When the mind wanders to images of a romantic Valentine’s Day, it’s likely that a candlelit dinner, a bouquet of roses, perhaps even a ring — depending upon one’s marital status — are varying elements of an enchanting reverie. What’s probably not conjured up in this fantasy is a lonely data center manager whose deep-set eyes are illuminated by the blinking lights of server racks.
While Cupid might be the reigning icon of Valentine’s Day, data center managers are the real, unsung heroes behind the scenes, making sure your special day goes off without a hitch.
Traffic spikes on February 1
With two weeks before “The Day,” many romantics seek to pull out all the stops for their special someone, leading to spikes in usage among popular mobile apps such as 1-800 Flowers or OpenTable. For single folks feeling the spirit of romance, dating apps like Match.com, eHarmony, and even the likes of Tinder and Bumble, see traffic increase as people seek out a new connection. All of these users put stress on the data center, and having seasoned data center managers ensuring your orders, reservations, matches and conversations stay online could mean the difference between a great date and a complete train wreck.
To do so requires sound capacity planning and forecasting, a task that can be accomplished courtesy of real-time analytics that allow data center managers to work agilely and monitor data center workloads, and make adjustments as needed, on-demand.
Cupid’s first cousin
Cupid’s been known to remain in the background, only intervening when rom-com, meet-cute intervention is required. He must have learned that from data center managers, because there are some real parallels in the job descriptions. Data center managers too often go overlooked or completely undervalued. So long as everything’s working, they probably don’t even enter into your mind. Yet their job, and Cupid’s, is to make sure everything stays on track so that your full potential — amorous, personal or professional — can shine through.
Just how do these ambassadors of love work to achieve a ready state of romance on your behalf?
In order to take appropriate actions, data center managers need accurate intel concerning power consumption, thermals, airflow and utilization. Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tools, for example, provide increased levels of automated control that empower data center managers to receive timely information to manage cooling efficiency. While you may be sweating your dream date, by deploying thermal-management middleware, data center managers can maintain a stable operating environment for servers by implementing stringent temperature controls.
Like Cupid, a data center manager that deploys a DCIM system — one that provides simulations integrating real-time monitoring information to allow for continuous improvements and validation of cooling strategy and air handling choices — is behind the scene, helping you to make your love connection.
Love is an around-the-clock job
While Cupid seems to have but one busy day a year, data center managers labor 24/7/365 to make sure their facilities stay up and running, and operating in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. It’s a job whose responsibilities never cease, and the costs of failure are exorbitant.
Is your love a long-distance affair? Consider the Delta Airlines data center outage that occurred last fall, grounding more than 2,000 flights over three days and costing the company $150 million (and another outage that happened in January 2017). Talk about an achy breaky heart. Had you been in a window seat, passionately looking forward to a long-awaited tryst, your love would have never even gotten off the ground.
Once again, the trusted data center manager understands the spirit of your affections. Data center managers that employ a health management approach to mitigate the risk of costly downtime and outages conduct ongoing monitoring, analytics, diagnostics and remediation. Even while you’re asleep at night, these defenders are vigilantly monitoring high-level server health all the way down to component level, including CPU, memory, storage, fan, temperature, battery, power supply and voltage.
So, come February, when you’re making that special dinner reservation, ordering white lilies, the flower that evokes ever-lasting devotion, or cruising DragonFruit, a newly-launched dating app for the geeks among us, remember to thank your friendly neighborhood data center manager. He’s the real hero keeping the facilities we rely upon up and running, and helping you to find love, and/or keep your dream of happily ever after alive.
This post originally appeared in Datacenter Dynamics (February 7, 2017), and has been re-published with permission of the author.