Demanding IT trends such as cloud computing, mobility and Big Data are changing the way enterprises manage data centers.
But many of these challenges can be better accommodated by modernizing the data center. Enhancements in key areas, especially power, thermal management, network infrastructure, data storage and virtualization technologies, contribute to improved efficiency, performance and cost savings.
The virtualization of storage is the logical next step following the success of virtual machines. By virtualizing some existing storage systems and leveraging software-defined storage, administrators can dynamically manage their storage arrays.
As Big Data plays an ever-bigger role in business, IT teams need to deploy faster storage media so users can quickly access the data they require for analytic support. Solid-state drives (SSDs), which use flash memory for low-latency access, are integral to supplying data to sophisticated analytic processes. Although more expensive, SSDs are faster and require less power than hard-disk drives.
Virtual storage also makes it easier and more affordable to protect data in the case of lost files or system failure. The best practices for data centers call for a carefully designed, automated, multilevel approach to backup and disaster recovery.
- Local backup: IT teams first back up locally, allowing rapid local recovery from less-serious incidents. A number of affordable vendor options are now available to back up entire virtual machines, for example. Organizations with resources to operate a redundant data center can replicate data in the event of a catastrophe. Few IT organizations take this approach.
- Cloud-based recovery: Some organizations use colocation providers to host redundant systems, choose a disaster recovery as a service package from a provider or, for those hosted on a private cloud, rely on existing disaster recovery processes residing within the cloud infrastructure.
Read the CDW white paper “Keeping Pace with Data Center Evolution” to learn more about virtual storage.