DCN May 2016 - Page 39

software as a service infrastructure change project, in the form of the Government Digital Service (GDS) – a project that will see the digitisation of all public sector systems. Ultimately, businesses and their customers will inevitably need to rely on data centres for the majority of their product and service needs, so it is important that we know what to look for. Here are the three considerations you need to address when choosing your next data centre: 1. Can you trust your data centre provider when the going gets tough? With the advent of Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and industry 4.0, security and regulation has become a bigger concern. tools, many business leaders are still reluctant to rely on cloud based software as a service (SaaS) applications. They may have had a bad experience with downtime issues, security, compliance or flexibility from their existing data centre provider. However, it's clear that the cloud is here to stay. For example, the UK government recently announced that it is undertaking its biggest ever In the early days of data centre development, companies choosing to host data off site had to physically visit the server hotel, configure each server, put it in the rack, and get the go-ahead from the customer before making the system live. It was a laborious and time intensive process, which came to a complete halt if anything went wrong. There was minimal redundancy, low availability and the user was often responsible for administering routine maintenance, patches, and updates. Despite this, it was still a cheaper option than purchasing and managing a network of physical servers on site. Eventually, this was made easier when data centre providers started to dabble in cloud. Commercially available, off-the-shelf solutions such as Citrix XenServer were used to provide a cloud virtualisation platform. This works well enough, but for users that need a high level of customisation, this can start to cause problems with downtime and resolution time as well as become unfeasibly expensive. In these situations only a bespoke solution will do. Here, you should expect your data centre provider to help with migration, installation of new servers and custom configuration. If your provider can offer flexibility such as using a clustered setup, this means that the system will stay live even if a server goes down, seamlessly moving data to a redundant server. Being able to respond to a business's growth is also key. If you know that those 70 servers you just installed will need to be expanded to over 100 in the next year, it's good to know that your provider can keep up. With the advent of Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and industry 4.0, security and regulation has become a bigger concern. 2. Is your provider compliant to security and regulatory requirements? With the advent of Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and industry 4.0, security and regulation has become a bigger concern. Once data moves off site, it becomes harder to know exactly where it's gone – it may not be hosted where you think, or even in the country you think it is located. Provided the data stays within Europe, the UK Data Protection Act or similar stringent regulations will be perfectly adequate, but outside Europe, data regulations may not be sufficient. This problem is compounded when you are developing IT software for regulated industries 39