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IT for small spaces

With analysts predicting video will quadruple internet traffic by 2014 and 30% of all data will live in or pass through the Cloud by 2020, it’s clear that businesses today are faced with the massive challenge of how to meet the growing demands of the Head Office Data Centre.

Without doubt utilising the Cloud for your enterprise’s software and hardware delivery can produce savings and increase availability which are both attractive to any enterprise seeking to improve their bottom line. However, what about the physical infrastructure and on-premise equipment in the smaller environments such as IT rooms, enterprise branches or remote offices at the very edge of your network?

The cramped quarters of many of these sites can produce a chaotic IT environment and too often these spaces are overlooked, insecure and poorly managed.  Moving to the cloud only heightens the demands and expectations for on-premise equipment, for example, your cloud access node, where your connectivity and networking infrastructure reside, has to meet the same SLAs of cloud providers. Failure to do so can result in lacklustre IT performance and lower user satisfaction rates.

Furthermore, whether leveraging the cloud or not, many enterprise branch offices are already challenged with resolving aging physical infrastructure, efficiency and security issues. So as cloud uptake grows, smaller IT deployments such as computer rooms, network closets and open office space installations in fact become increasingly significant requiring IT managers to actually pay more attention to them than before.  

It’s critical that the physical and virtual infrastructure of the enterprise network must always be available at all times, from the very edge to the core of the network.  On-premise hardware located in these small spaces must connect to this infrastructure, whether physical or virtual, and provide that level of performance with minimal maintenance and management requirements.

So in virtualising networks through the use of the Cloud it is clear that IT Managers must also look to also refresh their physical infrastructure. The IT footprint may well have shrunk and the manner in which the IT load distribution is spread will have changed drastically but this on-premise equipment located at the outer edges of the network is in fact more critical than ever and organisations have to ensure that the physical backbone of their enterprise network can support these new needs.

So what’s the answer? It’s certainly not as simple as just right-sizing UPS, cooling and rack. These physical environments must have integrated and scalable hardware and software architecture, combined with proper cooling, power protection and cabinet space to ensure that siloed systems can work together enabling optimum IT performance and energy efficiency throughout the enterprise. They also require a management solution that enables IT devices and physical environments to be remotely managed. This can be achieved in a variety of ways from device and environmental management on the UPS itself to switched rack PDU allowing individual outlet control and energy monitoring to a centralised management platform such as DCIM software which allows all remote environments to be managed from a central console.

For more information and advice on IT for Small Spaces take a look at these APC Schneider Electric White Papers in the on365 Green Room:

•    Practical Options for Deploying IT Equipment in Small Server Rooms and Branch Offices
•    Cooling Strategies for IT Wiring Closets and Small Rooms

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