A major eCommerce business had followed a technology growth pattern common for most large corporations, building and growing its own data center to accommodate its changing needs. But the infrastructure has aged, and with the current 24/7 nature of the business, downtime was not an option.
The company was in need of a brand-new strategy to update its technology core.
The company had invested considerably in two data centers to handle its capacity, including a homegrown data center and a nearby hosting facility. Preserving this capital investment was a requirement, but the fact that both data centers were in the same region represented a huge geographical risk. Disruption of service was a high likelihood in the event of a major natural disaster, as there have been numerous power-grid outages in the region from hurricanes and other natural disasters in the past few years. The company needed a hybrid enterprise-class data center solution involving at least one out-of-region location, and it turned to the expertise of AIM Consulting for help.
An AIM consultant delved deeply into the company’s business and developed a 3-5 year data center hosting and operations roadmap based on the company’s current situation and future growth projections.
The assessment allowed the company to gracefully adapt to changing business needs over time, with regard to capacity, scalability, and cost flexibility. The roadmap incorporated quarterly milestones showed how to take advantage of emerging cloud technologies, such as Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Following the assessment, the company was able to immediately implement the first stages of the strategy. Though cloud computing is powerful and appropriate for many companies, not every service can be operated from the cloud, so several less-critical services were run from the company’s existing data centers, preserving that investment. The roadmap featured a hybrid infrastructure-services model where some services would be provided internally and some, including colocation and SaaS, by third-party experts. Discussion then took place regarding the movement of mission-critical systems to a new out-of-region data center facility, which would lessen the natural-disaster risk.
The complexity of the project required that milestones be set at a moderate pace; moving too slow carried more risk, while moving too fast invited mistakes. But with a proactive strategy in place, data center scalability, capacity, and availability would enable growth for the eCommerce retailer, rather than become inhibitors as they proved to be in the past.