Everyone dreams of success and, in business that usually means expansion, growth and lots of new customers. But in business, big dreams also often come with a big price tag in terms of IT infrastructure which can quickly turn into a nightmare if anticipated growth does not keep up with costs.
The thought of having to commit to buying warehouses of servers, storage and the accompanying network capacity as a business looks to expand is even harder to forecast in today’s unpredictable market, and can be costly if you get it wrong.
Many organisations have to live with this risk when strong business ambitions anticipate huge demands in additional compute and storage capacity, yet the cost of acquiring the assets can quickly become a drain if the business fails to grow as projected.
But, with the development of cloud computing an agile, cost effective and transparent way to scale resources up and down as required was born. For businesses going through change and ambitious for growth it bought a cost effective way to manage the risk of dreaming big.
Businesses looking to take the next step towards flexibility now have the option to create their own Virtual Data Centre (VDC). Essentially, VDC is enterprise class infrastructure as a service (IaaS) that offers on-demand computing, cloud hosting, cloud storage and applications integrated into the heart of your IT infrastructure.
Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, provides six reasons why you don’t need to be certain of the future to facilitate ambitious growth plans.
Six reasons why Virtual Data Centres are a smart choice:
1. Cost: A VDC replaces the need to buy equipment, power, location, network and people, and you should only pay for what you use eliminating any upfront investment costs compared with a traditional data centre service. Be careful though, to check for hidden costs for data transfer between your virtual data centres, and some providers may even charge extra for facilitating back-up or storage.
2. Availability: Opt to have your VDC infrastructure in more than one place. This will ensure that high availability and resilience are part of the solution.
3. Simplicity: A VDC should be incredibly simple to buy. The best solutions offer automated provisioning of the compute, storage and network resources at the click of a button and can be sized precisely to as small or large as you need. With a VDC you should be able to use popular appliances created by the provider to get you started, or have the ability to create or upload your own and build a service catalogue for your business.
4. Security: You should look for a VDC that is built into the fabric of the provider’s network and secured within a certified data centre. To ensure the VDC meets the necessary requirements, look out for members of the Cloud Security Alliance and Data Centres with PCI DSS accreditation.
5. Compliance: If you have operations across Europe you need to use a VDC provider that supports compliance with European data legislation and allows users to select between different countries in Europe where infrastructure is located. If the data centre is located in the US for example, it’s subject to the Patriot act and probably doesn’t make sense for your business.
6. Authenticity: A VDC should do what it says; it should be a virtual data centre. So, you should be able to build your networks as you would in a normal data centre, including updating and tweaking machines by adding more disk or RAM. To conclude, it should behave and be like a real data centre, but without the cost and hassle.
Matthew Finnie, CTO Interoute