Over-reliance on Design at the Cost of Expertise
Last month we examined the common data center mistakes that involve human error. This month let's look at how people's expertise is vital and how documentation can be a costly step to overlook.
Everyone is aware of the vital importance of redundancy in data center design, both for system up-time as well as data security. All data centers must be redundant, some, many times over. Building a solid, modern, secure, redundant data center is important, but the systems in place to operate said data center are even more so. Often, the cost of building the data center is so great that organizations are forced to look for ways to reduce costs elsewhere, and often that reduction comes from the operations department.
There is an option to outsource data center maintenance and operations to facility management companies - which are much cheaper than maintaining an expert staff. However, when system-critical errors occur, they are rarely able to resolve the issue with no downtime. When each minute of downtime can mean millions of dollars at best, and critical system failures that put lives or larger operations in danger at worst, saving money on operations no longer makes sense.
Critical environments require experts to maintain them and prevent downtime, regardless of how many redundancies exist. Those experts need continuous training and drilling (as discussed in the previous article) so that they can properly document everything and maintain effective processes and procedures. This is the foundation that keeps those expensive, redundant systems up and running, with no downtime.
Next month we'll discuss the mistake of overlooking proper documentation procedures.