You may already have a robust information governance or green plan, or you may have them on your to-do list. Reducing data redundancy may be a no-go in your industry. The list below is not a checklist to be methodically worked through from beginning to end, but a way to help you evaluate your needs and assess your alternatives.
1. Consider a Green Data Center
Green data centers provide benefits for business, the environment, and the community. Consider developing data center management metrics to measure power efficiency in the data center, and incentivize managers to implement energy usage effectiveness measures.
2. Go Virtual
Determine whether increased virtualization can ramp up server utilization. Due to increased processing efficiency, optimized data analysis solutions, and cloud services, underutilized servers are becoming an increasingly big problem in the data center. Virtual machines can leverage the power of unused resources while providing virtual environment benefits such as faster deployment, dedicated secure space for collaboration, reduced energy, and significantly less maintenance.
3. Set the Bar Higher
Use compliance requirements as quality assurance drivers. While regulatory recommendations typically provide a low baseline rather than a comprehensive security plan, compliance security requirements can create a consistent approach that will invariably increase quality and improve the results of your data center management.
4. Avoid Redundancy
Harmonize guidance from regulatory authority documents to help ensure that you aren’t implementing a broader set of controls than necessary. Estimates typically point to a 50-60% overlap in controls that must be implemented. Without harmonization, your compliance efforts will typically be redundant. Often complying with one primary regulation or standard brings you into compliance with many regulations. Look for governance, regulatory, and risk management tools that include harmonization capabilities.
5. Always Have a Change Management Plan
Refine change management plans often to ensure you have a repeatable, standardized procedure for managing process, configuration, and changes in software and hardware that reflects the current state of the data center. In a rapidly shifting ecosystem, data center infrastructure management policies can become outdated quickly. Also, communicating your plan to the entire team will also help to ensure that changes in best practices are picked up and implemented more quickly.
6. Purchase Scalable Products
Give up on the concept of buying for tomorrow’s needs today. Anything you buy now will be obsolete tomorrow. Current best practice data center infrastructure management calls for looking instead for product roadmaps and the ability to add more capacity/features as needed as your facility grows.
7. Incorporate an Information Governance Plan
Implement or refine your organization’s information governance plan. A solid plan will establish a framework of accountability regarding the creation, storage, use, retention, and deletion of information, based on its valuation and risk. If your information governance plan is properly implemented, it will measurably increase security, improves access, reduce management and storage costs, and diminish legal and compliance risks.
8. Minimize Redundancies
Break the unwritten rules and reduce redundancies in your data center. Decide how many backup applications you really need to meet recovery SLAs – perhaps you can eliminate a few database point products. Look into deduplication solutions to purge excess data.
9. Optimize Your Security
Providing access while defending data will continue to be a challenge well into the future. Best practice now is to develop data security policies and set permissions that are context-, identity-, and application-aware, and which can be consistently applied and enforced across physical, virtual, and cloud environments. Incorporating this into your data center management plan will help to safeguard the sensitive information in your facility.
Your data center infrastructure management plan should be unique, and there is no single process, procedure, or implementation that will work for everyone. While the tips above are a roundup of key data center management initiatives that are rapidly becoming best practices within many data centers, you should evaluate any changes you may wish to make against your own best judgement, business needs, and industry standards.