In the 1972 movie The Candidate, Robert Redford plays an idealistic young man who is recruited to run against an incumbent senator. Through the shrewd and calculated efforts of his campaign team, the young neophyte emerges victorious and closes the movie by asking his team, “What do we do now?” Other than, maybe, stirring you to make a mental note to add this to your list of movies to watch on Netflix, you’re probably wondering how this relates to the principles of a data center operations plan.
The point of intersection between a 45-year-old movie and a data center operations plan is just this: in both instances, the vast majority of planning and effort are on the design and development of the structure — a campaign in the former and a data center in the latter — with little focus on what happens after their completion. Data center operations often appear to be the ad hoc marriage between personnel, a few rather large three-ring binders, and in the case of MTDC’s a service-level agreement (SLA) presiding over the whole affair. Improving your operational planning, or your providers, requires a focus on five fundamental principles to ensure that the first question you ask after taking the keys to your new data center isn’t, “What now?”