Oct 21, 2020

COVID-19 accelerates cloud migration

Data Centres
Joanna England
4 min
A new report from Deloitte shows companies are migrating in unprecedented numbers to cloud solutions for security, remote access and more
A new report from Deloitte shows companies are migrating in unprecedented numbers to cloud solutions for security, remote access and more...

The global pandemic has had a radical effect on the business world. To circumvent economic damage and losses, many companies have turned to cloud-based infrastructures. In the second quarter of 2020 alone, global corporations spent a total of $34.6bn on digitised solutions.

We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months,” Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella told Deloitte, confirming the trend.

The rise, says Deloitte’s report entitled The Future of Cloud Enabled Infrastructure, has been driven by several factors, including the shift from an office-based labour pool to a remote workforce, on-premise data centres being rendered inaccessible by lockdowns, and traditional infrastructures and VPNs failing to handle the additional demands placed on them as a result. 

The inability to access the workplace and on-premise systems has also made virtualising the data centre a hot-button issue for the sake of business security and continuity. 

Migration solutions

The shift to cloud has also been heralded as a solution to the vulnerability of tightly enmeshed business and technology structures, which have been further exposed in the pandemic climate. The report also points out that companies are facing several challenges when migrating to cloud platforms. It states: “They face IT complexity, security risk, and operational efficiency challenges. While some organisations are deprioritising or delaying nonessential cloud migration plans.”

Deloitte’s research shows that having an effective approach, staff expertise and suitable tools are the key combination to making migrations successful. Organisations that have responded swiftly have been able to rethink the way their technology handles virtual work, their workforce and workplaces as an opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Managing multi cloud solutions

The vast majority of companies have already managed their multiple cloud systems effectively, but the next step, reports Deloitte, will be led by configuring software, tools and tech to create a “full-stack, multi cloud solution” that could incorporate network monitoring, metadata management, ID and access management and AI for IT operations. 

In the survey carried out for the report, 85% of the responding enterprises said that hybrid cloud, which blends several different types of cloud, rather than multi cloud, which blends different clouds of the same ilk, was the “ideal” business model. A further 61% agreed the need for application mobility across clouds and cloud types is “essential”.

The report goes on to state that; “Multicloud solutions should consider orchestration across these tools and technologies to manage data, resources, and workflows and help ensure the most efficient flow of data across the full solution architecture including storage, databases, platforms, and even security. Only then can the multi cloud infrastructure efficiently and securely support business applications to drive value on an application-by-application basis.”

Virtualised data warehousing also means businesses are no longer managing systems in a single data centre location, rather, many organisations are adopting a more heterogeneous infrastructure, meaning they are simultaneously managing a mobile network, IoT devices and edge computing. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, companies that already had a cloud infrastructure were able to scale down workforce costs and increase resources in places where they saw more demand.

New security tech

Matters of security have been impacted by COVID-19 too, and the work-from-home mandate has rendered traditional perimeter security models useless. Business security must factor a workforce that needs remote access, along with secure virtual alternatives for business meetings, and these requirements will almost certainly need new security models. 

The report points to the zero-trust approach to cybersecurity that’s currently in use by the US state department which has entrenched zero-anonymity security features integrated onto its federated cloud infrastructure. It states; “This empowers administrators to monitor, track, and control all software, hardware, and user access to their respective clouds in real time. In response to the pandemic, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency announced an interim Trusted Internet Connection Policy to deal specifically with telework.” 

Lift and shift

Business replatforming needs to be cost-effective. Consolidating data centres and avoiding the expense of a hardware infrastructure change, means the so-called ‘life-and-shift approach is popular with companies accelerating their cloud programmes. The adoption of DevOps to align IT development and business operations, creates better agility and flexibility too, though COVID-19 has resulted in less strategic innovation initiatives happening and a greater focus on tactical work that solves current problems in the present crisis.

A new frontier

Ultimately, the report concludes, the workplace has changed dramatically as a result of the global pandemic. It has forced businesses to rethink their current structures and it has hastened dramatically the conversion to cloud solutions, which manage changing workforce and business requirements more effectively than traditional infrastructures. Currently, there is no end in sight to this upward trend in multi cloud and hybrid cloud migration, which provides businesses with the flexibility they need in the present global climate.

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Jun 15, 2021

Sustainability and PUE reduction in data centres

2 min
As green data centre design becomes mission critical, rigid evaporative media can be the key to reducing your PUE and increasing your sustainability. 

The data centre industry is at a crossroads. As demand for colocation, hyperscale cloud, and edge solutions continues to rise, operators and enterprises are also facing up to the reality that sustainable design and operating practice are a mission critical component of the modern data centre. Going green is no longer an optional extra.

Data centres are becoming an increasingly critical foundation that underpins the modern world, and the demand for them continues to grow exponentially each year. Data centres must remain in constant operation in order to provide the services for which customers depend on them. 

This mission critical need, combined with the sector-wide push towards reduced energy consumption and carbon footprint throughout the industry, is making the search for innovative evaporative media solutions that keep systems running at peak efficiency an equally mission critical priority.

The two main sources of energy consumption in a modern data centre are its IT equipment and the cooling infrastructure used to keep that equipment cool. A 2017 study found that energy consumption as the direct result of cooling data centre IT equipment can amount to over 40% of the total energy consumption in a facility. From air cooling to liquid and evaporative chillers, data centre operators, finding the right cooling solution for your facility is a top-of-mind goal for any data centre operator. 

Courtesy of Portacool
Courtesy of Portacool

Portacool: keeping it Kuul 

Based in Center, Texas, Portacool is a portable evaporative cooling solutions firm that has been pushing the boundaries of mission critical infrastructure cooling technology since it entered the market in 1990. 

Through constant embodiment of its five brand pillars - Safety & Liability, Total Cost of Ownership, Productivity & Performance, Sustainability & Social Responsibility, and Life & Comfort Enhancing Solutions - Portacool has grown steadily over the past 30 years, continually reinforcing its reputation for industry-leading cooling solutions. 

Portacool’s solutions have been successfully applied throughout the agricultural and horticultural, manufacturing, industrial, business, entertainment, sports, home, and hobby industries - “anywhere cooling is needed and traditional air conditioning is impractical or cost prohibitive.” 

The company’s sub-brand, Kuul, is Portacool’s answer to the growing need for reliable, sustainable cooling solutions in the data centre sector. Portacool manufactures three series of evaporative media – Kuul Control, Kuul Vitality and Kuul Comfort. Kuul Control is used in data centres, power generation and HVAC systems. Kuul Vitality is utilised primarily in the horticulture, poultry and swine industries. Kuul Comfort is exclusively made for usage in Portacool-branded portable evaporative coolers.

Kuul can help data centre operators lower their PUE dramatically, increasing the environmental sustainability of their facilities significantly as a result of its rigid evaporative media solutions. 

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