When to Conduct a Data Center Assessment

Data centers today are much bigger and more complex than ever and it can be challenging for data center administrators to identify areas of improvement without a strategy to define the path for data center optimization.                                                                                                                   

To truly gain visibility and control within your data center with all components such as applications, hardware, power and cooling, and so fourth working as a coherent whole, it is ideal to complete a data center assessment at least annually. 

Below, we explore the intricacies of  data center assessment and provide insights for optimizing not just data centers but also better business goals. 

Why Do You Assess a Data Center?

You need assurance that your data center can perform reliably, regardless of external circumstances. To successfully conduct a data center assessment, you must approach the process objectively with performance metrics. When you identify vulnerabilities, a corresponding strategy thus can be created accordingly. The assessment ultimately benefits your organization across all verticals, resulting in improved financial and operational outcomes and future-proofing your data center for tomorrow’s needs. 

The Data Center Checklist

Data center assessment checklist is an invaluable resource when it comes to conducting your own on-site assessment before reaching out for evaluation.

Hardware and Software 

  • Does your data center have standard operating procedures (SOPs) for hardware and software installation and operation? 
  • In what ways can you demonstrably ensure these SOPs are enacted?
  • Are your security best practices applied to hardware and software operation, as well as operating procedures?
  • Are patches and updates being consistently applied when necessary?

Process Monitoring 

  • Is ongoing monitoring occurring that automatically alerts employees if performance issues arise?
  • If software operation issues occur, is ongoing, automatic monitoring in place to alert employees 24/7?
  • Do SOPs specifically explain how to diagnose, resolve, and monitor hardware and software issues?

 Equipment Maintenance

  • For data center infrastructure systems, do you have pre-planned maintenance actions in place that are routinely completed within mandatory timelines?
  • Do you have environmental sensors in place like smoke alarms? Are they routinely tested and maintained?
  • Are the latest firmware updates applied to server hardware  and network switchgear at a scheduled cadence?

Software Management 

  • Is all of your data backed up to off-site storage?
  • If a failed backup occurs, are systems in place to notify your employees?
  • Have your employees been effectively trained in disaster recovery procedures? 
  • Do you have disaster recovery procedures in place to ensure that systems can be returned to operational status in the event of an emergency?

Conclusion

Every data center has unique needs and challenges.  Whether your hardware is outdated or your processes are duplicative in certain areas, starting off with a data center checklist can help your organization identify problem areas and create actionable steps for mitigation. This way,  you will be provided with both a holistic and specific view of how much your data center can scale and how the organization can be more cost effective in the long run.

If your data center is in need of a professional assessment, ASA Computers offer custom assessments that provide clients with actionable steps to ensure alignment with your data center infrastructure and business goals.  Think it’s time to conduct a data center assessment for your organization? Let our expert consultants help.

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