Five Action Items for Data Centers Today

Make sure your data center plans include these key areas.

Aaron Johnson is a Senior Product Manager at ATEN Technology, Inc.

It's never too late to review or adjust those goals you set for your data center early this year. Be sure to integrate the following items into any plan.

Optimize Data Center Power Usage

Some actions can be taken to reduce power inefficiencies in the data center. They include: cleaning or eliminating workloads that are no longer necessary, consolidating workloads (and continuing to eliminate servers that are no longer useful in today’s workplace); and replacing old power hungry servers with newer efficient servers. Be sure to look for a solution that provides real-time power monitoring, remote power outlet control, and environmental monitoring capabilities.

Take Back Rack Real Estate

Retiring older servers, virtualization, rack mount KVMs, and LCD KVMs will help customers save space and regain rack real estate in the data center. For example, consolidating server access with an all-in-one integrated keyboard, monitor and mouse, allows the data center professional to manage and perform daily maintenance on multiple servers in the data center all from a single 1RU KVM device. By utilizing an all-in-one integrated keyboard, monitor, and mouse, data center users can conserve space, become more efficient, and save time and money.

Take DCIM to the Next Level

DCIM software provides the much needed link between the operational needs of the physical IT equipment and the physical facilities. With more of an emphasis on environmental control, effectively utilizing DCIM software can “open eyes” when it comes to monitoring heat, humidity, and airflow within the data center. Additionally, DCIM software becomes a reporting system that allows the data center professional to see the big picture. For example, during peak server usage, servers generate more heat and increased current, requiring more air flow and cooling to keep this equipment working smooth. With DCIM software, users can better understand and plan according to these spikes.

Look for DCIM software that features power analysis and reporting that allow you to clearly see:

  • Rack Cooling Index (RCI)
  • Return Temperature Index (RTI)
  • Rack Humidity Index (RHI)
  • Rack Air Flow (RAI)
  • ·Rack Pressure Index (RPI)

By tracking effectiveness, as well as inefficiencies, data center professionals will become immediately aware of where they can save costs, save on power usage or power loads, capacity, and even in some cases, CO2 costs. DCIM management software gives users a means to assess, diagnose, estimate, and/or plan how much energy to use or save during peak server usage and/or downtime.

Streamline Device Access

Data center professionals are constantly looking at ways to improve device access: scheduling operating system upgrades, patch upgrades to network appliances, and frequently checking for vulnerabilities (network and data). Most servers can be accessed from a software package residing on the server (RDP/terminal server), but they are somewhat limited. Consolidated access is the way to go, helping streamline this process. Using an IP KVM or local rack-based KVM consolidates all servers and network appliances into the same interface, making it easy and more efficient for the data center professional to quickly maneuver between server and network appliances, install upgrade/patches, and quickly diagnose problems within the data center. After any installation or upgrades are completed, data center professionally should be able to successfully restart these devices and watch the server or network appliances boot while still having FULL KVM access to these devices.

Improve Cooling

This is more about making an effort to utilize effective cooling strategies in the data center.  Ensure that you have a good strategy on hot aisle/cold aisle containment by readjusting blanking panels within racks to ensure proper airflow,  organizing cables again focusing on releasing blocked airflow, and replacing inefficient UPS systems as removing unnecessary sources of heat will help cool the room.

These are all simple ideas to isolate and remove hot air from the data center without over using the air conditioning system. This is also where DCIM management software comes into play as it helps provide the data center professional with big picture snapshots and analysis of where to attack this problem.

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

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