IT New Normal

First and foremost – Cirrus Data and I join the chorus of people offering their deepest sympathy to those directly impacted by COVID-19. We are also extending our heartfelt thanks to the many folks on the frontline who are fearlessly and tirelessly working to keep our communities healthy, safe, and fed.

That said, in IT, we often live in a world that is unique to us. We operate in the background keeping the systems running – no matter what. We have our own language with special acronyms. There is generally a particular corner at cocktail parties where the IT professionals congregate, while others graciously leave us alone. COVID-19 affects all of us, including IT, and we are all adjusting to a new way of doing everything. Every routine is upended, and we all have to find creative ways to forge ahead and make our world normal once again.

Distance while Connected

One significant change that we are all dealing with is our increased dependence on IT infrastructure. As internet traffic skyrockets and business shifts to online meetings, shopping, and remote access to everything, IT demand is exploding. Microsoft Azure reported that Windows Virtual Desktop usage spiked to 3x the previous highest volume. Verizon reported a 20% increase in overall web traffic, with VPN usage up 34%. All of this connectivity means we need more of everything – compute, network, and storage. IT professionals are trying to expand their data centers to increase the capacity and capabilities for remote workers, all while maintaining social-distancing.

Remote Data Center Management

In our new remote world, IT connectivity is how we remain connected when we are physically distant. It makes our global data centers essential for our society to continue functioning. At the same time, everyone wants to prevent more people from getting sick and stop the spread of the virus. Businesses are making critical decisions about the minimal staff level required to keep their data centers humming.

Equinox recently issued a statement advising that they were taking deliberate steps to limit the number of people on site. Other major data center operators like Iron Mountain, CoreSite, and CyrusOne all issued advisories to customers asking them to restrict any onsite work to only critical items. The challenge for everyone is maintaining operations without having personnel onsite, never mind expanding capabilities and connectivity. The data center’s design primarily determines the level of onsite management.

For data centers that enable remote facilities monitoring and provide technicians secure remote access, there is more flexibility. For others, where security is the top priority, and remote connectivity is strictly prohibited, there is some level of onsite personnel required. The other primary concern – especially now – is redundancy. Losing data due to limited redundancy would be devastating for some businesses that are already suffering from the impact of COVID-19.

Data Migration with COVID-19

As businesses grapple with how to manage and expand their data centers in today’s off-site’ environment, the task of moving onto new storage or into the cloud becomes critical. Historically, the organizations undertook thoughtful studies on how to navigate around scheduled downtime or whether to try and work with a purpose-built “free” tool. Unfortunately, given the mission-critical nature of our global IT networks and data centers – there is no time to “try” a potential approach. Any data migration needs to be seamless, remote, and it has to protect the data being moved.

Tech Refresh

Remote Solution to the Migration Challenge

There is good news. The answer for data migration that doesn’t require onsite resources and comes with built-in data protection. You can migrate with the confidence knowing that your applications will not be impacted. From the start, the Cirrus technology was designed for non-disruptive remote management. Whether you need to move from old storage to new storage, rebalance the storage already in place or enhance the data protection you have, there is a vendor-agnostic solution.

How Cirrus Migrate will Help

  • No onsite personnel required
  • Install appliances non-disruptively – completed by CDS
  • Migrations run remotely – can be completed by you or CDS
  • pMotion eliminates the need to remediate the server and perform the cutover now
  • No server administrator (SA) or database administrator (DBA) needed
  • No storage resources required
  • Data moved to more capable array non-disruptively

Moving you to a new array

  • Increased performance
  • More capacity
  • Improved reliability
  • Reduced risk with old array removal
Working Smart

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What’s next?

There is no sign that COVID-19 will disappear as quickly as it changed the way we work, live, and learn. The impact of the virus will likely be with us for a while. As businesses struggle to understand what that means for their network and storage needs, CDS is here to assist remotely. Our global organization is working with customers, partners, and within our communities to do what we can to migrate data to new storage arrays. If you are unsure how to navigate the data center changes, reach out. We’ll do everything we can to help. We are all in this together.