The Next-Generation Data Center: Securing the Dynamic IT Environment of Tomorrow

By: James O'Brien| - Leave a comment


Data centers are the engines that drive growth for enterprises, but challenges arise when it comes to designing them for success while still securing critical information against cyberattacks and theft.

Developers demand a security-rich, next-generation data center that meets customers and clients in the always-on world of cloud, big data, mobile and social capabilities. In this environment composed of cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security (CAMSS) considerations, data centers have to evolve to keep up with that promise.

But how does IT leadership create a data center that can last for decades when technology and security threats are changing every few years? The following are key vectors to building tomorrow’s data center and keeping it safe along the way:

Building a Secure Next-Generation Data Center

Interconnectivity is part and parcel of the CAMSS ecosystem. However, while interconnectivity drives growth, it also increases the risk of exposure to security threats.

Just look at the numbers in recent years. Security-related downtime incidents climbed from 2 percent to 22 percent from 2010 to 2015, according to Data Knowledge Center. These threats, combined with the need to comply with regulatory data rules, can make the distributed-architecture ecosystem a daunting space, especially for enterprises that are already grappling with rigid security architectures, manual controls and a multitude of dedicated appliances. A key goal for tomorrow’s data-center architects, then, is to mitigate risk and amplify compliance by extending software-controlled environments to both activities. Building a next-generation data center means leveraging a policy-driven approach.

To that end, software-controlled environments can define security and resources in ways that give IT leadership a hands-on capability to enforce IT policy. A single and unified platform is the key — as cloud, hybrid cloud, apps, in-house resource consumption and regulatory compliance factors evolve, management can segment and issue role-based permissions and access over time.

Leveraging Integrated Security Strategies

IT leadership can also use integrated approaches to accomplish the following:

  • Understand threats and vulnerabilities in terms of business impact;
  • Respond to security events with optimal business results;
  • Quantify and prioritize anti-threat investments.

In a recent Dark Reading report, 80 percent of IT and security professionals said lack of integrated security tools is at the root of detection latency and response bottlenecks. The focus for next-generation data centers revolves around de-siloing tool sets, consoles, processes and reports, so security management can see indicators in real time and swiftly take action.

The next generation of data protection will embrace automation, as well. A growing segment of security experts (27 percent) are calling for automated analytics to augment the speed and power of their efforts as the CAMSS environment develops, according to Dark Reading.

Acquiring Overview-Level Feedback

An end-to-end, business-driven approach to security, compliance and risk management that operates within a governance framework and ensures IT recommendations align with business goals is the future of next-generation data centers. Strategic partnerships can help fuel this strategy, as IT efforts should be informed by multiple points of view.

IT leadership should start to front-load planning and design for next-generation success. To get there, it will take integration, automation and a network of experience and skills, but with these factors in the mix, tomorrow’s data center strategies may start to emerge today.

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About The Author

James O'Brien

Freelance Writer

As a journalist and writer in the branded content space, James O'Brien covers business, technology, social media, marketing, film, food, wine, writing and news. The Nieman Journalism Lab has called his work in the custom content space "sponsored content done right." He has written for major regional newspapers, and he has managed and edited established, startup and turnaround newsrooms in varied markets, from community papers to major-city dailies. He consults for firms and businesses — startups to seasoned — on the creation of effective content strategies and the establishment of practical editorial calendars for enacting them. O'Brien holds a Ph.D. in Editorial Studies from the Editorial Institute at Boston University, where he researched and edited Bob Dylan's other-than-song writings. He is engaged in a bibliography for Oxford University Press, covering writings about filmmaker John Cassavetes. He is the author of "The Indie Writer's Survival Guide." His short stories and poetry are published in numerous journals and magazines.

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