The economics of cloud computing have changed our assumptions about IT consumption and changed the way companies invest in and develop technology – for the better.
When the corporate data center was the only place a company's critical data could live, and the only place its most important applications could run, it wasn't hard to agree that keeping that data center up and running with five-nines-reliability was worth any effort and any price, even if that meant building a completely separate second data center for data protection to house all the redundant copies of data, all offsite backup and complete disaster recovery systems.
When the data center was the only option, businesses would go to extraordinary measures to make sure it was highly available – even if the solution was to make 10 copies of each piece of data stored.
We challenge ourselves and our customers to think bigger than that. There is a better way.
More than once, we've suggested that it’s time to think about reallocating the biggest data-related expense some companies face in addition to the cost of the data center – the cost of their secondary data center.
Now we can confidently say it’s time to eliminate the secondary data center, eliminate costly replication licenses, eliminate backup and DR licenses, and WAN costs. It’s time to consolidate primary, backup and DR in one managed, consumption-based service. Our customers are; you should think about it, too.
Are you ready? Ready to cut costs by more than 50 percent, get to the hybrid cloud and simplify your overall storage footprint?
Only you and your colleagues know enough about your requirements to answer that, but we do know the five questions you should ask to help make the decision.
To close, or not to close a second data center, these are the questions to ask:
1. Why am I moving from my secondary site?
Think this through methodically so you're comfortable with the decision and can explain your reasoning clearly and simply to others in the organization. The biggest drawback of a secondary data center is usually the need to maintain a complex, highly networked facility filled mostly with legacy technology that eats up your budget with licensing and support costs. This is why the cloud has become so appealing for customers looking to eliminate this complexity and cost.
2. How can I get out of my secondary data center?
Look through your existing software license and support agreements to be sure there aren't any special considerations that might make a move complicated. Look at the cost of replication licenses, backup/DR software, WAN and other costs that might apply, as well as the cost of acquiring or provisioning services in the new environment. Think again about staff skills. It won't take long to acclimate, but, until your staff is up to speed, you might want to have a trusted MSP or other expert create and secure the new environment. It can be helpful to have that same expert evaluate and advise you on the benefits or barriers you're likely to encounter before you actually start your move.
3. What is the economic impact of this move?
Most companies save at least 50 percent by moving to the ClearSky service, but take into account your specific costs. Other than the cost of the move and any licensing issues with your legacy software, what would be the impact on your business of shutting down your second site? If you need to break a lease, have you taken into account any costs involved? Be sure to ask about obligations to the facilities, service providers and partners, just to avoid surprises.
4. Have I identified a migration plan?
The more detailed the plan, the less exciting the process will be. Are there step-by-step directions for specific tasks and checklists to make sure you've done all you need to do to migrate data? Are you prepared to eliminate or re-purpose software licenses that you no longer need? Always remember to repurpose or recycle equipment that would be discarded. Recyclers will remove the heavy metals, but if it still works, there may be someone looking for one just like it. Did you verify that your new provider will help you set up and learn any new equipment?
5. What will I gain by moving?
If you're migrating to a modern, hybrid environment, you're probably getting a simpler data structure and access plan. You can also be confident that your data is backed up to the cloud, is housed in VMs for easy access – and that you'll have a single, durable copy of your data.
Migrating a data center requires care, forethought, afterthought and during-thought. It's not easy, but our customers continue to tell us it’s worth the effort.
ClearSky can help. Our fully managed service, which includes on-demand primary storage with built-in offsite backup and DR, is helping customers across the country do more with their data and access it anywhere.
Tune in to our webinar for more on how to know it’s time to ditch your secondary data center.