Managing the Data Center – One Rack at a Time

The modern data center is a combination of technologies all working together to help deliver data. As cloud computing, IT consumerization and big data continue to shape the industry – the data center will continue to remain at the heart of it all. In working with today’s data center infrastructure, administrators must not only build around agility – but efficiency as well. The idea is to simplify data center management by breaking a complex environment into more manageable pieces – the racks. In working with rack technologies, there needs to be tools in place that can understand space, power and cooling. These tools can assist the data center manager in areas such as asset management, real-time monitoring, capacity planning, and process management.

In simplifying the data center into rack components, administrators are able to better gather and quantify metrics within their infrastructure. For example:

  • Rack – total rack power
  • Rack PDU – power at the rack PDU
  • Device – power consumed by the IT device

Furthermore, there are direct benefits in managing inventory within the rack environment. At the rack level, there are three primary resources which, as the white paper outlines, must be considered when trying to determine whether the rack can support a new asset:

  • Is there enough contiguous space to house the asset?
  • Is there sufficient redundant power for the asset?
  • Is there enough cooling to remove the heat generated by the asset?

By using intelligent monitoring tools, not only are you able to answer questions around space, power and cooling – you’re also creating a smarter rack. With connections to existing rack management hardware, the intelligent cabinet can provide the following advanced functionality:

  • Asset management – location of all rack assets down to the rack unit
  • Power management – rack PDU and overall rack power management
  • Rack security – access monitoring and lock control via badge or keypad
  • Environmental monitoring – temperature, humidity, air flow, and other sensors
  • KVM – access to rack devices through a KVM switch
  • Touch screen and keyboard at the front of the rack

As the data center continues to evolve – there will be a greater need to work with intelligent tools that can analyze the complex relationships between space, power and cooling. Download this white paper from No Limits Software to learn how smart software tools can create smarter data centers.

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About the Author

Bill Kleyman is a veteran, enthusiastic technologist with experience in data center design, management and deployment. His architecture work includes virtualization and cloud deployments as well as business network design and implementation. Currently, Bill works as the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at MTM Technologies, a Stamford, CT based consulting firm.

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