Optimizing Data Center Performance for Financial Institutions

The modern bank is only as good as its data center. Future Banking spoke with Alan Farrimond, EMEA vice president of sales at Anixter, about strategies to optimize performance and energy consumption, and how cabling is the essential building block behind their design.

What do you think are the key challenges facing financial institutions and other large corporations in the area of data-center optimization?

Data centers are continually evolving to keep up with the growing needs for capacity, performance and uptime. At the same time, managers of data centers are also anticipating future needs, and the impact of those needs on budgets. Anixter has developed the Infrastructure as a Platform approach for data centers, which guides our customers in the development of agile environments that allow them to plan and build with interoperable technologies in order to fulfil current demands and scale as needed to meet future requirements.

Most banks are moving from largely in-house data centers to a hybrid computing environment. How do you see this journey progressing, and what particular challenges does co-location present?

With the trend towards co-location, it’s crucial for an organization to maintain the same infrastructure specification that they have when moving off-premise. When considering a potential facility, we advise our customers on a process to better understand their own facility requirements, the cost impact and long-term savings opportunities, how to manage human and physical resources off-premise, as well as how to effectively migrate to a co-location facility without disrupting business operations.

What are the leading causes of downtime, data loss and hardware damage, and how should financial institutions guard against them?

Financial institutions can hit downtime due to a number of reasons; for example, software issues or people hacking into the data center. You have to pre-design the data center in the right way, build resilience into it and then make sure you have a thorough management-to-maintenance program.

How can cabling help reduce energy consumption in data centers, ensure future-proofing and provide the essential building block for optimization?

As data center demands increase, we’re seeing speeds go from 25-100GB/s today to 400GB/s in the very near future. This is based on a fiber environment; the interesting thing about fiber over copper is that the wattage for the former is actually less for each port. When you scale that across the entire data center, that means you need less power, more managed power and less cooling, which is great from an environmental perspective.

What do you believe will be the impact of digital technology and data on the workplace?

The goals of technological innovation are fairly consistent across various industries: increasing productivity and efficiency to meet business goals. Innovation in the workplace provides building owners and operators new tools to increase the productivity not only of employees, for example, through wireless mobility and visual engagement with digital signage, but also of the building itself, through data-sensor networks and integrated systems that leverage the potential of an internet-of-things (IoT) environment.

Smart design is an approach that requires a collaborative relationship with experts who can help maximise the potential of an environment, which is why Anixter invests so much in our technical recommendation team.

Click here to learn more about Anixter's data center capablities.