Giving thanks to your data center manager

What do the peaking colors of fall foliage, the nighttime appearance of the hunter’s moon, and escalating college football and NFL rivalries indicate? That autumn has officially arrived, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

Thanksgiving is primarily associated with family and friends gathering together, enjoying an uncomfortable amount of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, and then lapsing into a tryptophan and sugar-induced state of semi-consciousness. While Americans may also associate Thanksgiving with the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians, the holiday actually spans cultures, continents and millennia. In ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all feasted and paid tribute to their deities as an annual celebration of the harvest and its bounty.

But lest we forget, Thanksgiving is also the perfect time to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for, including data center managers around the world who work tirelessly to ensure business continuity within every enterprise. While typically not perceived as deities, the contributions provided by the data center manager throughout the spring, summer, fall, and winter are no less worthy of honor.

So, for this Thanksgiving, we’re expressing our deepfelt appreciation for the data center manager and enumerating the many ways these unsung heroes maintain peak performance across their facilities in today’s real-time, always-on business environment.

Realizing the bounties of DCIM

Let us give thanks to the data center manager that implements and oversees Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) tools, the software and technology products that converge IT and building functions to provide a 360-degree, holistic view of a facility’s performance to ensure that energy, equipment, and floor space are used as efficiently as possible.

In large data centers, where electrical energy billing comprises a large portion of the cost of operation, the real-time insights these software platforms provide into power and thermal management can have a direct and positive impact on an organization’s balance sheet. But it’s the data center manager who is instrumental in realizing the bounties of DCIM.

Forecasting peaks in server capacity

Abstaining old world implements such as MS Excel spreadsheets and Stanley tape measures to plan facility expansions or layout changes, data center MVPs also leverage DCIM software to project and forecast peaks in server capacity and usage, minimizing unexpected downtime. DCIM provides increased levels of automated control that empowers these data center managers to receive timely information to manage capacity planning and allocations, as well as cooling efficiency.

In fact, an Intel commissioned Redshift Research survey found that 21 percent of data center managers using DCIM for capacity planning and forecasting report that they could recover from an outage within two hours, compared to only 11 percent of those without the software.

Maintaining data center health

According to a recent Information Technology Intelligence Consulting (ITIC) study, “Global Server Reliability Survey,” 50 percent of large enterprise data centers experience downtime at an average cost of $300,000 per hour. Thankfully, progressive data center managers take proactive measures to mitigate the risk of costly downtime and outages by employing a health management approach. Through ongoing monitoring, analytics, diagnostics, and remediation, these regular health management checks can identify issues before they occur.

Adding proof to the holiday pudding, a recent study by Morar Consulting found that more than half of data center managers that utilize DCIM solutions report they’re regularly able to find and remedy issues within their facility within 24 hours.

Consigliere to the C-suite

Every business searches for ways to increase agility, reduce costs, enhance energy efficiency and stay ahead of the competition. Where one organization’s IT infrastructure has not yet reached end-of-life, a colocation solution can be considered. For others, a managed hosting, cloud or hybrid solution typically provides the elasticity needed to satisfy the resource requirements and business objectives in fast-changing markets.

That’s when we can be thankful for the data center manager who functions as the IT consigliere to the C-suite and can communicate the benefits of each environment to help determine what makes the most sense for an organization’s infrastructure.

While the data center manager and C-suite executive may often be perceived as bristly in-laws occupying opposite ends of the dining room table, the reality is that these parties have an interdependent relationship. The challenge is not only to align facilities and IT, but to align the data center with the organization’s business goals.

Of course, it’s the intrepid data center manager who’s in the trenches of the facility on a daily basis — especially those that are implementing DCIM solutions — that can readily advise the necessary measures to achieve greater energy efficiency, reduce operating costs and increase infrastructure reliability.

So, this Thanksgiving, raise a figurative glass to your data center manager. While you might not be so graced as to have one of these extraordinary individuals sitting at your table, use the holiday as an opportunity to tell him or her how much they mean to your organization. Bring them coffee, take them out to lunch or dinner. Or better yet, leave that pumpkin pie on the corner of their desk and just walk away. On a second thought, make it pecan.

 

This article originally appeared on Networkworld.com and has been republished with the consent of the author.

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Jeff Klaus

About Jeff Klaus

General Manager of Data Center Solutions at Intel. Internationally respected software executive with experience building data center software licensing, API management and software solution businesses. Jeff has extensive experience building software engineering, product development, marketing, licensing and deployment through a variety of industry verticals globally. Jeff has experience distributing solutions to the top 10 global hardware OEMs, leading global software solution providers and direct to the largest telco and Internet Portal Data Centers around the world. He has built global sales and distribution teams and has experience orchestrating solution selling through indirect solution partners in addition to direct GTM strategies. Jeff is a graduate of Boston College, and also holds an MBA from Boston University.