Intelligent CIO North America Issue 22 - Page 74

INDUSTRY WATCH
What role does automation play in addressing the above challenges ?
Automation can help alleviate many of the pain points of modern data center management .
Maintaining uptime is easier with the aid of automatic alerts of potential power and environmental issues . Data center managers can set warning and critical thresholds on the live measured readings from power meters and environmental sensors . Then , upon a threshold violation , you will be the first to know of conditions that may cause downtime so you can proactively remediate the issue before there is a serious problem . By the same token , you can increase energy efficiency by being automatically notified when temperatures reach your lower thresholds , signifying that you are overcooling and wasting energy . Then , you can raise your temperature set points to save energy and money .
Finally , automation can dramatically improve productivity by saving time and improving data accuracy . Integrating data center management tools reduces manual data entry and breaks down information silos , giving data center teams more time to work on strategic projects , get services online faster and collaborate around shared data to drive better decisions .
In what ways can data center managers introduce automation to their management practice ?
Our customers are the most modern data center managers in the world and we ’ ve been fortunate to witness first-hand how they are introducing automation into their management practice . At a recent customer event , a customer presenter early on in their automation journey said : ‘ What we ’ re trying to do as an organization is to get out of the data world and into the information world ’.
The way they were achieving that was to make DCIM software ‘ the center of the universe for the data center ’. That is the story we hear from customers who are successfully implementing automation .
With a second-generation DCIM tool that has fully documented and open APIs , data center managers can easily integrate with their CMDBs , ticketing systems , BMS and many other data center management tools . Then , they can automate virtually anything they desire such as provisioning and orchestration , virtual machine management , parts management and decommissioning . They can also enjoy all the built-in automation capabilities within their DCIM tool such as thresholds and alerts and scheduled email of charts and reports .
How can automation assist with device power budgeting ?
First , consider the traditional approach to device power budgeting and rack power capacity planning . Data center professionals often derate the server nameplate value to 60 % or 70 % to allow for a safety margin . This process is manual , estimated and largely inaccurate . The result is excessive stranded capacity .
This process can be entirely automated with our patented Auto Power Budget feature . Auto Power Budget automatically calculates an accurate power budget number for each make and model instance of a device based upon the actual measured load of that device in your environment running your applications . Power budget numbers are automatically updated every week to ensure a high degree of accuracy . With this feature , Comcast was able to get 40 % more utilization out of their rack power resources and eBay saved US $ 120,000 in a single project by reducing the number of cabinets needed to deploy new services .
What trends do you expect to see looking ahead when it comes to automation in data centers and how can organizations prepare in order to stay ahead ?
I expect to see more adoption of data center management tools that are open and ready for integration with out-of-the-box connectors , along with improving process maturity to enable forward-thinking data center managers to drive automation in their operations . By integrating systems and leveraging automation capabilities in their tools , our customers are saving time and dramatically simplifying data center management . The best practices they are pioneering are getting noticed by other data center professionals .
To prepare , organizations should begin researching how these leaders are leveraging automation to enable a single source of truth , eliminate human error , improve collaboration , increase the utilization of existing resources , maintain uptime , improve workflow and productivity , and more . To stay ahead , organizations need to understand which of their unique pain points can be resolved by automation and deploy modern data center management software that will help them get there . p
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