Dimension Data has released a new maturity tool that helps organizations assess their capabilities and prioritise initiatives for building a next-generation data center. The Data Center Development Model — the first assessment that covers such a broad spectrum of the data center — was created off the back of strong demand from clients seeking guidance and actionable plans to make their data centers more responsive and agile.

According to Steve Joubert, group executive for Data Centers at Dimension Data, global competitive pressures brought on by social, mobile, analytics and cloud have had a tremendous impact on data centers to transform to remain relevant. “Every client we speak to, is looking for ways to transform their data centers to become more responsive to business needs. This is not an easy undertaking.”

With the expansion of the data center beyond traditional boundaries to include cloud, networking and security, it’s important to look at these areas holistically and not in isolation. A change in one area can have a costly impact in another. Most IT departments still have siloed functions and don’t understand the impact of their projects on other parts of the infrastructure, including the data center. And deciding where to start for the maximum benefit, isn’t easy either.

For example, Dimension Data has seen that virtualization and converged infrastructure projects that don’t include a review and strategy for the underlying network, can increase the ultimate cost of the project three-fold.

“It’s with this in mind that we developed the Data Center Development Model. It’s all about helping our clients make the shift to new operating models across the entire next-generation data center, while focusing on business outcomes with technology being the enabler and differentiator, instead of a hindrance,” said Joubert.

Dimension Data’s Data Center Development Model is ideal for organizations that need to understand the requirements of building a future-state data center. The Model scrutinizes the 11 critical domains in the data center (“as-is” state) and what their future needs are (“to-be” state). The output of the workshop-style engagement is a roadmap which provides practical implementation recommendations for the most valuable initiatives around their data center. Recommendations include:

  • Identifying infrastructure gaps in an organization           
  • Determining the most efficient operating model for the data center, inclusive of management and operations
  • Understanding the best ways to exploit public cloud, hosting, and co-location where it creates value for the business
  • Ensuring the network is geared to support the journey of transformation
  • Embedding security at every step of the journey

Joubert said that Dimension Data has already helped a number of organizations using its Data Center Development Model with excellent results. “We helped one organization build a virtual data center, which delivered a 30% reduction in real estate through consolidation and data center design. Another client saw new resources deliver services 75% faster to its end-users leveraging network extensions to cloud resources.”