Dimension Data Creates Data Center Maturity Tool
Dimension Data operates a public cloud that spans seven data centers around the world. (Image: Dimension Data)

Dimension Data Creates Data Center Maturity Tool

Tool helps show the big picture and impact of virtualization and converged infrastructure projects on data center infrastructure

Johannesburg-based global ICT solutions provider Dimension Data has launched a new data center maturity tool that helps assess capabilities and prioritize initiatives for building next data centers.

The Data Center Development Model was created due to demand by clients seeking guidance, as well as helps Dimension play a bigger role in their next-generation data center initiatives. Providers are generally taking on a more consultative role in customers' data center evolution.

Data center transformations and optimization are dependent on measuring. There is a variety of vendors that assess the health of a data center and provide predictions, as well as tools to assess and optimize the data center. Romonet has a data center modeling tool, Future Facilities has its ACE metric (Availability, Capacity, Efficiency). Schneider Electric provides data center reference designs that can act as guidelines for planning and optimizing a data center, and there are a variety of metrics like the Data Center Maturity Model from organizations like Green Grid.

Dimension Data is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan's Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. The company has been sharpening the focus on its data center services business. In February it announced it would fill 300 new data center jobs around the world over the following 18 months.

The model evaluates 11 domains in the data center in terms of current setup and future needs. In a workshop-style engagement, a roadmap is developed with recommendations.

The data center is transforming in a way that it is more responsive to business needs, according to Steve Joubert, group executive for data centers at Dimension Data.

This transformation includes extending the data center beyond traditional boundaries to include cloud, networking, and security. The tool helps to look at these areas in context of the bigger picture rather than an isolated approach, in terms of how a change in one area impacts costs in another.

Data center functions remain siloed, presenting a hurdle in modernizing. Dimension is recommending review and strategy before undertaking virtualization and converged infrastructure projects for the underlying network.

"It's with this in mind that we developed the Data Center Development Model,” said Joubert in a press release. “It's all about helping our clients make the shift to new operating models across the entire next-generation data center, while focusing on business outcomes with technology being the enabler and differentiator, instead of a hindrance."

Recommendations include:

  • Identifying infrastructure gaps in an organization
  • Determining the most efficient operating model for the data center, inclusive of management and operations
  • Understanding the best ways to exploit public cloud, hosting and colocation where it creates value for the business
  • Ensuring the network is geared to support the journey of transformation and embedding security at every step of the journey.
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