Managing your entire information technology (IT) infrastructure can be daunting, especially if you’re a small- to medium-sized business (SMB). You’ll have to face a gamut of challenges if you’re planning to do this on your own. Learning about these obstacles beforehand can help you handle your infrastructure better. Here are some of the most common infrastructure challenges and how you can overcome them.
The most common challenge for SMBs is managing costs. Working with a limited budget, you’ll have to refrain from purchasing anything other than basic infrastructure components, such as an internet connection, routers, workstations, and servers. If you want to make the most out of your dollars, a cloud solution is your best option.
The cloud is a scalable data storage solution that can save you tons of money in the long run. By migrating to the cloud, you can choose the amount of storage you need for your business, preventing you from paying for features you won’t use. What’s more, you don’t need to buy new hardware and a new cooling system to maintain it. By migrating to the cloud, you’ll have your data in a secure virtual location that’s managed by IT experts — usually by a reliable managed IT services provider (MSP).
More than being a storage facility, the cloud can also facilitate data processing. You can adopt Fast IT, an operational model that uses flexible methods such as combining your existing infrastructures to deliver support to your current business functions cost-effectively. Its programmability will make the most of the assets you already have by using it in conjunction with the cloud. This way, you not only protect your investment but increase its value as well.
Managing data availability
The Uptime Institute’s Tier Standards evaluate the quality and reliability of a data center’s server hosting ability. It separates the good-enough data centers from the beefed-up ones that ensure your data is available anytime, even after disasters. Here are the data center tiers:
|Tier 4||- Has an uptime of 99.995% per year
- Fully redundant infrastructure
- Has a 96-hour power outage protection
- Only 26.3 minutes of annual downtime
|Tier 3||- Has a 99.982% uptime per year
- Provides at least 72-hour power outage protection
- No more than 1.6 hours of annual downtime
|Tier 2||- 99.749% uptime
- Partial redundancy in power and cooling
- 22 hours of downtime annually
|Tier 1||- 99.671% uptime
- No redundancy
- 28.8 hours of downtime annually
Because of financial limitations, data availability is a challenge for businesses. You can try to treat all your applications as Tier 4, but that would cost you a lot of money and some of your data don’t necessarily need to be on the top tier to be maintained.
Also, just because an application is at one tier doesn’t mean it will remain there throughout its development cycle. Sometimes, your applications need to undergo changes from development operations to user acceptance testing, and so do their availability needs.
Your company must be able to properly assess and manage the need for availability of every application — whether you’re overspending on availability or perhaps under-protecting your data.
You also need to know exactly which assets you’re working with at any time and the personnel responsible for these. Even a simple out-of-date runbook (a compilation of routine procedures and operations used by system administrators or operators) can cause a recovery failure in case of a disaster.
To make sure that you can juggle all aspects of your IT without missing a beat, partner up with a reliable MSP. This makes sure that your critical assets stay up to date and are available whenever you need them.
Do you need help in managing your IT infrastructure? Contact Integrated Technology Services now and rest assured that your data will stay secure. We’ll make sure everything’s in top condition so you can focus on serving your clients.