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The costs of data center downtime and dealing with data center failures – Hiren Desai

Few months ago, I blogged about getting the most from your current Data Center resources while customers evaluate options such as cloud for their business needs. We all understand that today’s business environment is characterized by rapid, unpredictable change. Some changes bring opportunities for your business, while others bring challenges and threats. But no matter what, your business has to be responsive and resilient —seamlessly taking advantage of opportunities while mitigating risks.

Your business depends on IT infrastructure (whether hosted in your own internal data center or in Cloud) and must be designed to maintain the continuity of your operations and secure data integrity in the event of an unexpected disruption. It also must help you comply with government regulations and integrate risk strategies to reduce costs while scaling rapidly and automatically as the marketplace changes.

New external & business risks such as hurricanes, floods and security exposures seem to be emerging every month that affect customers’ data center operations and ability to maintain their mission critical IT environment– a recent reported example includes the storm that hit the East Coast in US taking down Amazon Web Services affecting Netflix, Instagram, Pinterest, and many other clients and the services they provide to their customers. It was the second time AWS went down in June, and, together with a recent Salesforce.com (CRM) outage, drives home the reliability concerns some enterprises still have about putting their business in cloud. Additionally, operational challenges (global IT operations, IT Consolidation, mergers, etc.) put pressure on data centers to be continually available, and regulatory compliance requirements focuses attention on improving risk management. At the same time, customers and IT users want excellent service levels; and many businesses are using high availability as a differentiator. Every situation is different, but these tend to be the driving forces that are compelling organizations to push business continuity up to higher priorities. Given these drivers, what are the risks of doing nothing? They are probably obvious and include such things as: financial costs, reputation/lost customers, productivity, and top line revenue. Most importantly, whilst the relationship between the time of outage and revenue may be linear, reputation and financial losses increase exponentially with the increase in outage time — this is because it threatens the ability of the business to recover and damages reputation and relationships.

For every major enterprise, the ability to continue operations in the event of disruptive external events is critical. These organizations need to do more than demonstrate the ability to recover quickly from a disaster -- they need to show that whatever the threat, they are able to continue doing business seamlessly.

To me, it is all about how to efficiently utilize your data center resources while still evolving and scaling your data center architecture to meet user expectations of accessing applications from any place and device at any time. Cisco continues its innovation leadership with the Data Center Services portfolio by bringing unmatched architectural flexibility and revolutionary scale with comprehensive business resiliency strategy that is based on the unique perspective of Cisco experts and proven leading practices.

When Should You Engage Cisco Data Center Services?

  • You’re thinking about incorporating new technologies such as Virtualization and Cloud – while these technologies provide business value to enterprises, they also bring operational challenges in terms of  resiliency, availability and scalability of your data center infrastructure
  • You’re looking to optimize the existing data center architecture for specific business applications
  • You need to maintain a high level of performance and operational efficiency of your existing data center infrastructure

How will Cisco’s Data Center Services Benefit Your Business?

There are a number of key advantages of partnering with Cisco Services.  One such reason is the expertise that is brought to bear with a team of senior experts, called Solutions Architects. These experts can discuss architectural issues by providing holistic risk assessment to address business continuity, resiliency and disaster recovery across the various data center technologies, thereby allowing you to bridge the gap across various technologies in your data center to make your business more resilient.

Another key advantage is the unique design expertise that the Advanced Services Consultants gain from working with internal Cisco R&D teams.  In this way, you gain a unique “inside track” into Cisco’s extensive knowledge base across your entire company.

Learn more at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10364/serv_group_home.html

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