Locally and globally, bare metal and cloud – you can combine everything
Data processing models available today provide companies with full flexibility – both in the technical and business layer. Their resources can be seamlessly transferred between proprietary server rooms and data centers of independent operators, as well as cloud platforms – both local and global. Atman is constantly developing its portfolio of solutions that enable the building of distributed and technologically diverse IT architecture.
One of the pillars of effective business management is the need to ensure the continuity of its work. Each downtime is a measurable loss whose value depends on the type of business of the entity, but also a powerful crack on the image of the company, which cannot be allowed in times when clients’ trust is worth its weight in gold. In the time of digital transformation, the IT infrastructure should be the apple of every IT manager’s eye. The challenge, however, is not just to implement (and test!) the security policy and business continuity plan, but also to select the right partners that will help save face in a crisis situation.
Security in every inch
Although Poland is not in the area affected by such natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis, entrepreneurs are still exposed to many threats. Floods in 1997 and 2010 prevented the work of many companies; there were also fires in server rooms – their effects took weeks to remove. Besides, disasters are not the only thing that can stop work – simple power failure, a break in access to the Internet or damage to equipment without a redundant solution may also do that.
In such situations, thanks to the backup data center (Disaster Recovery Center, DRC), the company can get access to a fully functional IT infrastructure that will help maintain the continuity of key processes. But that’s not the only advantage. Cooperation with an external service provider also guarantees flexibility when expanding the infrastructure. The data center operator has spare space, which is more and more difficult to get today in the business head offices. Nor do the companies have to strive to increase its power allocation or obtain backup power supply – the availability of these resources is the basis for the functioning of any major commercial data center operating on the market. The security of the processed data is also guaranteed by a professional and regularly tested fire protection installation.
For the sake of the business
Using the data center operator’s services can also have a positive impact on business security. The data replication service between the client’s server room and the operator’s premises facilitates the creation of the so-called georedundancy – the location of the most important servers and mass storage for the company’s operation in remote centers. Thanks to this, in the case of a large natural disaster (e.g. flood) or a long-term power failure, it is possible to provide services from the backup center and continue work.
Managers responsible for information processing in many companies also take care not to become dependent on one ICT manufacturer/provider. There are several reasons for such decisions. One of the main ones is to avoid the risk of possible bankruptcy of such provider or its takeover by another entity, which could result in a sudden termination of the maintenance contract or a change in its terms.
Another – equally important criterion – is the avoidance of the “vendor lock-in” phenomenon. It is characterized by the fact that the manufacturer creates a closed-end IT solution that is not compatible with components of other providers. This way, the manufacturer not only makes the client dependent on it, but also – over time – it can freely manipulate prices, usually to the disadvantage of the recipients.
Many companies also pay attention to matching the provider and the architecture it offers to the specifics of the particular work to be done. It is beneficial due to the higher time and – usually – cost efficiency. Significant diversity of specializations is particularly striking when individual cloud computing platforms are compared.
From one cloud to another
Building a backup environment can be the first step to the decision to process most or even all corporate data in the cloud. This model has been gaining more and more supporters for a decade as it facilitates cost optimization – certain types of contracts are structured in such a way that the recipient pays only for the resources used. This is important primarily in those companies where business seasonality occurs, and therefore a sudden increase in the amount of data processed (online shops during Christmas shopping, large company accounting at the end of the quarter, etc.).
One can put their IT resources in the data center of a local operator (such as Atman) and/or – using the virtual environment – at a public cloud service provider (e.g. Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure). The main thing is that you do not have to choose “either-or”. From the beginning of 2019, Atman has offered the Atman Cloud Connect service that guarantees communication and data transmission between its own center in Warsaw and the previously mentioned providers of global cloud platforms (the data center that is nearest to Poland belongs to AWS and is located in Frankfurt). Such dedicated communication channel between company resources located in different locations provides the security of data transferred and makes the management of the distributed environment comfortable despite the distance.
In turn, as far as the backup data processing center is concerned, it is also necessary to pay attention to the distance between such center and the basic data center. One of the limitations of DRC with hard georedundancy (e.g. located in a global public cloud) is the latency of data transmission over long distances, due to which it is impossible to create a cluster architecture operating in active-active mode (synchronous replication).
Before each expansion of the company’s IT environment or the introduction of a radical change to it, it is always necessary to carefully consider the requirements, expected benefits and the budget earmarked for it. Then, you will carefully analyze the available options in technical, functional and financial terms so as to choose the best solution – the best, i.e. optimal for your organization.