organisation.  In this blog entry I am going to look at a couple of examples of ways that behaviours can influence IT cost-effectiveness. Let us start with a topic that is driving up costs in all organizations worldwide – storage.  We are all guilty of poor storage management, myself included.  For a simple presentation for the team, how many of us add a photo to the cover page of our PowerPoint presentations? Do we really need that degree of prettiness to create an impact? Perhaps for an external presentation but for our own team? Not really.

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Private Cloud – Is it Worth the Effort?

Tags: , , , , , Cloud, Data Centre, Strategy
photo credit: ell brown via photopin cc

photo credit: ell brown via photopin cc

There is a lot of discussion in the big companies out there of the benefits of creating their own private clouds using their own server farms; whether it is worthwhile versus the full move to use external shared Public Cloud environments. Of course, SMEs don’t have this dilemma: they do not own as much hardware, generally do not have the internal expertise to even consider a private version, and so just use externally available services with no other option. Cheaper, more scalable, more efficient – let us watch some of the leading medium-sized firms leverage the technology to jump ahead of their bigger, less nimble peers.

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Leveraging Your IT Strategy

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Cloud, Data Centre, Strategy
photo credit: Trucker Dan via photopin cc

photo credit: Trucker Dan via photopin cc

Over recent years we have seen a number of trends among large corporations trying to get clarity on their real IT costs and squeeze efficiency from their resources. It is interesting to compare some of the approaches, and how they restrict the value that can be gained.

Some companies tried to ring-fence their IT by creating a management services company, forcing financial rigour on the supply of services. Great idea… or was it? Clearly there were some benefits from the transparency on what was being purchased (at least in theory), but there were also management overheads and investments needed to gain this rigour; it is unclear whether or not these were ever compensated for in efficient savings.

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