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Living a Connected Life: How to Maximize Data Center Throughput and Capacity Planning

April 07, 2020

Late last month, the Deutsche Commercial Internet Exchange (DE-CIX) in Germany set a new world record for data throughput driven by increased internet usage, recording a staggering 9.1 Terabytes per second of data transmission. Meanwhile, tech giant Microsoft  reported an all-time high 775% increase in its cloud service demand. The reason? In a roundabout way—COVID-19, and with it, record numbers of citizens sheltering in place, using a myriad of internet-connected devices to remain connected during an unprecedented time in our shared history. Every teleconference we join, movie or series we stream, online grocery order we place, virtual class we attend or news broadcast we watch involves multiple data centers transmitting and storing data. Downtime is no longer an option.

There's simply no denying that while the volume of digital interactions increases exponentially before our eyes, the stakes have never been higher for reliable data center operations. And with powerful, intelligent solutions put in place, data center managers have the ability to greatly maximize these operations and simplify capacity planning.

Minimizing impact and ensuring business continuity

Today, most businesses operate a hybrid network with a mix of assets in enterprise-owned and colocation sites as well as cloud. But while managing and tracking equipment from each site and rack is essential, it’s also highly complex.

The following are two considerations for simplified device- and site-level management that can make an immediate impact in helping data center professionals ensure business continuity—especially during times of critical need and demand.

Intelligent power distribution units (PDUs) with switching capabilities 

With robust intelligent power management, it is possible to boost operational efficiency by managing and monitoring power use at the rack and device level. This allows both data center service providers and tenants to have visibility of power usage and trending.

PDUs with remote outlet-level monitoring and switching capabilities allow data center managers to identify servers that are over or underutilized. Outlet-level readings also provide information to determine what servers and applications would be best suited for virtualization and where there is available space and capacity in racks. Many colocation providers rent rack, cabinet, or caged spaces, so this feature also benefits both colocation and tenants.

Additionally, the ability to cycle power to each individual outlet allows devices to be turned off remotely, unless specifically assigned to power equipment to carefully manage power and utilization.

Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) Software with Simple Interface

Easy integration with a monitoring software that gives users a single point to view, trend, and report data points collected by PDUs is also crucial. A comprehensive DCIM solution presents the health of all sites in one view and by seamlessly integrating into the PDU, it helps data center managers visualize multiple racks and servers in one interface. The DCIM should also be able to provide notifications and alerts on events such as power usage, temperature and humidity thresholds, hung-up equipment and more, so that data center managers can identify issues before they become expensive problems.

Additionally, monitoring data collected in the data center software can be used to improve capacity planning. Space, power, cooling and network connectivity data can be captured and analyzed to more accurately predict when the data center will run out of capacity. This data can also help identify ghost servers and other underutilized resources, as well as help optimize thresholds for energy consumption, power management and environmental monitoring. As the volume data in our digital lives continues to rapidly increase, factors both in and out of our control will impact our usability and accessibility to the information, data and connections we depend on. Understanding what we can do before and after the fact is critical to better aligning our data centers for future optimal performance—after all, we’re all in this together.
NOTE: CPI, in partnership with our DCIM partner, Sunbird® Software, is providing DCIM software FREE to hospitals and health care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.
Posted by Charlotte Leary, Marketing, CPI Europe at 4/7/2020 12:12:39 PM
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