The value of an optimization roadmap immediately resonates with anyone who has worked on a long-term IT project, like managing a data center. All too often failures occur because the project team did not have the foresight to discern how their technology implementation might evolve over time. Having a roadmap ensures a sound approach to attaining optimization capabilities that can be logically divided and accomplished in incremental steps. These steps deliver tangible benefits that can continue to be leveraged as data center capabilities mature. The data center’s operational maturity increases with the level of strategic relevance it provides to the enterprise, from stage 1 to stage 3.
Stage 1 is device-centric: it provides improved resource management and decision support.
Stage 1 enables better management of all types of power, cooling and IT equipment. Continuous and granular monitoring of the extended power and cooling chain—that is, from the grid to the chassis—provides the visibility needed to pinpoint issues that compromise efficiency at device and component levels. For example, you can quickly identify underutilized servers that tax capacity, or a faulty fan in a CRAC unit causing imbalances in airflow distribution. And, you can do this from a single-pane-of-glass. Furthermore, because there can be literally tens of thousands of devices, having a “unified” alarm management system is a practical measure to help make sense of the chaos in the data center. Unified alarming helps mitigate spurious alarms by enabling alarm settings on any data point or aggregate of data, including system states. Moreover, with these capabilities, you can arrive at an accurate baseline of your data center power usage; one that accounts for how the data center’s energy profile is affected by its physical environment and business cycles.
Stage 2 is network-centric: it provides continuous capacity and productivity optimization.
Once a realistic power usage baseline has been established, you can begin measuring the impact of optimization tactics against it. Stage 2 enables all distributed compute facilities to be managed as a single “network” of data centers, so you can manage these resources as a single ecosystem to yield optimum capacity. Customizable, at-a-glance dashboards provide real-time decision support. User-configurable, data-driven analysis provides insight on performance over time (trending) and forecasting. We call this insight operational intelligence for data centers. Ultimately, this insight makes it possible for data center managers to reduce operating expenditure and help defer capital expenditure.
Stage 3 is enterprise-centric: it provides a more complete picture of the cost of running a data center.
At stage 3, operational intelligence is incorporated into the everyday tasks of managing a data center’s ecosystem—that is, its space, power, cooling and IT equipment and applications. The physical and IT layers of the data center become visible and measurable from a single pane of glass. Baselines and other performance metrics have been established to help uncover the true state of your data center. Now, actions can be validated or course corrected on the fly, which in turns helps improve business continuity and mitigate risk (i.e., uptime). And, you now have the means—the tangible evidence—to more immediately realize the true cost-benefit impact of data center expansion, optimization strategies, and other modernization efforts.
On the Road to Optimization
OpenData software by Modius provides an intelligent approach to attaining the data-driven monitoring and analytics capabilities required to better manage all types of power and cooling equipment, regardless of their location, the types of devices, or the manufacturer. OpenData leverages as many sources of sensor data as possible, directly from IT devices, from infrastructure equipment, including BMSs and other wired or wireless sensors. It monitors and normalizes the performance data from the extended power and cooling chain and provides real-time dashboards for decision support and reporting capabilities that make it easy to examine trends. But, don’t take our word for it. Test-drive OpenData software today with our virtual proof of concept (VPOC) deployed in a live data center. It’s easier than you think.