IT environments running on legacy servers cannot deal with the data growth requirements of today. An IT infrastructure can have a lot of resources and servers but they end up with a wall that simply cannot be breached. The only way forward for that infrastructure is modernization in the form of automation and cloud integration.

At this juncture, there are two line of reasoning circulating around the workplace. One is of the engineering department and the other is of the administration.

Engineering: “We need to add automation because we simply cannot accommodate and effectively manage the continuous data growth. The system is vulnerable to complexity and data loss”.

Administration: “We have to reduce the costs and the business simply cannot endure the disruption of moving all this data from the current data center to a completely new one; not at this time”

Everyone realizes that the transition is necessary but in seeking shortcuts to this transformation, many businesses end up with early failures. Sometimes, the simple integration of cloud storage solutions is considered a way out but cloud integration doesn’t always solve everything.

3 Things to bear in mind when modernizing your IT infrastructure

It goes without saying that IT infrastructure modernization is a difficult venture and requires careful planning and analysis. The 3 things mentioned hereunder are not the only things to bear in mind but they are very important.

With that said, here is what you should keep an eye out for if you’re modernizing your IT infrastructure:

#1: You don’t have to throw all of the old stuff

You may be running your IT environment on outdated or traditional infrastructure but that doesn’t mean you have to throw it all away and setup new systems. The cost implications of such a move would be astronomical. Not to mention, the disruptive process would be extremely unappealing to the administration. In such a situation, cloud connect services are a reliable way out.

You don’t have to remove the entire existing infrastructure, instead you can move the additional workload volume to public or private clouds using cloud connect services. If your infrastructure does not deliver cloud connect services, you can acquire and integrate cloud gateway appliances instead.

With cloud gateway appliances, you can extend your storage to the cloud and setup backup services. You can backup to AWS (Amazon Web Services) or Microsoft Azure cloud and ensure your data is well protected from data loss and is always available.

#2: If you’re getting something new, make sure its scalable

Future proofing is very important. Understandably one can only predict so much and eventually, you do end up with the choice of keeping the old or finding the new. However, if your acquired infrastructure is scalable; you can hold on to it a little longer. For instance, if you’re setting up a storage infrastructure and your Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliance does not deliver scalability and only allows you to scale up; you can only add so many expansion units. You’ll continue adding more storage space and you’ll keep compromising on compute capacity. If the storage space is consumed, the latency would be at maximum making all of the processes very slow.

In this scenario, it’s better to acquire a scale-out NAS instead, so you can add more nodes instead of just expansion units. With additional nodes, compute capacity increases as well. This makes the storage solution more robust to the future in comparison to the previous one.

#3: Leverage Data Tiering Services

Assuming that you haven’t setup cloud technology with your IT environment before and as part of this modernization, you’re doing it for the first time. Then it’s very important to distribute your data into tiers and divide them based on the available data tiering services of the cloud.

Based on access frequency you can distribute your data into three types: Hot, Cold and Archival. Based on importance, you can distribute even further. This distribution depends on how extensively you’ve analyzed your data.

In order to leverage available data tiering services, you will have to be thorough with the data flowing through your IT infrastructure. If you successfully utilize the data tiering services available in the cloud, you can reduce costs and amplify the productivity of the IT infrastructure; not just pleasing the engineering team but also the administration.

An IT environment cannot work with outdated infrastructure, modernization is inevitable. As important as it is, businesses need to make sure that they take their time with it and strategize accordingly instead of looking for easier and faster ways of doing it. That’s my two cents about the subject.