Challenges of Data Consolidation Part I: Ensuring Network Connectivity

October 28, 2015 Jason Thurmond

The fire hose of data has been turned on, and there’s no end in sight to the hydrant sourcing the spray. Our lives and our jobs are now dictated by what we do with the data that comes our way via any one of countless vessels that carries it to our eyes and brains. If you are responsible for optimizing the performance of your data center, you likely face the daunting task of consolidating data from several facility monitoring systems across your local or enterprise network.

network connectivity

We’ve compiled a three part series on the challenges of data consolidation. Today we’ll cover network connectivity and all the complexity and challenges that come along with needing to remain connected at all times.

 

PART I: Network Connectivity 

Network connectivity challenges exist at the local building, campus and enterprise level. Connectivity still seems to be a significant issue that is prevalent in many large organizations. Due to the real threat of cyber security, there is a strong need to keep certain portions of the IP network isolated from each other.

This isolation can prevent facility management systems from accessing the Internet for sharing data or services such as an email server required for notifications. For the enterprise, the challenge is connecting geographically dispersed buildings together so that one server has visibility to all sites.

Overcoming all of these network issues is possible, but collaboration is required by facility, IT and cyber security teams. Expect long negotiations for specific IPs and port numbers to be made available between isolated networks. Any specific routing rules within the firewall will be perceived as a weakness in security.

To start a conversation, the organization has to see the clear benefit of the change. Reinforcing how the organization will prosper from this change in the network and focusing on a clear risk versus reward analysis is important.

Network connectivity is just the start of our data consolidation considerations. Next time we’ll take a look at the many different transfer methodologies out there, and the pros and cons of each. Until then, you might just want to get some goggles and a towel.

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