Embracing a New View for Data Center Efficiency

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By Shahriar Allen, VP of Business Development for Managed Network Solutions, Panduit

 

The introduction of automation has done a great deal to address efficiency challenges, albeit in a limited way. For instance, automation has proved successful in providing real-time information around such items as connectivity, which defines the relationships between connected network devices. This has enabled functions such as asset tracking, automated documentation and troubleshooting, which in turn helps streamline infrastructure operations processes and assists with capacity planning.

However, today’s automation systems must expand functionality to include energy and environmental capabilities. In addition to connectivity monitoring, systems must enable enterprises to understand what is happening from an energy consumption perspective. They must help to monitor and measure heat generation or humidity within the data centers, so that data center owners and managers have a complete end-to-end solution.

By integrating new data center infrastructure management (DCIM) capabilities alongside traditional intelligent physical layer management (IPLM) capabilities, enterprises can monitor and catalog complete network performance and energy consumption within data centers and other IT environments, for organizations to better understand their own carbon footprint and put a strategy in place to reduce it. This end-to-end monitoring of the physical infrastructure also provides the visibility, which is often lacking, to effectively execute virtualization initiatives. In the past customers have been doing a lot of consolidation, playing with form factors of devices and merging multiple facilities into one. Now, many are adopting a virtualization approach. Yet, industry sources have estimated that only 20 percent of today’s virtualization is in a true production environment, while 80 percent is still in a development environment – meaning that most are not yet ready to risk the complete jump to virtualization. The biggest reason cited for the hesitation is lack of visibility of a management solution that can effectively monitor from an end-to-end perspective across the physical and the logical infrastructure.

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