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Future-proofing might be thought of as simply buying the latest hardware to ensure the data centre is secure, efficient and can cope with whatever demands are put on it, both now and further down the line. Some organisations have the luxury of being able to afford to invest in the newest technologies, but many are still restrained by tight budgets. This doesn’t mean that future-proofing the data centre is out of reach for companies without the necessary funds. Better data centre performance can be achieved with the right software solutions without the need to purchase hardware.
Improving data centre investment
For organisations looking to squeeze as much capacity and gain the highest possible performance from their infrastructure, a network monitoring software can prove indispensable. Common network problems, such as bottlenecks, can easily cause a data centre failure if left undiscovered and unchecked. Another issue might be devices underperforming – an overloaded server, for example – and this could result in outages. Network monitoring helps detect and diagnose such problems, so they can be remedied and reduce downtime. It can also analyse bandwidth use and inform organisations how they can maximise data usage. In this way, monitoring reduces the risk of the valuable information in the data centre becoming lost or unavailable.
When capital is freed up for IT investment, a network monitoring solution can help guide how the money is best used and assess how effective the investment has been. Businesses expect new technologies to work seamlessly within existing infrastructure and to see how the investment is having a tangible benefit. The responsibility lies very much with the IT professional to ensure this happens. With the use of a network monitoring tool, they can more easily identify the most effective way to integrate new devices into their infrastructure and can be more confident of avoiding teething issues. The added insight the monitor offers will help ensure new hardware delivers its promised benefits.
A new world of data
Future technology developments look set to dramatically increase demands on the corporate data centre. Take the Internet of Things (IoT) as an example: the possibilities it holds are virtually limitless and it has great potential to radically improve business operations. We can only speculate how widely IoT will be adopted, but it is vital to know how it could transform the use and role of the corporate data centre.
The IT professional will need to know what tools to use to adapt to such change, because IoT will present significant challenges. When you consider that through IoT virtually any device – from a kettle in the company kitchen to a robot on a car factory floor – can be connected into the existing network structure, the amount of data passing through the network is set to expand exponentially. This mass of data will need to be added to the central IT system, analysed and displayed in a meaningful way. And of course, the IT network will be the key to the interchange of all data, so it will need careful attention to ensure smooth running. This is where a network monitoring solution can prove invaluable.
Monitoring the future
IT professionals must be proactive if their organisation’s corporate data centre is to stand the test of time. The knowledge of the IT infrastructure that a network monitoring software provides will put the professional in a strong position to help businesses secure and maintain the data centre. While we can only make an educated guess at the effects of IoT, its development does show that the demands on the data centre could increase substantially. Tools such as a network monitoring solution will stand IT professionals in good stead, arming and preparing them for such dramatic change.
Dirk Paessler is CEO of Paessler, a networking monitoring software developer based in Nuremburg, Germany.