Time for Automated Infrastructure Management (AIM) in the Data Center

Claudia Lehmann<br/>FNTClaudia Lehmann

Claudia Lehmann is Product Marketing Manager at FNT.

Cloud, mobility, the Internet of Things, and Industry 4.0 equals the next round wave of computing known as the Internet of Everything. This means huge growth in the volume of data that is transmitted, processed, stored and managed.

To accommodate this growth, automated data center management systems are essential for provisioning and managing a large number of assets and connections. All activities and changes must be logged for later reference and auditing. Unauthorized changes should automatically generate alarms, thus enabling rapid fault location and correction. To optimize data center infrastructure operation and precise capacity planning, the system needs to provide tailored reports and analysis.

Targeting Network Problems

More than half of network problems are caused by physical layer issues. Issues in documentation, patching and stranded switch ports are the most common. Accurate manual documentation requires a high effort and accuracy is only as good as the person preforming this laborious task. Patching mistakes cause 28% of downtime in data centers due to insufficient work order management and high failure rates during MAC processes. Due to insufficient documentation, many switch ports may even be unused. Put simply, data center operators don’t have a complete understanding of the available ports.

The AIM Solution

Comprehensive Automated Infrastructure Management (AIM) solutions can offer both software and hardware monitoring assistance. From a software perspective, the benefits include a centralized database with an entire physical infrastructure inventory, the capability to control changes based on work order management, graphical illustrations of networks, and better use of installed capacity. Hardware benefits range from real-time physical connectivity monitoring, automatic updates of databases to ensure 100% accuracy of documentation, automatic tracking of all changes, and alerts on any unsolicited changes for greater security.

How AIM Could Work in Your Environment

Implementing professional AIM systems isn’t as difficult as you might think. To optimize data center infrastructure operation and precise capacity planning, you should implement an interface between hardware monitoring assets and your asset management system. A few vendors already provide such standard interfaces to simplify the implementation during daily data center operation. Network managers can then manage their physical infrastructure to be fully automatic by retrofit with just a small number of components such as patch cord connectors, sensorbars for patch panels, and analyzers for network cabinets.

Overall, AIM systems empower network managers to have complete control of their physical network and perform work orders faster, more efficiently and with nearly zero fault rate. Thanks to the central documentation, infrastructure and operational decision makers have all the information they need to make better informed critical capacity and compliance decisions. This, therefore, increases data center efficiency and ensures networks are ready for any and all upcoming challenges.

Opinions expressed in the article above do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Data Center Knowledge and Penton.

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