7 Must-Knows When Considering a Data Centre Solution

Aampliy_Blog_PRIMERGYInformation and communications technology downtime and delays are on average costing businesses $9000 per minute ($540,000 per hour) according to the Ponemon Institute. The financial services sector took top honours with nearly a million dollars in costs per outage.

But it’s not all bad news.

The cost of fixing the problem is relatively small, as a little investment in increasing the reliability of ICT will provide ROI by reducing productivity and revenue losses – and Investment in the Australian data centre services market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 12.4% in the next 5 years.

This is essential in today’s fast world of big data which is leaving old ICT systems further and further behind. With Australian enterprises putting an increasing focus on scalability, standards, and security, legacy systems just don’t cut it. Combine this with the fact that companies are lacking the expert knowledge and services to keep up with swift IT advances and you have a landscape full of laggards, not leaders.

As such, one of the most challenging aspects faced by the CIOs is how to keep their IT strategy aligned with the business strategy, and their aged data centres upgraded and running with efficiency.

Improving overall data centre functionality and performance calls for modernising your existing data centre through the latest technologies, infrastructure and services. A data centre which is highly responsive, agile and sustainable, reduces operational costs, risk and is future proofed for expansion.

Your data centre has the potential to drive your business forward and help you be a leader in this fast-paced world. Here are our top 7 must-knows when considering a data centre solution:

  1. Scalability

One of the major benefits you can bring to your business with a robust data centre solution is the ability to add data storage capacity to meet your emerging business requirements.  This means you pay only for the capacity you need, knowing that you can easily scale to meet increasing data volume demands.

  1. Security

Maintaining the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information is critical to the success of your organisation. Place your information in a facility that offers state-of-the-art digital surveillance and security equipment for prevention of unauthorised access. Consider measures, such as biometric access points, 24-hour on-site security controls, integrated access management and CCTV systems.

  1. Reliability & High Availability

Reliability and high availability are not the same. For example, a reliable system that takes a long time to fix if something fails does not have high availability. Data centres that have both are those that are engineered to international standards of excellence ensuring appropriate controls are in place.

Keep these key national standards for data centre facilities in mind when looking at your options:

  • Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) ISO 27001
  • Government Security Standards
  • Environmental Management System ISO 14001
  • ITIL IT Service Management
  • ISO 9001 Quality System
  1. Energy Efficiency

Having reliable and high-performance computing power is a crucial aspect of running your business effectively and competitively. It is also highly energy intensive. In Australia, the NABERS Energy rating for data centres can help CIOs, IT Managers and tenants assess energy performance for an outsourced data centre reliably and as a comparison point with other data centres within Australia.

This provides a way for data centre energy efficiency to be externally validated against a standard by an independent government assessor.

  1. Services

Choose a flexible provider who can offer professional expertise, support and services as your business and circumstance change, including:

  • Co-location services
  • Add-on services – On-site services, such as remote hands and media management
  • Project services – Relocation, installation and consolidation from your premises or third party location into a managed data centre
  • Managed services – End-to-end delivery of services and support.
  1. Servers

Servers are the big users of energy in a data centre which is why you achieve greater efficiency by running those that consume less power but still provide best-in-class performance. Your data centre provider can run theirs, or you can supply your own for use in a facility, but it’s critical to opt for servers which will allow you to deliver at the speed your enterprise demands. Bookmark this reference to Fujitsu PRIMERGY servers as a good starting point.

  1. Location

If you’re considering a co-location data centre solution, the location of the facility (or facilities) you will use is an integral factor. If someone from your company will be upgrading or servicing your equipment when needed, you need easy access to this location. Another aspect to keep in mind when assessing locations is to investigate the likelihood of natural disasters and what redundancy operations are in place.

Keep pace with the world moving at a digital speed and be the leader, not the laggard. Fast track your data centre modernisation by understanding the key transformation factors.

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The new data storage model for radical IT innovation

Solidfire_251116You’ve undoubtedly heard about the Internet of Things (IoT), in which almost every device or appliance is connected to the Internet. The collective intelligence that can be gained from these devices will forever change the activities and lives of businesses and consumers everywhere.

It is probable that IoT will impact not just connected devices, but many devices that are unconnected yet still have a current running through them.

We’re not going to get into the details of that in this article, but the point is simply this: everything you’ve heard about the Fourth Industrial Revolution – like the explosion in IoT, cloud computing and Big Data – is likely to prove an understatement.

Recent research from Gartner shows that almost 50 percent of businesses have invested in Big Data initiatives, but most are not getting the best out of their expenditure. The reason: insufficient planning or structure around how to find what they need from the data, and how to best use it.

Given the pace and scale of technological change, that’s understandable. But what can you do about it?

Some traditional companies are now getting advice on how to revamp their IT systems and workplaces so they can leverage the vast computing resources of the Cloud – so they have a chance to keep up with newer, faster-moving businesses.

Businesses struggling to find what they need from huge information flows may take some encouragement from Google. The company has announced the development of an artificial intelligence (AI) engine that it says represents the biggest shift in computing since the appearance of the smartphone.

The company says its massive search database, which now holds about 17 billion facts, will help its AI engine answer queries.

But even when that kind of technology filters down to more general use, it will still be a poor idea to let AI deal with a random assortment of information. A modern, versatile storage system will be needed to provide the dedicated, blistering performance requirement to get the most benefit from any kind of search in an acceptable time frame – whether AI or something else.

Solidfire is a storage system ideal for businesses wanting to ease the transition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It’s an all-flash array system, meaning it has no spinning disks. This offers a number of major advantages:

  • Install only the capacity you need and expand at any time with no downtime and no reconfiguration
  • Ensure rapid data access: Input-output per second (IOPS) can range from terabytes to multiple petabytes
  • Have mixed node and protocol clusters.

In addition, Solidfire provides complete automation, guaranteed quality of service, data assurance (including self-healing drive and node rebuilds) and global efficiency.

Solidfire provides a solid foundation for manipulating and processing the data now being generated in the digital age. And when that foundation is solid, you can make good decisions with confidence – and gain an edge on those who continue to operate in a new world using outdated technology.

Make sure your business is ready. See the infographic here.

How to speed your business up and stay ahead

NetAppfinalblogWe’ve all heard the stories of a severe IT problem bringing disorder to a business’ operations. From banks being unable to process payments, to airlines grounding flights worldwide, these business headaches, which damage a company’s bottom line and reputation, share the same culprit – inefficient legacy applications.

But the solution isn’t as easy as bringing in a replacement. Those outdated core applications have remained in use due to the risks and costs of replacing them being far too high. Then there’s the time investment required, which can range from system testing to large-scale retraining programmes for users and staff.

To cut out the risk of any type of meltdown, the focus must be shifted to achieving better performance though enhancing existing infrastructure.

Accelerating business performance

One of the largest providers of real estate property information in Australia and New Zealand continuously collects and manages data and imagery, including maps and high-resolution images, from more than 130 feeds. Every day, the company takes in large volumes of data to feed a database of more than 500 million property decision points.

This immense amount of data was affecting the delivery of time-sensitive information and consequently, the customer experience. They realised that by speeding up their existing business critical applications they could cut down delivery times considerably.

Now, both database transfer times and report processing times have dropped approximately 70%. Reports that once took 12 hours to run now take only 3.5 hours.

Providing better insights, faster than its competition is at the forefront of this company’s growth strategy and they are on track to achieve this by enhancing their once-inefficient legacy applications.

The solution

Accelerating the performance of your business-critical applications, in a straightforward and cost-effective way, requires an approach centred on providing better overall IT infrastructure performance. This is where flash storage has come into its own and changed the game for businesses, providing response times up to 20-times faster than traditional hard disk storage.

With NetApp’s All Flash FAS the ability to breathe new life into your legacy applications at a fraction of the cost comes from the clever Data ONTAP operating system with FlashEssentials.

By optimising the reading path, incredibly low latency is achieved. That, combined with a highly-parallelised processing architecture, also produces greater throughput, acting like a turbocharger to your applications for a much-needed business boost.

Fujitsu provides professionally-delivered, comprehensive support for critical NetApp infrastructure that is unmatched across Australia and New Zealand. Our consulting expertise helps you take full advantage of all of the product features and benefits necessary for your environment. With our assistance, not only does your NetApp infrastructure run smoothly, it’s optimised for performance.

Click here to download our infographic on how NetApp® All Flash FAS is helping businesses thrive in today’s business world.

Why Leading Companies are Going Agile

AgileBeing faster, more efficient and better equipped for the demands of business today is a philosophy that isn’t just confined to the standard arms of an organisation. It should also extend to your software development.

It’s been touted for years that agile is the go and waterfall is out, but many companies are still yet to embrace the benefits of moving to the agile side. For those enterprises, the risk of falling behind in getting products and services to market is significantly increased.

On the surface it’s easy to see why the waterfall approach is still implemented. It involves detailed plans and schedules being created before any code is written, which sounds like the logical way to plan out a project, following the adage of the five P’s – perfect planning prevents poor performance.

But the difference with software development is that it can’t be treated like your run-of-the-mill business project. It is particularly susceptible to changes because you often don’t know exactly what you want until you see it, so there is always an element of refinement and trial and error that will happen.

Agile development processes, however, embrace this constant flux and accommodate the certain change by focusing on short term plans. Like the waterfall approach, the requirements for a project are defined before the code is written and then tested, but this is done in small iterations, many times. Progress isn’t measured by how much you’ve stuck to the original outline but rather how much usable software has been created after each iteration. With development teams able to continuously align the delivered software with desired business needs, no matter the changing requirements, the risk of a project failing is drastically reduced.

Increasing Speed and Quality

One of the leading banks in northern Europe wanted to deliver new services faster so opted to implement agile development methods.

Targeted acquisitions are central to the bank’s growth strategy but their principle surrounding this was built on the idea of “one group, one system” – a method that was extremely time consuming.

In an industry that is moving and transforming at rapid speed, it became crucial for the organisation to match the changes in the market to avoid being left behind.

With agile development they saw a strong increase in the efficiency of their IT development, reducing the time to market of their services from 14 months to an average of nine months.

The quality of these services was also improved because of the testing and changes made after each iteration.

Teams are seeing the results of their work faster thanks to the short planning and development timeframes, and this is boosting employee satisfaction.

Perhaps most importantly, the business units experience closer cooperation with the IT department, meaning there is a higher degree of certainty that the right developments are taking place.

Delivering Results

This focus on utilising agile processes to speed up time to market is a common benefit organisations are seeing after going agile. A survey by VersionOne revealed that 66% of businesses say agile increases their velocity and helps them complete projects faster.

More streamlined processes ultimately help reduce development and maintenance costs and increase business value. According to a study conducted by Actuation Consulting, 86.9 percent of agile users attribute increased profits to the adoption of agile.

To fully empower your business with the benefits of agile development you have to implement a framework that will support the speed of agile, and that framework should be built on flash storage.

NetApp®’s All Flash FAS enables optimised agile development, making it easier to bring near real-time data into the development cycle and get your applications to market faster.

With All Flash FAS you can create zero-space, near-instantaneous clones of copies of anything from a single dataset to entire end-to-end environments. The reduced storage capacity requirement for these environments takes the significant infrastructure cost out of the equation and when new data is created in these zero-space development/test environments, NetApp de-duplication automatically ensures the underlying storage remains very space efficient over time.

By automating the process of constructing new end-to-end environments or refreshing existing environments, the labour effort for provisioning and maintenance is reduced as well as the time the whole process takes.

The end result is being able to test apps in real time with real data and quickly delivering applications to your users that are faster and more responsive to your business.

Fujitsu is a Platinum Partner of NetApp across Australasia, providing professionally-delivered, comprehensive support for critical NetApp® infrastructure. Our consulting expertise helps you take full advantage of all of the product features and benefits necessary for your environment. With our assistance, not only does your NetApp infrastructure run smoothly, it’s optimised for performance.

Click here to download our infographic on how NetApp® All Flash FAS is helping businesses thrive in the new business world.

The Real-Time Revolution

Turbo

We already know about Big Data and its ramifications for enabling better business decision making, but what’s really becoming a business game changer is the importance of Fast Data.

This is the emphasis on being able to process information as it comes in – in real time – so enterprises can be aware and take action immediately.

Accelerating operations in real time

One renowned German automaker has a firm focus on producing vehicles capable of reaching impressive speeds, but that philosophy didn’t always translate over to its operations.

The engines constructed by the marque are central to their high-performance reputation but in the past the way in which these were being tested was holding back efficiency, productivity and further development.

The company realised that being able to monitor the testing data in real-time could significantly speed up the process as real-time engine data could be instantly correlated with historical test data to recognise an issue as soon as it arises.

Now that the engine data is available immediately there is no need to wait for an hour-long test to be finished before analysing it and engineers can halt a test at any step in the procedure the minute it exhibits unusual behaviour. That’s led to more engine testing capacity each week, enabling engineers to focus on further refinement of the company’s high-performance engines.

Respond or relapse

This importance on being able to monitor and respond to business opportunities as they happen is quickly becoming the norm for high-performing organisations worldwide. A study of global companies by The Hackett Group found that 70 percent of leading firms had access to financial, customer, and supplier information in near real time or within one day.

Being able to respond in real time, however, requires systems capable of working at break-neck speeds and that’s a capability you can take advantage of with NetApp® All Flash FAS. This flash storage solution delivers low latency and enables your systems to operate up to 20-times faster than disk storage. That can mean the difference between taking action on the spot and winning business, or losing out to your competitors.

Fujitsu New Zealand is the premier NetApp System Services Certified Partner (SSCP) in NZ, providing professionally-delivered, comprehensive support for critical NetApp® infrastructure. Our consulting expertise helps you take full advantage of all of the product features and benefits necessary for your environment. With our assistance, not only does your NetApp infrastructure run smoothly, it’s optimised for performance.

Click here to download our ebook on how All Flash FAS can transform your enterprise

Why flash is the future of business.

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NetApp_FAS1

How companies operate, make decisions and serve customers is quickly moving towards a model where speed is an essential element to getting an edge on competitors. This focus on being faster, alongside the rise of big data and the cloud, is making storage a crucial factor in accelerating business.

The operations vital to keeping your enterprise humming are becoming more and more demanding, thanks to the huge growth in data and the increasing usage of this data for applications and business intelligence. That increased demand is putting more pressure on databases to perform.

When it comes to achieving better performance, forget about completely replacing or rebuilding existing systems because these options are expensive and difficult to undertake. The solution lies in smarter usage and adding to existing infrastructure: enter flash storage.

For years disk storage has been the norm for companies but now flash has been significantly enhanced to cope with the pressures of enterprise systems. Compression and deduplication features have made the cost of flash much more competitive and flash storage systems now boast failure rates below those for disk storage.

When flash is enterprise grade, it can reach its full potential, providing lower latency and higher density than traditional hard disk storage solutions, which means you’ll not only get higher speeds, you’ll also fit more capacity into a smaller footprint and save on costs. Storage options like NetApp® All Flash FAS enable you to run database applications up to 20-times faster than disk storage and accelerate the speed of your business for better overall business results.

With NetApp® All Flash FAS you can:

  • Respond to business opportunities in real time
  • Get those inefficient applications running like new again
  • Harness the power of agile development

Fujitsu New Zealand is the premier NetApp System Services Certified Partner (SSCP) in NZ, providing professionally-delivered, comprehensive support for critical NetApp® infrastructure. Our consulting expertise helps you take full advantage of all of the product features and benefits necessary for your environment. With our assistance, not only does your NetApp infrastructure run smoothly, it’s optimised for performance.

Click here to download our eBook on how NetApp® All Flash FAS can transform your enterprise.