Keith O’Leary Principal Consultant, for Sungard Availability Services discusses GDPR with Ronan Leonard of Irish Tech News....
Data centre services come in a variety of guises and how they are applied will depend on particular business needs. The use of third party data centres or data centre providers are no longer restricted to technology companies and are now being used by firms across a multitude of industries from construction to finance. The ability to store, manage and access data over a network, such as from an external cloud supplier, offers a huge number of benefits. For many businesses, data centres have become essential to how they operate.
In accordance with this growing level of importance, data centre services are becoming equally valued. Essentially, this includes the hardware, software, processes and personnel necessary for the operation of the data centre. Cloud vendors, whose reputation depends upon the efficient and reliable operation of their data centres, offer these services and their accompanying benefits to businesses all over the world.
From a hardware point of view, data centre service providers carry out important maintenance work to the servers and network connections that underpin business infrastructure and software. The heat produced by data centres needs to be carefully controlled in order to avoid hardware failures and so data centre design is crucial. Cloud vendors use advanced sensors and predictive software to determine where hardware failures are most likely to occur and install new racks and carry out updates where necessary. This ensures a high level of reliability that means businesses are less likely to be hampered by costly periods of downtime.
Similarly, data centre services are responsible for the implementation of disaster recovery and prevention efforts. For example, many data centre operators utilise backup power systems to keep their servers operational in the event of a power cut or other unexpected issues. They will also have a number of physical security measures in place that limit access to essential data centre staff, protecting business data and services from unauthorised personnel. Some data centres, for example, employ multiple layers of security including biometric defences.
Data centre service providers also offer software-based security benefits to help keep business data protected. User authentication protocols have gained added importance in the age of cloud computing and web-based apps, with individuals able to access potentially sensitive information from anywhere in the world. Cloud hosting companies may employ a variety of user authentication measures such as single sign-on (SSO), where a single username and password combination is required to access multiple applications. Whatever approach is ultimately used, it’s important to ensure that your data centre service package offers a robust security option.
In addition to user authentication, anti-malware software is often employed to deal with the constantly evolving threat landscape. Data centres are built upon a mutual level of trust between supplier and customer and so security is of paramount importance. As such, the implementation of security software such as firewalls can often provide a higher level of protection than that found within internal IT departments. Crucially, data centre services are tasked with continually updating their defences, ensuring that businesses are protected against the most recent threats.
When businesses sign up to data centre services, they do not just benefit from hardware and software solutions however. The personnel at the heart of data centre services also provide valuable expertise that can help your company run as smoothly as possible. Technical support is usually offered 24 hours a day, ensuring that your infrastructure and software is delivered to the level you expect. Data centre managers are also constantly monitoring performance to ensure that any potential problems are neutralised before your business is affected.
In order to benefit from the enhanced security and reliability provided by data centres, businesses must first migrate their services off-premise and once again, data centre services offer a number of benefits in this area. Moving your data and applications to the cloud can be a challenging process, with IT managers worrying if everything will work smoothly once it has been transferred. Fortunately, companies offering data centre services will manage the migration process to ensure minimal downtime for your business. Data centre migration can cause significant problems if not performed correctly, but with the right expertise businesses stand to benefit in a huge number of ways.
At Sungard AS, we offer a range of data centre services including managed migrations, robust security measures and data recovery processes. By utilising more than 30 years of experience in the industry, alongside our expert staff and bespoke infrastructure, we can help turn the dream of the “always-on enterprise” into a reality.