How do data centre managed services work with the education sector?
✔ Machine learning
✔ Artificial intelligence
✔ High-performance computer systems
With the data centre services market projected to increase to $105.6 billion globally by 2026, higher education facilities can tackle logistical, performance and budgetary concerns by outsourcing the challenges of running an on-premises data centre while accessing state-of-the-art infrastructure.
What is the importance of data centre management in universities?
The challenges of data centre management for higher education
Availability and uptime are critical to a data centre that does its job. If you continue to rely on spreadsheets for managing server information, you know how much of an issue maintaining accurate and complete information is.
This is a particular problem when dealing with unplanned downtime requiring troubleshooting or mapping out the power chain.
Utilisation of Capacity
Space, power and cooling are the three factors that allow a data centre to function. Creating an efficient data centre often means working with severe limitations in these three areas.
With the help of managed data centre services, you can shift this burden to a dedicated facility.
Reducing Operating Expenses
Operating expenses are a constant headache for facilities running even small data centres. By design, these installations consume vast amounts of energy.
Moreover, universities must budget for upgrading software, getting the latest hardware, and replacing broken components. You may also need to employ a dedicated team to run it all.
With 25% of English universities reporting a budget deficit in 2018, controlling costs is a massive problem for higher education institutions.
Achieving Zero Days
A “Zero Day” means that your data centre was not attacked. While you cannot guarantee one of these days, you can ensure that your servers aren’t breached due to a cyberattack.
Most of your time managing your data centre will be spent obsessing over security, and with so many potential physical and virtual entry points, it typically necessitates employing a dedicated cybersecurity team.
The costs of failing to meet this challenge are immense. For example, the Blackbaud Hack of 2020 saw more than 20 universities and charities in the UK, U.S., and Canada fall victim to a data breach.
Complying with Governmental Regulations
Previously, data centres were largely built and managed based on commonly accepted best practices. However, as cyberattacks grow in number and prominence, governments worldwide have acted to enact legislation to regulate data centres.
Higher education institutions must also comply with these regulations while managing their data centres. Moreover, these regulations are constantly evolving, necessitating an in-depth knowledge of the latest developments within the sector.
What benefits do data centres provide for higher education?
Data centres are essential for how higher education facilities operate today. Whether opting for an in-house data centre or outsourcing to a managed data centre, the benefits are the same.
Some of the reasons why universities worldwide rely on data centres include the following:
✔ Secure off-site servers that enhance your university’s security.
✔ Higher uptime rates guarantee constant access to vital data.
✔ Reduced costs of data storage.
✔ Greater capacity to manage enormous amounts of data.
✔ Fully scalable infrastructures to grow alongside your operations.
With students, tutors, academics and administrative staff generating more data than at any other point in history, data centres are the only way to store, process and disseminate this data.
In short, a data centre is a must-have for the higher education sector.
Which data centre approach works best for higher education?
Deciding how best to address the data centre issue means evaluating the pros and cons of each solution.
For most higher education institutions, the choice is between an on-site data centre or a managed service. In some cases, colocation facilities may also be on the table.
Every higher education institution differs, and each option has pros and cons. What works for your campus may not work for another.
In this section, we’ll discuss some of the most common approaches to data centres.
On-site data centres
Campuses often choose to utilise on-site data centres. While costly and complex to maintain, they offer several benefits unavailable via outsourced services.
Some of the advantages include:
✔ Total control over your data centre.
✔ Added in-house security.
✔ Flexibility to grow your data centre as you please.
✔ Long-term savings.
Even though on-site data centres offer higher upfront costs, they can be more cost-effective in the long term, especially compared to colocation facilities.
Managed data centre services
On the other side of the spectrum is the managed data centre. These facilities allow higher education facilities to purchase a package and have a dedicated company do everything for them.
This also includes renting the hardware and software that allows a data centre to operate in the first place. Unlike a colocation centre, you don’t need to supply hardware or software.
So, why do managed data centre services make sense?
✔ Multiple locations to improve your backup plan.
✔ Access to unrivalled expertise.
✔ State-of-the-art hardware and software.
✔ Simple scalability.
✔ Save money on employees, infrastructure and running costs.
Everything can be managed via a customer-facing interface, and you can contact tech support if there are any problems.
✔ Compromised credentials
✔ Cloud misconfiguration
✔ Third-party software vulnerabilities
✔ Physical security
Finally, there is the environmental side. Today’s data centres account for 1% of all global electricity, which is enormous. With so many universities committed to sustainability practices, how will you manage the green implications of your data centre?
Speak to our team today for tailored university data centre solutions
With the complexities of implementing and managing campus data centres, it’s essential that you get the support you need to make your plans a reality. At Keysource, we specialise in building sustainable data infrastructures for the education sector.