Transforming Your Physical Data Center into a Modern Operating Model: A Step-by-Step Guide

Handoyo Sutanto
6 min
February 21, 2023
Handoyo Sutanto
6 min
February 21, 2023

Transforming Your Physical Data Center into a Modern Operating Model: A Step-by-Step Guide

Data center modernization is an umbrella term describing the process of using leading-edge technologies to transform an existing data center to meet customers’ needs better, improve performance, and enhance cost-effectiveness.

However, data center modernization is a complex process with several challenges at each stage. Therefore, you need the right tools in place to jump these hurdles to go from your current state to a modernized data center using leading-edge technologies.

The current state of physical data centers is leveling out. The data center market size is only expected to grow by a CAGR of 5.1% between 2021 and 2030. Another study found that most new construction or renovation data center projects focus on enhancing colocation, but overall industry expansion is plateauing.

Yet, Gartner predicts that 70% of organizations will implement structured infrastructure automation to deliver flexibility and efficiency by 2025. Data center modernization allows you to stay ahead of the curve by leveraging the latest technologies to make the most out of your infrastructure.

A United States federal agency recently discovered up to US$20 million in cost savings by modernization of data center. The agency thoroughly analyzed its operating models, identified modernization opportunities, and now has a comprehensive strategy for significant operational savings.

Undertaking data center modernization involves assessing your current operating model, defining your ideal model, and implementing strategic changes to reach the new model. 

Once complete, you’ll have improved efficiency, cost savings, and the ability to deploy better and manage complex workloads. Is your data center due for modernization? Keep reading to learn how to transform your operating model to meet your customers' current and future needs.

3 Key Steps: Transform Your Data Center into a Modern Service Model

Data centers can gain a competitive advantage and outpace overall industry growth by transforming their data center into a modern operating model. Legacy operating models need more capabilities enterprise customers require while also ineffectively using your infrastructure.

Let’s dive into the three critical steps involved in effectively transforming your data center operating model. 

Step 1: Assessing Your Current Data Center Operating Model

You need to understand your current operating model and infrastructure before moving forward. Ultimately, data center modernization is going from Point A to Point B, so the first step is gaining a thorough understanding of Point A. 

Returning to our federal agency case study, the agency undertook the following steps to analyze its current operations:

  • Evaluate the existing IT infrastructure throughout the organization
  • Generate cost-benefit analysis
  • Collect relevant usage data

Another case study focusing on a separate federal agency leveraged ITILv3 to guide their current state analysis:

  • Service Strategy
  • Service Design
  • Service Transition
  • Service Operation
  • Continual Service Improvement

From there, the consulting firm identified specific areas for improvement worthy of re-design to modernize operations.

It’s important to remember overall business goals during the assessment step. Data centers have many data to sort through - focus on aggregating and analyzing information relevant to your overall goals.

Step 2: Defining Your Target Operating Model

After assessing your current state, you’re ready to focus on clear goals and set actionable objectives for modernizing your data center operating model. 

Focus on specific elements that need improving to accomplish your business goals. Common elements of a modern operating model include:

  • Automation
  • Agility
  • Flexibility
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Improved performance

Similar to Step 1, keep your core business objectives in mind. Your target operating model will leverage available resources to meet critical business goals. 

For example, if you’re striving to improve performance to accommodate the needs of a modern enterprise, keep performance-related goals at the forefront. 

Most data centers will define an operating model that maximizes available resources and improves performance while minimizing operating costs. After exploring all available operating models, you may end up making the same decision as other data centers — Kubernetes.

Kubernetes transform traditional cloud computing with containerization, allowing for new levels of cost-effectiveness, performance, and reliability. As a result, it’s become a popular option for data centers and enterprises.

Step 3: Implementing Your Target Operating Model

After thorough analysis and evaluation, you’re ready to start implementing your target operating model. The overall implementation process involves the following:

  • Planning: The previous two steps helped identify your target operating model. Now, it’s time to dive into the technical side of achieving that model. What technologies will you leverage to go from your current state to your ideal state? For example, you may need bare metal servers, a software-defined network, hyper-converged infrastructure, or Kubernetes for containerization. Build your new tech stack, then begin testing.
  • Testing: Build a testing and migration environment focusing on your new operating model. Bring every new upgrade and technology into the environment, simulate live conditions, and conduct thorough quality assurance. Keep in mind that you need to consider both performance and security. Therefore, guarantee your new environment is as secure as possible before roll-out.
  • Roll-Out: After testing and optimization, you’re ready for roll-out. We advise a phased rollout to catch any issues your testing phase may have missed. Notify customers of upgrades and potential changes they may need to make, and be ready to correct any issues that may arise.

You may encounter some of the following challenges during implementation:

  • Costs: Cost optimization is likely one of your motivating factors, but be aware that you’ll likely have high upfront costs that create long-term savings. Additionally, implementing the correct monitoring solutions help avoid unexpected costs.
  • Security: Your new tech stack may create several benefits but also introduce new vulnerabilities and attack vectors. Include initial and ongoing security testing and monitoring in your overall planning and implementation.
  • Talent: Does your team have the right skills and training for your new tech stack? You may need to provide additional training on new technologies or hire additional specialists. Anticipating this challenge beforehand helps avoid issues arising during testing or roll-out.

Data center modernization doesn’t end after implementation. You’ll need to continually measure results to identify the successes or shortcomings of your new operating model. Include benchmarking and monitoring tools to ensure you’ll accurately understand before and after metrics.

Let’s explore another case study that exemplifies keeping business goals in mind and ongoing monitoring:

A financial tax software provider struggled to encrypt and store sensitive information at its data center efficiently. Slow speeds and high costs significantly impacted many business areas, so improving performance and cost-effectiveness were the most relevant goals to its business objectives.

The company thoroughly analyzed current costs and performance before moving forward. In addition, benchmarking its metrics were vital to measuring success after implementation.

The software provider was able to redesign its architecture for more robust security and more reliable performance. Once complete, the company realized a US$1 million cost savings and 73-91% improved performance for database operations.

Adopt Modern Technologies Sooner Than Later

Now you’re ready to take on data center modernization, but why should you invest the time and resources when legacy systems are still generating revenue?

Staying on the leading edge of innovation allows you to stay ahead of the competition and meet customers' needs with advanced requirements. So let’s explore why you should adopt modern technologies now, not later.

The Benefits of Modernizing Data Centers With Containers and Kubernetes

Containerization has substantially improved on the original promises of cloud computing. Containerized microservices provide precise efficiency and flexibility that maximize all available resources.

Kubernetes is the leading container orchestrator that creates new reliability, cost-effectiveness, and scalability levels. Also known as K8s, Kubernetes was initially developed by Google for improved performance. Now, it’s been adopted throughout many industries looking to improve cost-effectiveness and stability. 

Kubernetes automatically creates containers for specific microservices when necessary, then destroys them when no longer needed. Automation is essential to data center modernization, and Kubernetes enables highly customizable containerized applications. 

Kubernetes allows complex workloads to become entirely automated for improved efficiency and reliability. As a result, you can leverage K8s for your infrastructure automation while allowing your customers to improve their processes. Adopting Kubernetes now allows you to benefit from cost-saving opportunities and offer better services to your customers.

How Lyrid’s Kubernetes Automation Software Can Help Data Centers Modernize Their Services

Lyrid's Kubernetes Automation software allows data centers to modernize their services and bring added value to their customers. Our platform unlocks entirely new capabilities, such as:

  • Support for hybrid cloud environments
  • Automated deployment and scaling
  • Comprehensive monitoring and reporting

Even if your customers are not directly interacting with Kubernetes, your backend infrastructure can significantly benefit from upgrading to K8s.

Additionally, you can improve revenue by reselling Lyrid’s Kubernetes Automation software to your customers by offering it as an add-on or core component of your product. 

You’ll be able to further differentiate yourself from the competition with a unique service that allows customers to embrace Kubernetes for their applications quickly.

The Benefits of Using Lyrid’s Kubernetes Automation Software for Data Center Customers

Bot your data center operations, and your customers will realize several powerful benefits by using Lyrid’s platform instead of starting from scratch. Key benefits include:

  • Improved efficiency from the beginning
  • Saving time and resources during the planning and implementation phase
  • The ability to quickly deploy containers as needed within our platform
  • Automated management of complex workloads

Using Lyrid’s platform allows you to benefit from out-of-the-box reliability, security, and ongoing support from our teams. 

Of course, you can certainly build your own Kubernetes platform, but opting for our software sidesteps key challenges and helps you move from Point A to Point B much faster than taking on the project alone.

Partner with Lyrid to Upgrade to a Modern Operating Model

Data center modernization relies on understanding your current state, defining the future target state, and taking strategic steps to plan and implement key technologies. 

We’ve discussed several case studies demonstrating how thorough analysis, planning, and implementation results in cost savings and enhanced performance. Any organization can benefit from modernizing its data center, from tax software companies to federal agencies.

Lyrid's Kubernetes Automation software for data center modernization simplifies the entire process and equips you with the right tech stack and monitoring tools to accomplish your business objectives.

Is it time to modernize your operating model? Talk to one of our Kubernetes experts today to learn more about how Lyrid can help you step into the future.

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