3 Data Center Best Practices Every Mid-Market Organization Should Follow

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In today’s digital world, businesses are built on data. That data has value not only to the organizations that house it, but also to external and internal threats. In order to ensure that your business has the digital services it needs, you need trusted infrastructure. Research by ESG and Dell shows the return on investment, as well as risk reduction, that is obtained from running a trusted data center is significant. On the spectrum of Leader and Laggard IT organizations, 92 percent of leaders surveyed reported that investments in infrastructure technologies to maximize uptime and availability and minimize security risk have met or exceeded ROI forecasts.

Mid-market organizations must quickly respond to changing business needs in order to get ahead of the competition when everyone is ‘always-on.’ How do companies maintain trusted data centers and compete to become the enterprises of tomorrow while also managing IT budgets very closely? The answer is in efficient solutions that enable businesses to do more with less and securely extend the value of their investments. Brands must also have the confidence and peace of mind that vital business data is protected and recoverable no matter where it resides.

Why does leading in data center trust matter? The cost of being less secure is high. Surveyed firms estimate that their average hourly downtime due to security breaches cost is $30,000 to $38,000. Notably, 38 percent of line of business executives have serious concerns about IT’s security capabilities and controls. Additionally, security professionals are in high demand and hard to find.

ESG has identified three best practices among trusted data center leaders, and how Dell Technologies solutions and PowerEdge servers help organizations achieve and support those best practices in an ‘always-on’ landscape.

1. Prioritize market-leading BIOS/firmware security.

Data flows in and out of servers faster than ever before, and it is crucial for organizations to protect this data. That’s why organizations need to ensure BIOS and firmware are up to date. Organizations that prioritize BIOS/firmware security are 2x more likely to say that their security technology delivers higher than expected ROI.

And, it’s not just about BIOS improvements: it’s all the other features and functionality that helps ensure that technology continues to get better and more secure as you go along. Trusted data centers have increased functionality for security.

2. Refresh server infrastructure frequently.

ESG highlights the role hardware plays in the trusted data center and the benefits leaders who refresh their server infrastructure experience. For example, optimized infrastructure results in 41 percent reduction in downtime costs in a modern server environment. Organizations with modern server environments (servers that are less than 3 years old) save as much as $14.3M/year in avoided downtime versus organizations with legacy servers.

That’s because old hardware can’t take on new threats. In the mid-market space, companies may not be aware of new threats that are emerging or may not think they’re big enough to be considered a target. The reality is they could be, and it is even more important to make sure that data center hardware is secure and up to date.

Unfortunately, IT hardware doesn’t get better with time; the older it gets, the less reliable it becomes. It’s going to cost more to monitor and maintain older servers in head count, parts and resources needed to get those servers back up and running versus purchasing optimized hardware on a refresh cycle. It makes sense to refresh more quickly to make sure you’re getting all the latest technology. With more advanced systems, if you do experience issues, you have more failover capabilities.

3. Automate server management.

Highly automated organizations are 30 percent more likely to delivery highly reliable application and system uptime and reduce data loss events by 71 percent. Leaders are seeing tremendous value from automating their server management –they reported saving an average of 10.5 person-hours per week.

How are Dell EMC PowerEdge Servers built to support trusted data centers?

With so much at stake, security is one of the primary values that Dell builds into every single product we deliver. Our PowerEdge servers are engineered with security in mind for optimized infrastructure that lays the foundation to implement best practices.

Security is an evolving landscape and so is server management; “secure today” does not guarantee secure tomorrow. Fortunately, PowerEdge servers provide security that is built-in, not bolted on, and all models leverage the same management capabilities. Automation is essential and Dell is continually expanding remediation and threat detection through our OpenManage Application, including new capabilities around power management for reducing overall power consumption.

Dell Technologies infrastructure enables organizations to easily manage IT environments to solve their biggest challenges. To learn more about how Dell EMC PowerEdge servers are designed with the reliability, simplicity and security features needed to implement the above best practices, watch the ESG Trusted Data Center and Server Infrastructure Webinar (registration required).

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