DATA CENTER DESIGN
It’s a Whole New Ballgame
True sports fans know the terms by heart – wins, losses, points scored, points allowed, etc. It’s become part of the everyday language when following our favorite teams.
But there’s one term just as important that
you may not recognize: disaster recovery.
Doesn’t ring a bell? Maybe not, but it’s
rapidly becoming a core driver of success
for every professional team today.
Beyond the Stats
Fact of the matter is, sports teams
are much more than players on the field.
They’re full-fledged business entities with
profit and loss centers. Whether looking at
the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys or the NBA’s
New Orleans Hornets, these global entities
focus on ticket sales, audience acquisition,
merchandising, and marketing. And similar to many non-sports related businesses,
they count on data to keep their franchises
To sports teams, data is much more than
player stats. It includes video-indexing statistical engines, collaborative end-to-end
scouting solutions, and real-time access
to advanced analytics. Add into the mix,
baseline data requirements facing every
business – e-mail, finance, and human
resource material – and it’s clear that information determines whether many sports
franchises succeed or fail. But what determines the integrity of the data? It’s time to
scout out a business continuity player.
There’s a new strategy being entered
into the playbook – disaster recovery. And
it’s not just about buying newer and faster
hardware to store and manage information.
The newest trend is to make it all happen
quickly and seamlessly – while leveraging
the advantages of cloud.
By BRIAN VANDEGRIFT
The Data Playbook
For professional teams, data is truly
omnipresent; consider the mobile aspects
of team statistics; e-mails, market research,
scouting, and customer information; audience analysis; and player acquisitions.
And that’s just at the top of the scorecard.
According to analyst firm IDC, the
“digital universe” of data around the globe
now tops 1. 8 trillion gigabytes. The firm
equates this to every person in the United
States tweeting three times per minute
for nearly 27,000 years. IDC also notes
enterprises account for almost 80 percent of information created and managed
across this digital universe. Trouble is: this
number isn’t slowing down.
In its report, Extracting Value from
Chaos, IDC states: “The number of ‘files,’
or containers that encapsulate the infor-
mation in the digital universe, is growing
even faster than the information itself, as
more and more embedded systems pump
their bits into the digital cosmos. In the
next five years, these files will grow by
a factor of 8, while the pool of IT staff
available to manage them will grow only
More importantly, the analyst firm
notes the volume of data to be stored and
managed is far outpacing storage capac-
ity – and hardware simply cannot keep
up. This means these sports entities can no
longer recruit new hardware to ensure data
reliability. Doing so puts the company’s
very business at risk.
Restructuring Your Team
Storing and managing the flood of data
used to be a relatively simple proposition. The more data acquired, the bigger
the IT infrastructure. Managers of grow-
ing sports franchises focused on buying
new storage and networking equipment to
handle the increased capacity. But it’s not
that easy anymore.
Industry analysts estimate typical maintenance accounts for about 30 percent of
all IT infrastructure costs. But to determine
the cost of poor infrastructure maintenance, it comes down to downtime. While
the numbers vary greatly, many estimate
IT downtime can cost a business as much
as several thousand dollars per minute.
In his now famous report, “The
IT Complexity Crisis: Danger and
Opportunity,” industry expert Roger
Sessions calculates that IT downtime is
potentially costing businesses worldwide
as much as $6 trillion annually. Doing the
math, that’s $500 billion per month.
His analysis states: “The coming melt-
down of IT; the out-of-control proliferation
of IT failure is a future reality from which
no country – or enterprise – is immune.
The same IT failures that are eroding prof-
itability in the United States are impacting
the economy in Australia. IT failures are
rampant in the private sector, the public
sector, and the not-for-profit sector. No
place is safe. No industry is protected. No
sector is immune. This is the danger, and
it is real.”
But what’s this have to do with data
and the infrastructure supporting it? Quite
simply – given the costs associated with
downtime, the volume of information,
and the increased complexity of today’s
data centers – the old method of storing
and managing is no longer relevant. It
used to be enough to build out an internal
data center, but it no longer makes sense.
There’s a whole new way of doing things –
and the answer can be found in the cloud.