Selecting an IT Infrastructure for the next 5 years
Computing infrastructure for small businesses is in a state of flux. Cloud technologies are beckoning but are not yet there for small businesses, particularly with existing (legacy) systems. In addition cloud services as currently provided may not be what all small businesses want or need. Therefore thinking ahead and setting up your infrastructure for the next 5 years is a daunting task. No one wants to waste time and money by taking a wrong turn, or upset systems that are working well for the business.
Do nothing is the default option, why change right now?
Ageing hardware and more storage
Unfortunately hardware gets old and you will have to make a decision to replace and renew, so the decision cannot be put off forever. In addition more storage or improved performance may be the driving requirements for change.
Plan for the future
Whatever the reasons for change everyone will have to address the issue of planning for the future. Everyone should consider virtual computers along with growing requirements for data storage. In general people do not welcome change but as everyone knows computing has been an agent for change and will continue to be so.
If you are a business that has embraced computing, typically running one or more windows servers, the question of upgrading hardware and systems is not something you tackle lightly. The question is easier if you want to move to a new system, but it becomes more difficult when there is no real need for change and you want to keep what you have for now. The need to change hardware is often the driver and the key difficulty is that windows servers have been installed onto hardware bought with the software; they are not designed to be easily moved to new hardware. This was done for very good reasons, but the world has changed and the constraints of 5 years ago no longer apply.
Virtual Computing and storage
Virtual computing has changed the computing environment because the link between the operating system and the hardware is no longer a big constraint. You can now run more than one instance of a server on the same piece of hardware. In addition the level of disk storage demanded by business has grown markedly over the years with some businesses seeing up to 60% year on year growth of data.
We have several years of experience with virtual servers and have used them with Scale Computing storage clusters. The advantage of these systems is their resilience, which means that components can fail without stopping the systems, keeping people working. Reliability and confidence in the system is the key to any new infrastructure implementation. The use of cluster storage enables more storage to be added as and when the business needs it.
The right tools for an R3 Infrastructure
Every business requires their computing infrastructure to be Reliable, Resilient against failure and Recoverable in the event of some unforeseen disaster. This is achieved by careful design and using the right tools. We have been doing this for many years and there has always been a compromise between risks and cost for every business to achieve level of “R3” protection they are comfortable with. Five years ago computing was not such key component for the business, but his is not so now. With new technologies an R3 Infrastructure is now possible with just a few carefully chosen tools. Our current solutions are based on using virtual machines with cluster storage and backup to an offsite location, preferably a data centre.
Our R3 Infrastructure tools are:
1. Virtual computing with expandable storage. Scale computing HC3 provides an environment where hardware failure can be tolerated, helping to achieving the reliable and resilient components of the solution.
2. StorageCraft’s ShadowProtect provides the backup component, on site and off site.
3. C4L is the local data centre that we use to store backup information.
This is just one solution; there are a number of ways of achieving an R3 Infrastructure using these and other tools.
For more information follow the links above or contact us.
@ 2013 Proven Virtual Servers c/o Infosysco