After the first stage of passing through the State Data Center in Kragujevac, our expectations about the technical capabilities of this place were greatly exceeded. But we still haven’t reached the goal of our visit. We were separated from it by a set of questions, and the answers could only be provided through a dialogue between the data keepers – and those who save the data. That’s why we spoke with Mr. Danilo Savić, CEO of DATA CLOUD TECHNOLOGY l.t.d. (hereinafter DCT) and a man with more than 20 years of experience in the field of information technology and data storage.
He explained to us that DCT‘s range of services includes:
- Telehousing (co-location) – renting out empty space within the Data Center to commercial users who own their own ICT equipment, or the possibility for the Data Center to acquire and connect the equipment for them.
- Virtual data center rental services, i.e. Cloud service type IaaS (infrastructure as a Service). These are individual virtual servers with adequate processing, memory and storage capacities.
In the Kragujevac Data Center, there are two independent telecommunications channels. They allow the user, after renting space for his own servers (or server resources of the Data Center), to independently determine their content, appearance and purpose via the Internet 24 hours a day, every day – whole year.
We were on the wrong track…
Soon we realized that we came to Kragujevac with the wrong premise, thinking that this Data Center primarily rents computer resources. And that all user data is hosted on equipment that is owned by this institution, while at the same time a backup of user data is stored somewhere on the local Cloud. We were wrong, because instead of hardware, the main quality of the Data Center in Kragujevac is actually set of technical characteristics – flawless power supply and cooling that enable uninterrupted operation of user servers in all conditions.
This caught us by surprise and opened up a lot of questions. For example, what happens in case of data loss caused by hardware failure on the servers of users who opt for co-location services? We were told that the DCT is only responsible for data loss if the cause of the failure is a complete loss of power. And that, as we already established in the first part, is practically impossible. According to the words of our interlocutor, in terms of division of responsibility, the line of demarcation is the PDU bar (Power Distribution Unit) on the user’s rack cabinet. Everything that happens from the PDU bar to the customer’s power supply does not fall under the jurisdiction of the DCT. So, by itself, someone’s server in this Data center is not a backup because they are two separate services.
So if a user who decides on this type of service actually needs a backup, he needs to rent space on the DCT backup server or create it at an alternative location.
Always one step ahead of the problem
So what is the purpose of the State Data Center in Kragujevac? Well, it’s quite simple. During the planning of this facility, all risk factors of data loss were taken into account. Its infrastructure guarantees uninterrupted power supply, cooling and excludes the possibility of excessive overheating of the device during the operation of servers with huge capacities. The issue of energy efficiency, which is of vital importance to all users, has also been completely resolved. Through the monitoring system, Data Center engineers follow the activity on the network and react quickly in case of any attempt to compromise the server. All the listed components contribute to reducing the risk of an accident. That’s why the choice of this location for data storage provides users with uninterrupted business continuity and the operation of important portals and applications.
All of the above means that in the absence of optimal conditions (airflow in the server, increased overheating of the hard drives), the service life of the data storage device is reduced. Regardless of their capacity. By increasing the number of drives, the operating temperature of the server increases, too. In inadequate conditions, this always leads to failure. For example, keeping servers in substandard rooms is a common reason for RAID failure in many companies which bring us hard drives for data recovery in HelpDisc. In the Kragujevac Data Center – such a scenario is simply not possible. Every aspect of data storage is equally taken care of here. And every type of storage device failures that you can imagine – someone has already foreseen and prevented it with a series of measures.
Remote hand assistance
Of course, there is still the possibility that one of the hard drives from the co-location service user’s server may fail. If this happens, it is possible to activate an additional service, i.e. possibility of “remote hand” technical support and remote assistance. In this case, after receiving a request from the user in the form of a ticket, the Data Center’s on-call engineers open user’s rack cabinet and replace the damaged disk. And after that, they upload a video proof of their activity in the ticket form. In this way, the malfunction is quickly removed, without the need for the server owner to physically come to Kragujevac.
Users and importance of data backup
The impeccable potential of this project has been recognized by many government and commercial users. Starting with the Government of the Republic of Serbia, its relevant ministries and all the way to local administration. Both state centers, along with the Government, are part of the Communication Ring. This means that all data is recorded simultaneously in Belgrade and Kragujevac, at several physically separated backup locations. (data centers)
There is a handful of users from the commercial sector, too. From the giants of the global ICT industry, through the largest IT companies from Balkans area, many have found their place under the digital umbrella of the Data Center in Kragujevac. Their clients are telecommunication companies, banks, bookmakers, television stations, but also other successful businessmen for whom the security of their own data is imperative. Based on that, we can say the contents of the premises of the Data Center in Kragujevac are a miniature mirror of the Serbian and world economy. To a large degree, it is the merit of Mr. Savić and his team of experts who write a successful business story with their work.
We are more than grateful because they allowed us to see how they take care of their users data. As frequent witnesses of a one-size-fits-all approach to data storage, we are pleased that there are positive examples and perfect storage conditions in which is given importance to every detail. This further encourages us at HelpDisc in our desire to continue working on affirming the importance of data backup. Because no matter how good the conditions in which data is stored – the best preserved are those that have a own backup copy. In practice, this has been proven to us many times over almost two decades of daily work with clients.
Finally, here is the one interesting thing. In the past 7 days, we have had over 30 requests for data recovery from those who thought “it won’t happen to me”. But it happened. Although they could have easily prevented it by keeping an extra copy of their data.
Therefore, leave nothing to chance. Do your backup on time, before it’s too late.