The current COVID-19 crisis has forced all of us, in a very short space of time, to make major and far-reaching changes to the way we work. With a large part of the workforce working remotely, companies need more than ever, continuous availability of the IT systems that allow them to collaborate and communicate.
A data centre outage at this time could have an even greater impact than usual. With access to office-bound resources and manual workarounds unavailable, remote access, collaborative working software and the infrastructure it depends on, have attained a new level of business criticality.
At the same time, IT Managers are facing an increased likelihood of problems from sources such as:
- Data centres manned by skeleton staff, unable to carry out maintenance to normal standards, leading to a greater chance of failure, as well as longer problem resolution times.
- You or your support company’s specialist IT Staff may not be allowed onto data centre sites at all.
- Telcos, busy with the increased demand on their networks, may take longer to resolve problems with your communications lines.
- Increased likelihood of security incidents due to less well-protected remote networks and the large number of employees working from home becoming targets for opportunist attackers.
- Disruption to supply chains may mean a longer wait for replacement hardware when needed.
- Disrupted backups with no-one on site to handle tapes.
This can all seem a bit daunting, especially with your technical teams already flat-out supporting a large remote workforce. The good news is that there are some very quick and simple measures that can be taken right now to enable hands-off management of your data centre.
For users of HPE ProLiant DL & ML Servers, the standard Remote Management offers no remote console functionality, limiting administrators’ remote control to RDP and SSH connections, which are dependent on the server’s operating system and frequently fail.
Adding a relatively inexpensive iLO Advanced License to your HPE ProLiant DL/ML servers will give you peace of mind that your support team can fully control the server console remotely, regardless of the server’s state.
Click here to view an ILO comparison.
As an added benefit, iLO Advanced users now get the HPE iLO Amplifier pack for free. This enables Infosight, HPE’s revolutionary AI-based support platform, to extend proactive support and self-healing to your ProLiant, Synergy and/or Apollo Servers. It provides trend insights, forecasting and recommendations to predict and prevent problems. HPE Nimble storage customers are already enjoying the benefits of InfoSight with operational costs decreased by as much as 79%, trouble tickets resolved in 85% less time, and issues automatically predicted and resolved before service is impacted. Bring the power of the AI-driven data centre into your server room today and free your support team up to drive improvements to systems and innovation for the business.
Backups and DR
If your backups are being impacted by a lack of onsite staff to swap tapes, we can set up temporary backup storage for your company in the public cloud, with Storage Service Encryption to ensure your data is protected to the very highest standards. This can be done with minimal impact to your existing backup software, you only have to pay for data storage while you’re using it and you are free to revert to using tape again (should you choose) once the crisis is over, with no ongoing costs.
We can also look at protecting key virtual machines in the cloud to ensure service continuity, temporarily moving file stores into the cloud for your remote workers, in order to ease the burden on your data centre comms links. Likewise, this 'pay as you go' facility can be dropped with no commitment and no ongoing cost once business operations have returned to normal.
There are many other optimisations we can make to ensure your systems are protected during this unusual period. With a team of Modern Data Centre Consultants each holding over 20 years’ experience in systems design, we can offer you a Disaster Recovery Assessment to look at your existing Disaster Recovery provisions and make recommendations that will improve protection, lower your recovery times and save you money.
To ensure your valuable processing and storage resources are directed to exactly where you need them on your VMware platforms and that none are going to waste, we offer the popular VMware Data Centre Assessment, a short engagement that can be organised for you very quickly.
Please call your Ultima Account Manager today for a free consultation to discuss your immediate disaster protection and remote support needs in more detail.
Written by Nicholas Farina, Senior Technical Consultant – Data Centre