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Four horsemen of the data centre

We all know a data centre can be a beast to manage, from ever growing capacity demands to budgets tightening as demands complexify. The best way to solve big issues is to clearly identify them and prepare a prompt plan of attack. We have come up with the ‘four horsemen of the data centre’ which are the top issues data centres currently face - and how they can be rectified with the minimum of proverbial blood spilt.

The first issue identified is reporting and yes, it’s not the most compelling part of everyone’s working life, but it’s important and it is a must for good technology and software asset management. Having a solution which provides real-time reporting is vital to keep data centre managers sane and on top of their game. The solution to combat all this stress is Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM). The solution turns massive amounts of raw data from across tech assets into information in a form that can be easily comprehended and quickly acted upon. The first option is for the solution to generate a detailed raw report of the data and allows the user to have full access to the data. The second is a predetermined report that is a set of data centre business management reports that are known to be of value to data centre professionals and to the smooth operation of the business. It allows one to see a dashboard with data spanning the whole data centre, from monitoring to control systems and all points in between. A DCIM solution also lets anyone from the board to the control room access operations views of the data centre as it is, not as it was (that real-time again).

Money, money, money. At the end of the day that is what the top dogs are looking at when it comes to data centre operations. High performance costs money, and is it being spent wisely? Many questions are fired at the manager on this topic. What can help reduce costs? Software Asset Management (SAM) and Technology Asset Management (TAM) are your troops to make this a reality. They hunt out the underutilised software and hardware and so stop any new unnecessary software or hardware from being bought. Renewing software licensing thankless task and so many organisations fall into the trap of renewing everything and anything to stay over-compliant. SAM identifies what licences need updating and how much the software is being used. This can significantly reduce the cost of a data centre as they streamline what they really need in order to operate effectively and efficiently.

Proactivity is a must

Data breaches have been a headline so often in recent years, and this is not going to slow down, we suspect. Data centres need to be proactive in ensuring their facilities are secure. TAM identifies software, hardware and IoT which could be a potential security risk and compiles it into a digestible format to give a great overview of the data centre, its assets, and their health. With the explosive growth of IoT devices being connected to the network it means there is a higher risk for hyperscale data centres, as it is tough to actually know what is connected and what’s going on with it. By giving full visibility of all the devices which are connected to the network, it lets data centre managers have control and gives them a chance to identify potential risks before anything catastrophic happens. Such solutions also track what has been added or deleted and its usage changes - this all aids in identifying whether there have been any unauthorised changes which could be a possible cyber intrusion.

Scale: The data centre is ever evolving and needs to be able to cope with new technologies very frequently. To be a hybrid, which includes traditional data centre, cloud computing and SaaS models, is no mean feat, so having a tool like Workload Asset Management (WAM) is a life saver. It allows the data centre to optimise its environment by organising workloads accordingly, and scaling as needed. WAM closely aligns itself with the IT and business needs of applications. This allows organisations to optimise the placement of the application workloads through comprehensive management. By monitoring, managing, automating and sharing information, WAM, gives a traditional data centre the opportunity to expand and develop its offering to become hyperscale.

The issues above are just a few of the things that can turn the running of a data centre into a challenge but, by keeping on top of all these ‘horsemen’, your data centre won’t go into apocalyptic mode. The simple way to ensure the sanity of data centre managers and the business they support is to make sure that they have the correct toolbox of solutions. By having the essential solution to face business challenges, it means that data centres can develop with new technology instead of just catching up with them.

Mark Gaydos, CMO, NlyteImage Credit: Welcomia / Shutterstock

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