Magazine / Operations Management Jan 8, 2021 11:15:00 AM

From cost saving to performance, the benefits of orchestrating the data center

Gartner has calculated that systems downtime could cost thousands of dollars per minute: $5,600 to be exact which, depending on the time slot affected by the inactivity, would fluctuate between $140,000 and $540,000 an hour. 

Not to mention the impact in terms of productivity, time to market and brand reputation, just to name a few factors that would be affected by the temporary unavailability of the servers and, therefore, of the applications that work thanks to them. Fortunately, data center orchestration is available, as a technology that has now become mature and plays a crucial role both on the front of disaster recovery (DR) and on that of business continuity (BC). In fact, there are at least three benefits that can be obtained if a company decides to orchestrate one or more data centers: cost saving, optimization of human resources, better performance.


Cost saving, ensured by the orchestration of the data center

Orchestrating data centers allows a reduction of costs because it reduces the percentage of risk in case of accidents or sudden malfunctions. Although incidents of fire, flooding, power outages, attacks can be considered rare, if they happen and the restoration does not take place quickly, any company could be seriously damaged. Just think of what would happen if the company in question were a credit institution or a Telco company, with the impossibility for its customers, in the first case, to make withdrawals at the counter or use home banking; in the second, to make and receive phone calls. The orchestration, on the other hand, is closely connected to the automation of processes in environments, such as the current ones, in which hybrid and heterogeneous infrastructural architectures. The same automation, in addition to significantly reducing the risk of data center shutdowns, brings additional cost savings because it removes the burden of business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) from manual intervention guided by humans.


Automation replacing manual procedures of IT staff

Until a few years ago, recovery procedures were in charge of IT staff who had to follow certain protocols and procedures when, for random reasons or due to human error, there was a block of operations. This mode, in addition to requiring variable time to identify the root cause (sometimes days), forced IT resources to devote themselves to solving the problem, distracting them from their daily commitments. On the contrary, the automation on which a data center orchestration model is based is able to govern particularly complex activities and to do it in the right order, with adequate and certain times and controls. IT staff is left with the task of verifying that the shutdown of one data center and the start of another have been successful and smoothly. Therefore, not only does automation objectively cost less than the manual approach, but it also enhances human capital by making sure that it deals with tasks with greater added value.


Orchestrate data center, now a must-choice to improve performance

The third benefit of orchestrating data center is the overall improvement in performance. This result depends on the fact that the automated control of servers, applications, services and networks generates a speeding up of the phases of identifying the type of problem, its resolution and the recovery of damaged components. Orchestration increasingly concerns heterogeneous environments in which physical and virtual data centers can coexist: this implies a harmonization of the execution of procedures between operating systems, databases and middleware. A composite ecosystem in which even the greatest IT solutions experts would be unlikely to be able to extricate themselves or find the key to the problem should a blocking incident emerge. This is why orchestrating the data center not only has benefits for the company, but is most likely a choice now obligatory in the contemporary digital scenario.

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