If your on-premise environment were to have an outage, how long could you cope before significant damage was done to your business?

Recent emphasis on the cloud has created the emergence of “the forgotten edge”. A bit like relatives who you’ve been meaning to catch up with; your edge needs a bit of love too.

With less equipment on-premise, these environments are becoming “out of sight – out of mind” and arguably get less attention from IT Managers today. However, we’re making a big call here and saying that those on-premise environments are even just as or even more important than your cloud, as after all, this is now the critical connection to your infrastructure.

Workloads that have remained on-premise such as local servers for low latency, high-performance applications, Wi-Fi, network infrastructure and power over ethernet switches to run our voice over IP are often inadvertently falling down the priority list and becoming the forgotten edge.

We’ve observed a trend in the decline of investment for on-premise environments, which is leaving many businesses exposed. Whilst in physical real estate the environment may no longer be as significant, those racks are most often mission-critical.

Our forgotten edge checklist will help you to ensure that your edge is treasured and your business, protected:

1) Network connection: Previously, if you lost your network connection, it didn’t matter as much everything was on-premise. Now, with information stored in the cloud, your connection is critical. Have you got redundancy for your connection?

2) Physical Security: Our world is currently dominated by cyber security threats, but this often means physical security threats are overlooked. We heavily focus on firewalls, spam, antivirus, Cryptolocker and BitLocker but fail to recognise the pitfalls of physical security threats, when the reality is most security issues are carbon-based errors, i.e., us humans! Someone can go in and accidentally pull the wrong cable, and it happens way too often.

“The OAIC report into security breaches for the Q4 2018 shows that there were 262 notifications of which 33% was human error, 64% malicious or criminal attacks, and 3% system faults.”

3) Protected Redundant power: Whilst it might seem obvious, redundant power often falls down the “to-do” list and only becomes a priority when it’s too late. What availability does your business need to survive? What would the business impact be on one hour of downtime?

What about our single corded devices? A lot of routers and modems only have one power card. Do you ensure they have redundancy?

“The Australian Energy Market Operator’s latest Electricity Statement of Opportunities warns of more simultaneous unplanned outages this summer.”
With even more potential outages ahead we highly recommend using a redundant UPS to ensure that your data and business survive this summer!

4) Redundant cooling: Summer has arrived which is great news for beach lovers but bad news for many data centres as Australia is predicted to have a greater than 80% chance of warmer than average days for the November to January period. Get ready for summer with redundant cooling and ensure testing has been conducted.

5) Environmental Sensors: Whilst we’re talking hot summers, let’s not forget those temperature sensors to proactively alert us of any risks before they become a headache. Add to that monitoring of hazards, like water leaks, humidity or physical access.

6) Out-of-band Management: Murphy’s law says that you will have an issue which needs resolving at the most inconvenient time, and potentially when you are offsite. If we have an outage on a network connection, how do we connect that device to troubleshoot it? This is when we need out-of-band management. This is an alternate path that could be a 4G wireless or it might be a separate switch. It allows us to log in, reboot, and get us back up and running, so we can potentially look at restoration and remediation in minutes and hours as opposed to days.

· Do you have sufficient access?

· Can you access your routers, switches, and servers?

· Do you have sufficient access to remote locations?

In summary, on-premise environments may now be smaller and may only look like a rack or two, but the criticality, the care, the planning, and the maintenance is just as important.

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