IT Setup for New Offices: What to Consider

Setting up or moving to a new office is often an overwhelming period for most business owners. While there are many things to take care of, many businesses overlook the right way to install the IT infrastructure at their office. But setting up your IT infrastructure can lead to headaches sometimes if it is not managed rightly.

Compatibility of Computer Equipment with Existing Applications:

Examine the current set of servers, storage arrays, network switches, and other IT equipment. Estimate available computing resources and verify that the equipment is fully compatible and capable of supporting your existing applications.

Legacy or custom applications with specific hardware requirements can cause problems on hosted servers. Unique operating systems and hypervisors also pose compatibility issues. See if an outsourcing provider or your managed IT support vendor will provide alternative equipment or support your IT organization’s equipment.

Quick Equipment Upgrade Schedule And Detailed Roadmap:

How old is the computing infrastructure of the current data centre? When was it last replaced? When is the replacement due? What new equipment is being considered? These insights will guide your server consolidation and workload balancing plans.

A data centre provider must offer transparency in its technology upgrade plan, as your business will run on its equipment.

Coordinated Equipment Upgrade Process:

Equipment upgrade processes are disruptive, so a vendor must communicate upgrade and upgrade plans to users and work with them to mitigate the consequences of any equipment work.

Will workloads continue to run during team upgrades? How are unavoidable interruptions communicated? Do you have a plan for these outages, such as preventative backups or temporary workload relocation?

Experienced Local Staff and Expert Support:

How many IT professionals are on staff 24/7 (even if the staff is simply a worker following instructions from their computer remotely)? If the data centre is understaffed or technicians are only available, outages could harm critical applications.

What is the response time of the service? Are escalation paths clearly defined in service level agreements (SLAs)? Use general calls to the support team to test response times and quality of service.

Management and Performance Tools:

How is system performance measured and monitored? If you are dealing with an outsourcing provider, are you aware of some or all of this information?

Typically, a hosting company won’t disclose general environment data, but if you’re renting equipment, consider a web portal or application performance monitoring and management (APM) tool. You may need to configure your APM to ensure SLA compliance.

Network bandwidth must be verified and specified in the SLA. For data centre providers, 10 Gbps is common. Include network bandwidth in ongoing performance monitoring.

Can you upgrade to more bandwidth and how much will it cost? On the other hand, can you reduce bandwidth to control costs or balance workloads across multiple sites to avoid the overuse of one?

Access Control And Security:

Physical manipulation and theft leak data and expose the company. Security may rest with the data centre operator, the IT organization, or both.

Is computer equipment insured at the facility? Options include one-way mantraps at the data centre entrance, locked cages around private equipment areas, each with unique physical or electronic keys, and locked access to areas where private data travels, such as cable channels and data interface areas. telecommunications.

Can you track employees, contractors, vendors, and visitors? Consider the method: sign-in sheets, full camera recording, electronic access credentials, or biometric screening.

Is there a permanent record of someone touching your equipment, cable ducts, patch panels, or any area associated with your workloads and data? This is especially important in the case of multi-tenant teams, when one technician’s work on a server may affect multiple clients.

Some data centre providers go beyond electronic surveillance and include full-time staff, and even employ armed guards, to enforce visitor and vendor tracking, facilitate 24-hour user access to the data centre, 7 days a week, and interact with law enforcement and other security protocols.

Secure Destruction Of Equipment and/or Data:

Retired or reused storage components leak data easily. How are old, obsolete or failed drives protected or destroyed? Are disks tracked when they are removed from local servers or storage arrays and stored securely? Who destroys the drives and, if handled by an outsourcing partner, provides the written certification?

Broad Power and Endurance:

Energy is an increasingly scarce and expensive commodity that is not equally available from one place to another. Select a data centre in a region where power is relatively cheap and plentiful; Regional energy shortages can translate into higher energy costs.

The data centre probably uses a combination of conventional mechanical air conditioning and chilled-water heat exchangers, but even a brief interruption in cooling can impact operations.

Verify that redundant cooling units are available and access redundant power sources.

Cooling capacity should also allow for future growth. Humidity control systems must maintain a comfortable relative humidity level for human occupancy and electronic security.

Verify that you meet the specific standards or requirements imposed on data centre facilities for your industry, with documentation. Standards involving data centres include SAS 70 Type II and PCI DSS.

Network Connectivity and Carriers:

Find out which carriers have data centre connectivity such as Cox, AT&T, Verizon and others which may vary by region. A neutral hosting or co-location provider must support a variety of regional carriers and provide redundant and independent connectivity through several different fibre gateway vaults.

About Ng Wei Khang

Ng Wei Khang, CEO at a Singapore based IT consultancy company, APIXEL IT Support, has been operational for over 8 years from now. Apixel provides fixed price IT Support Services with unlimited packages that includes small business server setup, Cloud Solution Configuration, Network management and Data security & Theft prevention. The company also provides expert IT consultancy to SMEs in Singapore.

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