Not many companies are looking to build data centers, the investment is large and for many cloud computing through a supplier is the most common approach.
For some however it is the preferred option still and Dimension Data, part of the NTT, is looking to grab some market share in this space with the announcement of a new service to help companies update their data centers.
Steve Joubert, group executive for data centers at Dimension Data insists that clients are looking to update their data centers to become more economical. He commented “Every client we speak to is looking for ways to transform their data center to become more responsive to business needs. This is not an easy undertaking."
Dimension Data has some pedigree of offering consultancy around this kind of service. In the UK service it has updated its GCloud listing with its Data Centre Solutions service, which will no doubt benefit from this tool.
The tool delivers a more holistic approach to data center design or redesign and incorporates elements of cloud, networking and security.
Dimension Data’s experience in this field indicates that clients often consider one component without the other, giving the example of a project to virtualize servers does not always mean that a review of the underlying network is also completed which can leave a project running over budget.
It is in response to this opportunity to help companies that Dimension Data launched its tool, Joubert commented:
"It's with this in mind that we developed the Data Center Development Model. It's all about helping our clients make the shift to new operating models across the entire next-generation data center, while focusing on business outcomes with technology being the enabler and differentiator, instead of a hindrance,"
The new model
The new model looks at 11 critical domains in the data center and through a workshop style engagement delivers a roadmap for the future which includes practical points for action by the client companies. These recommendations can include:
- Identifying infrastructure gaps in an organization
- Determining the most efficient operating model for the data center, inclusive of management and operations
- Understanding the best ways to exploit public cloud, hosting and co-location where it create value for the business
- Ensuring the network is geared to support the journey of transformation
- Embedding security at every step of the journey.
As shown by the GCloud listing this is not a new service entirely but a realization and consolidation of the learning that Dimension Data has reached over the last few years condensed into a model that makes an engagement more focused.
Joubert referred to one historic engagement commenting:
"We helped one organization build a virtual data center, which delivered a 30 percent reduction in real estate through consolidation and data center design. Another client saw new resources deliver services 75 percent faster to its end-users leveraging network extensions to cloud resources."
The challenge for companies is whether they should be looking at Data Centres and their future in isolation. The service appears to merely look at the infrastructure architecture requirements and there is a question as to whether a wider enterprise architecture should be considered.
One suspect that many companies have not yet embraced the enterprise architecture idea and will be looking for a holistic view of the data center.
In that case, Dimension Data’s new service will be of benefit to those companies who wish to refresh their data center strategy in the new cloud environment.
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Steve Brooks has worked in IT for nearly 30 years, working through different roles to CIO in a number of vertical markets including Finance, Manufacturing and Real Estate. A qualified Project Manager. He spent 17 years at Savills plc, a FTSE 250 real estate company, rising to CIO before leaving in 2012. Steve is Director of Consultancy at Synonym Ltd and while studying at Henley Business School for his MBA was deputy editor at www.business-cloud.com, a Dods Group publication. He joined CIC as an associate consultant in 2013. He is a member of BCS and an associate member of the Institute of Directors.