The availability of accurate capacity data and reliable planning information enables optimum scaling of infrastructure components to achieve the ideal balance between service availability (via redundancy and over-provisioning) and energy efficiency.
New technologies and market trends, such as social networks, mobile devices, cloud technologies, and big data, are changing the needs, expectations, and behaviour of customers. This in turn is leading to a faster response to market developments and customer demand as well as faster deployment of new or modified IT services.
This, of course, requires maximum agility on the part of providers and has a direct impact on the strategic orientation of data centres. Against this backdrop, IT managers are becoming increasingly interested in reliable, efficient, fast, and flexible deployment of demand-based IT services. In order to facilitate the enormous growth in data and provide the services people need, data centre operators have to be able to plan their IT and physical infrastructure accurately while having complete transparency across all data centre assets.
The challenge for operators and network managers is to efficiently deploy all data centre assets to handle these growing data loads. The solution lies in optimal planning, process automation, and predictive analysis and prognosis of network, server, load, power, and cooling capacities. This in turn requires detailed information on the current and planned states of all devices. It is also essential to have scenario capabilities and planning processes that can serve as a basis for accurate prognosis.
In addition to these operational requirements, data centre managers face constant cost pressure and have to compensate for the rapid growth in data through continuous improvements in process efficiency. Energy efficiency and environmental sustainability are also a priority - not just in response to legislation, but also as corporate objectives.
Issues, such as risk reduction, the securing of data centres against emergency situations, and adherence to compliance legislation or country-specific audit regulations, require data centre operators to have an accurate overview of how all key facility and IT components are linked.
Other issues requiring constant attention include the development of new facilities, the consolidation or replacement of existing data centres, and the need to respond to new technologies and/or architectural changes.
These challenges can be addressed simply and effectively by applying an integrated data centre management strategy.
The application examples presented above illustrate how a DCIM package offering complete and transparent access to all information and relationships associated with the devices and assets within the data centre is an important prerequisite for any optimisation measures. The ability to measure, gather, and analyze "as-is" values, combined with end-to-end planning as part of a single data centre management tool, provides the basis for achieving greater energy efficiency from data centre IT systems.
Eric Brabänder is Chief Marketing Officer, FNT Software. The company's Asian HQ is based in Singapore and operates in SEA through VARs.
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