Can Businesses Rely Completely On Third-Party Maintenance For Data Centres?

The market for cloud datacenters is booming, but relying heavily on third party maintenance for data centers will welcome disasters.
Can Businesses Rely Completely On Third Party Maintenance For Data Centres?

Organisations across the globe are moving their data to well-equipped data centres. India, with a total of 126 third-party data centres, are owned and run by 53 different companies. Nonetheless, the capacity is highly concentrated among the top 12 players, who control 95% of the country’s total IT Power capacity, as per a report. Another report has projected India’s data centre market to expand at a rapid 25-30% CAGR, reaching $4.5 – $5 billion by 2025.

In recent news, Singapore-based data centre provider Princeton Digital Group has also announced its plan to build its first data centre in Mumbai, India. Everything till now seems perfect and smooth, but hold on! Do the companies have a backup plan or an exit door? What if something went wrong? Isn’t it true that the viability of a company’s most important asset depends entirely on the performance of a third-party?

Not Just Apprehensions, But Reality

Recently, OVH, a French cloud computing company, experienced a major fire at its data centres in Strasbourg, France. The fire managed to destroy one of the data centres and damage another, along with the company shutting down two other data centres around that site as a precautionary measure. Such a massive disaster immediately brought down more than 3.5 million websites offline, causing massive inconvenience to enterprises with their cloud services down.

Octave Klaba, Founder and Chairman, OVH – got onto Twitter to inform them about the disaster and asked customers to activate their disaster recovery plan. And, during this crucial time, Twitter became the main point of communication for the company.

Adding more to the woes, a large number of companies – including banks, and government bodies of France, typically don’t have any disaster recovery plan. Many, even after getting back online, announced that they could not recover the lost data. It’s a wake-up call!

Recently, even Texas faced a severe winter storm bringing data centres down, impacting around 200,000 customers. It left data centres to rely on their diesel generators, which proved to be non-working under sub-zero temperatures.

Cloud companies are getting popular, with huge datasets stored over the internet. Even though the best protective security layers are employed, it remains vulnerable to weather strikes as well as cyberattacks. 

Take the case of the recent Microsoft Exchange hack that has impacted more than 60,000 organisations and 250,000 servers across the world.

Lessons Learnt

Putting all your trusts on third-party service providers will not be a long-term game. While a robust data recovery plan is critical to cope with future cyberattacks, data centres also require sound maintenance and regular up-gradation check. 

Disasters such as fires are something beyond our control, but the companies must equip themselves with a reliable data backup plan, take, for example, Veeam software. It provides customisation as per the needs of a particular industry and sends regular notices about the backup status. Similarly, the Acronis backup solution helps to identify issues, troubleshoots them, thereby ensuring transparency.

Besides, the adoption of inert-gas fire suppression systems with silent nozzle options – made up of nitrogen or argon can ensure better safety in the future. Moreover, the system will protect the data and equipment. Running fire drills on a regular basis and the availability of a detailed-blueprint of the facility can surely help make informed decisions during the most crucial time after the disaster.

Disasters have happened, and it is bound to repeat itself in one part or other, but it must not come along with the risk of losing all the data. An emergency line of communication should be ensured between the vendors and the consumers to share any updates on a real-time basis for a coordinated response.

Lastly, preparing for the worst-case scenario, investment to develop local infrastructures for the data should be considered a priority. It will enhance the resilience of the enterprises involved. Organizations must also be able to deploy and switch between on-premise systems and public, private, and hybrid clouds that best meet their workload requirements, enhancing the systems’ resiliency thus employed.

Wrapping up 

Well-known cloud service providers, including Azure cloud by Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Rackspace, etc., are here to stay. The point is, industries just cannot pass on the responsibility of data-management to a third-party and doze-off permanently while waking up to realize everything is lost. Collaborative efforts to deal with such scenarios could be a win-win for the digital ecosystem to prosper.

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kumar Gandharv
Kumar Gandharv, PGD in English Journalism (IIMC, Delhi), is setting out on a journey as a tech Journalist at AIM. A keen observer of National and IR-related news.

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