How to staff the modern data center

Friday, December 16, 2016

Business operations rely heavily on the capabilities of data centers. From disaster recovery to data storage and application hosting, data centers serve a number of different roles depending on their clients' needs. However, all clients expect their resources to be up and quickly accessible at all times. Data center operators must hire enough experienced personnel to guarantee uptime and quickly solve issues when they arise. Let's take a closer look at how to staff the modern data center.

Consider evolving expectations

Over time, IT operations have become cost centers for many organizations and this is especially true for data centers. The expenses associated with hardware, space, utilities and personnel can all add up, so it's critical for data center operators to consider what stakeholders expect out of staff. TechTarget​'s Stephen J. Bigelow noted that not only must IT do more with less in terms of tools, but staff will likely see role expansions and be expected to wear a number of different hats to support business systems. Instead of hiring more people to take on various jobs, managers will want to capitalize on and improve current staff skills.

Data center staff must be highly skilled.

Evaluate facility size and services

It's difficult to know exactly how many people to add to a data center team, especially when compared to the 200 individuals that make up Google's data center, among facilities for other big names. Operators will have to examine the size of their buildings as well as the hardware and services they house. If you have 100 servers, for example, how many people would be required to maintain them? How many would it take to get systems back online when something goes wrong? What type of delivery and uptime are clients anticipating and what skills are necessary to ensure that these service expectations are being met?

Looking at your own facility can inform a lot about how to staff it. For example, Microsoft employed 500 workers to construct their data center, but now only has 50 full-time personnel to man it, according to Data Center Knowledge. It purely depends on what services are being provided, what's housed in the facility and what clients need.

Optimize staffing

"A major issue within data centers is simply that their staff aren't optimized to uphold service delivery and maintenance expectations."

A major issue within data centers is simply that their staff aren't optimized to uphold service delivery and maintenance expectations. In fact, according to a survey by CIO Insight, only 9 percent of tech executives believed their IT operations were optimized. More than half noted that their department struggles to match IT skill sets with operational requirements, and in-house IT operations management is expected to decline to 58 percent within two years, as organizations look for more capable options of supporting their efforts.

Paramount Software understands the challenges and needs of modern data center facilities, including having the best high-quality technical experts available. With our IT staffing services, we provide contract and contract-to-hire placements to give you options that meet your resource needs. Contact us today to find out more about staffing your modern data center.