The secret of the data center for SMEs
When was the last time you repaired your company car yourself? Even if you run your own repair workshop or garage, it has likely been a while since you have done this. You usually take your car to a specialist for maintenance and repairs and they park it in a designated parking space in the garage. This is exactly what you should do with your servers! Your digital business processes are probably more sensitive than your company car, however. A car accident is really annoying. Nevertheless, the car can be repaired or replaced relatively easily, while the vehicle lettering can usually be reproduced within a few days. What happens when your IT systems fail? Do you look after your servers better than you do your car?
The professional environment
Many companies treat their servers to the professional environment provided by data centers. The physical security offered by such data centers begins with the location you choose. When making this decision, you have to factor in wide-ranging criteria such as distance to threat clusters and good availability. Data centers are built to be burglarproof and often have security staff working on site. To access the centers, you have to go through multiple security checks, e.g. by issuing a badge, entering a PIN code and passing biometric scans. The indoor climate is constantly being monitored and optimized, however this does not just mean keeping it cool at all costs. The heat generated by the servers is dissipated and the rooms are cooled with cold air, with the focus being on providing the center with an optimal temperature for the servers using environmentally friendly methods.
“Power outage in Zurich causes the Zurich public transport to stop running altogether”
A headline such as this, as was recently seen in the Blick commuter newspaper, cannot be attributed to the servers in our data center. What happens to servers that do not have a redundant power supply? They shut down without warning and the applications stored on them can no longer be run. If a data back-up solution is not implemented, data can sometimes be lost! Data centers are redundantly connected to the power grid. Should there be a power outage, batteries will tide the servers over with a power supply until the diesel generators can take over. Large diesel tanks ensure that even prolonged periods of disruption can be safeguarded against. The generators undergo regular maintenance and testing to make sure that interruption-free operation can be guaranteed at all times.
“Swisscom customers affected by nationwide disruption”
This was a headline recently published by Watson. A carrier-neutral data center always offers multiple network connections for your servers. If a connection suffers an outage, the router switches automatically to another available connection as per its configuration.
The Road Traffic Office in the data center
Vehicles have to be regularly checked and approved by the Road Traffic Office. This makes sense, as a faulty vehicle can pose a risk to the general public. There is no equivalent of the Road Traffic Office for servers, and there are also no test centers. However, commercial data centers usually have been awarded numerous certifications. External experts also check the security concepts and whether these are adhered to. As part of these checks, errors and faults are detected and must be rectified within a set period of time.
The best for your company
What is more important for the success of your company? Your company car or your IT applications? Depending on the business model employed, a company cannot even function if its IT systems are not working. A professional server environment – and perhaps even a back-up server at a separate location – is also a must for SMEs nowadays. This is the only way they can guarantee IT system security and thus secure the long-term future of their companies. The secrets of a data center can be found in their highly redundant infrastructure. By concentrating on one location, more-professional services can be offered – similar to those in a garage. Likewise, specialists are on hand in data centers and take care of the maintenance of the systems. Treat your servers to an environment that is at least as professional as the one your car experiences at the garage.