As you know, in manufacturing and business in general there are sets of recognized standards and procedures on how to effectively conduct business and operations. For example, if your company is creating a part that another company will use in their finished product, it’s even more important to get things right so the parts fit properly.
Everything from production lines to QA/QC are solved problems in manufacturing. By applying them to your business you are building on the knowledge and experience of other successful companies and customizing only the “secret sauce” of your business. Technology is no different.
In business technology there are also sets of standards and best practices. These are published by international organizations such as ISO, IEEE, and the manufacturers of the products. When used they give your company technology stability, flexibility, and predictable return on investment.
For example, let’s take a company that has three servers that have been installed as the company has grown organically. Many times the servers are siloed, or they will be on different life cycles resulting in one or two of the servers being old, breaking down, slow, etc.
In addition to the day-to-day problems this causes, it also presents a significant risk to the business should one of the servers have a serious issue. The business could lose valuable data, have extended downtime, or have unexpected expenses.
Enter the best practice of installing a fully redundant system or using a private cloud. The idea is you pick up your servers (metaphorically) and place them in the fully redundant system using virtualization technology. Nothing changes from your perspective. That is, all your software, etc. still looks and acts the same. But the company’s information and ability to operate is much better protected and many times the speed of your software will increase.
Previously only available to larger corporations, these systems are now within reach of most small and medium sized companies.
Some of the business benefits of fully redundant systems include:
- Much greater protection against issues, data loss, and other problems since everything is redundant.
- Improved disaster recovery options. For example, all or some company data can be replicated to a data center or offsite and be brought back up much more quickly than in single server scenarios.
- The flexibility to add or remove more resources as the company needs them. That means not having to wait months for more space or upgrades, being able to put up temporary test systems for upgrades, etc., and being able to scale costs down if needed.
- Provides the flexibility to centralize certain technology. For example, you can use a terminal server and not have to buy employees dedicated computers.
As a steward of your company’s information, by using the industry standards and best practices above you can help ensure that your company’s information and technology systems stay safe and available.