Data Center Management: A Brief Overview

June 14, 2017

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Venkitaraman G

vServe Delivery Head

Data Center Management has focused roles dedicated to oversee issues pertaining to technical and IT tasks within a data center. These tasks include management of computer and server operations, large amounts of data, services and applications, and the protection and security of the data.

Trends in Data Center Management:

  • A major shift towards analyzing and processing data for on-demand access: Data Centers were initially focused information storage and disaster recovery. Over the years, this focus has now shifted towards analyzing and processing data for on-demand access.
  • Growing rapidly with requirement: With increase in requirements, Data Center Management will raise the bar in efficiency to achieve higher density. This growth will be seen in terms of Point of Presence Data Centers to support Content Delivery Networks for service providers and through network virtualization and software defined network.
  • Computing power with co-location: The requirement of Service Providers to push more computing resources to the edge of the network is reducing latency in reaching the end user. There is a trend in deploying the required size of Data Centers at geographical locations that are relevant to consumer endpoints with an aim to reduce latency.
  • Data Center Management in harmony with IT Service Management: Increasing magnitude of requirements from Data Centers will need efficiency in optimum utilization of resources. Working in synchronization with IT Service Management, will be key in the smooth functioning of Data Centers.
  • Increasing the scale with Cloud: Operations on the Cloud with Data Centers is a result of an increase in information exchange channels with low latency. As networks get overwhelmed, organizations will need to embrace the cloud. With businesses expanding through cloud and Co-location, Data Centers are undergoing a correlative expansion of computing power throughout the network and around the world.

Challenges that arise in Data Center Management:

  • Multiple vendors with associated equipment, applications and operating systems with different contracts and keeping track of their respective warranties, processes, licenses, patches and upgrade processes
  • Multiple data centers having varied maturity levels, different equipment, processes, and procedures
  • Maintenance of SLAs in case of complex environments having different requirements pertaining to application availability, data retention, speed of recovery, and network availability.
  • Monitor changes in control processes and antiquated equipment, and to keep infrastructure up-to-date.
  • Keeping a lid on costs involved in Data Center Management, especially procurement of resources. Energy and cooling costs constitute a major chunk of the data center budget.
  • Deployment of new services and applications faster with limited understanding of resource availability - capacity, power, and space, as well as inconsistent policies and structure.

Important Elements of Data Center Management

Data Center Managers require tools that work with resiliency, help in improving uptime, and reduce risk across the Data Center Infrastructure. Especially in case of network, power, IT equipment, applications software, and applications services.

How does Data Center Infrastructure Management help in improving Data Center Management?

Data Center Managers use the right and most suitable tools and insight to achieve a resilient environment where risk is reduced, uptime is maximized, and services and applications can be delivered fast at minimal costs.

Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) tools bring-in an element of simplification in Data Center Management. This simplification is mainly because of the Data Center operators’ ability to run data center operations efficiently. This further more improves Data Center Infrastructure Planning and Design. It basically replaces Excel, Visio, and even home grown databases.

What benefits does Data Center Management bring?

  • The benefits of a Data Center Management primarily come through time-saving and cost, and improvement in productivity
  • A robust Data Center Management eliminates the requirement of employees to be onsite to identify the assets available in the data center and the space, power and cooling they need
  • It gives accurate data in real time to the Data Center Managers at a simple click of a button. Getting asset details with precision on physical power and network connections helps in getting precision in capacity planning, down to a single port
  • It facilitates automatic identification of critical path capacity points that further helps in reducing risks of failure
  • Data Center Management eases reservations and changes
  • Employee productivity boosts in synergy with implementation of processes and workflows resulting in ensure high quality changes in the data center.

Data Centers are changing with ever evolving business requirements. These business requirements are coming with increase in bandwidth needs for wearable technology and big data. There is now a notable shift in the way organizations are building their Data Centers. This shift is focused towards achieving improved efficiency in Data Center Management.

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