Spot Data Center Problems Before They Happen


Given the importance that immediate access to information carries in today’s business world, being able to rely upon your data center for round-the-clock reliability is vital. Unfortunately, completely uninterrupted support is impossible. Far too many companies adopt a “wait-and-see” approach when it comes to dealing with problems that may arise from their data centers. If this is the method that you choose to follow, then you’re essentially guaranteeing yourself to face costly periods of downtime in the future.



Condition-Based Maintenance Programs

Rather than reacting to data center component failures after they happen, why not choose to monitor and address them before they even manifest themselves? Impossible? Not if you choose to implement a proactive approach to your data center management. Along with delivering impressive support and backup to end-users, the technology supporting today’s data centers also offers a certain level of self-diagnostic capabilities. Conditioned-based maintenance programs now allow you to receive real-time alerts of potential problems with your data center hardware.

Factors such as temperature fluctuations and the amount of energy exerted during peak load times can be easily measured and used in factored the toll that it exerts on your equipment. As the signs of wear-and-tear begin to show, your CBM lets you know not only that a problem may be pending, but also allows you to localize it so that your IT teams knows where to look. A quick replacement of the worn components then ensures that eventual failures can be avoided.

Other Preventative Maintenance Methods

Yet while CBM’s are changing the way that data centers are maintained, older centers that aren’t supported by such technology require increased effort on your part to avoid problems. Yet you needn’t worry; a few simple, intuitive practices can be just as effective in fulfilling preventative maintenance. These include:

Prioritizing your applications: Identify those applications that are most critical to your day-to-day operations, and then pinpoint the data center components that support them. Create a preventative care plan to ensure that those components are routinely inspected and serviced. This not only prevents downtime, but also allows you to optimize your maintenance budget.

Maintain detailed information on all your equipment: Learning the unique requirements of each of your data center components helps you know exactly what sort maintenance is required and at what time intervals. This allows you to create a care plan customized to the meet the needs of each of your components systems.

Take advantage of manufacturer service plans: Equipment manufacturers will also typically offer service plans with their equipment. Purchasing them allows you the advantage of having an expert evaluation of your equipment done annually. This takes much of the guesswork out of preventative maintenance.

There’s no avoiding the fact that your data center components have a shelf life. Yet that doesn’t mean that you have to accept downtime as an inevitability. By adopting a proactive approach to your data center management, you can reduce the risks of experiencing downtime by dealing with small problems before they have the chance to become larger issues.

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The Data Center Has Changed Forever


Over the past few decades, virtually every single aspect of the data center has changed. This massive shift in architecture is largely fueled by the applications that run these centers. The previous standard of monolithic packages has largely been replaced by much smaller microservices, and the teams of professionals who manage and monitor these services are becoming increasingly diversified as well. Apps are no longer limited to fixed locations, but can now be easily distributed across a variety of clouds and data centers. Despite the fact that these changes have been exceptionally helpful to businesses and users, these rapid changes have also increased the rate of security threats.

Combating Security Threats

Security threats have the potential to undermine any data center, but new technologies are emerging in order to combat these threats and improve the user experience. This has led to the development of more comprehensive architecture at nearly all levels of the data center stack. These architectural elements include policy-based automation and management, hybrid cloud orchestration, and a multitude of infrastructure resources.

New Technologies

One of these new and increasingly popular resources is the HyperFlexTM system. It utilizes a unique hyperconverged infrastructure, which allows it to greatly simplify policy-based automation, storage, and computation.

Hybrid cloud orchestration offers a comprehensive solution for handling both on-premise and hybrid cloud workloads. Orchestration combines Cisco, ACI, and UCS platforms in order to optimize and automate hybrid cloud provisioning using only a single pane of glass.

Scale, security, and performance have also increased due to a switch from the original Nexus 9000 family. The new system gives customers a massive advantage over competitive technologies.

The changes listed above are part of a trend known as “disruptive innovation.” Disruptive innovation has the potential to fuel growth and creation simultaneously.

The Origin and the Future of Disruptive Innovation

Disruptive innovation originated with the emergence of convergence over IP networks. This eventually led to the establishment of new and improved benchmarks for resource use and cost savings. As time progressed, the Application Economy emerged, blending the scale, programmability, and security of the older networks with newer software-based solutions. This transition allows companies and individuals to “future-proof” their data centers using real-time analytics and cloud-scale capacity.

The Value of Partnerships

In short, this major jump in technology is largely owed to partnerships between various companies and software developers. These partnerships allow companies to craft solutions that define the future and improve upon past technological models. As time passes, the world can expect to see increasing diversification among data center technologies and the workers who create and manage them.

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UPS Modernization Is a Must for Growing Companies

Electric power cable for Server computer in datacenter

You need to keep your office running 24/7, and that means critical infrastructure has to remain online and accessible. Just same, everything ages and as components wear down, you are increasingly exposed to the risk of downtime. It is invaluable to your company to upgrade critical components or even your entire system from time to time. Although this course of action may raise concerns, it is not always necessary to disrupt your UPS.

Data Centers Are Critical to Company Function

Today’s online economy is pushing all companies to be more digitally streamlined and competent;if your system fails, productivity grinds to a halt. A power failure to the data center prevents communication between employees, customers and vendors and results in lost data. If the backup power system fails to operate, you may be left in the lurch until ordered parts can arrive, and these may not always be immediately available. You can build redundancy to protect your data center, but this adds to your cost and only delays the inevitable. Technology is rapidly changing and components become more obsolete or more difficult to service every day. Having a plan to upgrade components when necessary will actually save you money in increased efficiency, not to mention preventing interruption of service.

A plan to maintain the UPS and service and replace components regularly will ensure a continuation of critical electrical power. A UPS modernization plan will give your company a guideline to budget maintenance and schedule component upgrades, as well as receive training and support from the contracted provider.

Upgrading Technology Will Save Money

Technological advances have increased efficiency more in recent years than you may have been aware, which means your company could experience substantial economic return for an upgrade. In fact, you may be losing hundreds of thousands of dollars under your current, under-par system. Even the improvements to cooling systems are remarkable; nearly 30% of energy costs come from this one function.

What you should know prior to initiating an upgrade:

1. You can modernize certain components without the need to replace the whole infrastructure

2. Modernization can be customized to fit any budget and schedule

3. A current service plan shouldn’t discourage any company from pursuing an upgrade. Modernization can be tailored around a service plan to keep you from spending unnecessary funds.

With all of the benefits of modernization, your company should commit to a plan for UPS repair and replacement. The most successful business prepares for the unexpected and is always looking towards the future.



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Exciting Opportunity for Data Center Managers


If you are own or are on the senior management staff of a business that uses a data center, mark your calendar for March 14 through March 18. Mark Evanko, a principal engineer at BRUNS-PAK will be presenting a session titled “Executive Considerations for Data Center Enterprise Solutions in 2016 and Beyond” at Data Center World in Las Vegas. His extensive background in data center architecture and strategy has allowed him to perfect his “get it done” approach that utilizes key techniques such as resiliency and efficiency, making him a leader in the data center enterprise.

The Risks Faced by a Data Center Enterprise

There are some important factors that any business using a data center should take into account. For instance, how does one avoid liability issues if network security is breached? There are a number of things that can be the cause of a network’s security being compromised:

1. Hackers may break into a network in order to access sensitive data.

2. If downtime occurs, anybody who uses the network, even if from a remote location, could be prevented from doing important and time-sensitive work.

3. Data breaches can occur without a hacker even being involved. When data is improperly handled or a security measure is not followed, sensitive information can be leaked.

Preventing Risks

There are a number of measures and strategies to employ to protect your data center and ensure it is operating most efficiently. One thing to keep in mind is that if you are using a third-party provider, they do not have liability for hacking, data breaches, or downtime. If you want to measure the pros and cons of using a third-party provider vs setting up your own data center, you may need to do further research. Topics like this one will also be covered in Evanko’s presentation.

Optimize Your Data Center

At his presentation, you will be given some privileged knowledge, including feedback and considerations from senior committees who have worked on data center enterprise solutions, specializing in the modern marketplace from 2015 and beyond. If you are wondering about the costs and the potential risks you might face as a data center owner, this presentation will be perfect for you.

A data center can be a big boost to any enterprise’s success in a marketplace that revolves around networks and technology. Make sure you are prepared not only on how to set up your data center, but how to administer and use it effectively.

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How To Increase Your Income With UPS System Modernization


When your plan A fails, your UPS device is your emergency backup. Reliability and efficiency is vital. As data center technology has rapidly evolved, many companies have relied on essentially the same decades old CPU technology. The fact is, older systems are often just not adequate to supply the needs of modern data centers. When the average data center loses approximately $8,000 for every minute of power failure, neglecting your UPS system can turn into a very costly mistake.

  1. Small Changes can Make Big Differences

Modernizing your UPS system does not have to mean a full scale system overhaul. It can be done within the framework of your existing system to avoid costly disruptions in business operations. The best option for you may not be an entirely new system. The most efficient upgrade may entail replacing key components, which can give your system a much needed boost with minimal financial and time investment. For example,  upgrading your lead acid battery to a smaller, more efficient lithium ion battery can extend the life of your UPS system dramatically, as well as decrease ongoing maintenance costs.

  1. Big Changes can Make an Even Bigger Difference

UPS technology has made huge technological leaps, even in the last few years. Newer models are smaller, faster, more energy efficient, and require less care. While opting for a full scale replacement of a poorly functioning UPS may increase upfront costs, it may save you substantial money and headaches down the road.

  1. Extra Perks

Not only does your UPS system protect you from power outages, which can cost thousands of dollars a minute, newer models also offers a range of other protective features. Modern UPS systems will also function as a high quality surge protector, safeguarding your other expensive equipment.

Other features help protect against instability, voltage jumps, surge protection, battery backup, and other power related problems, as well as increasing integration and communication with other systems.

The Next Step: Bringing in an Expert

Whether the best move for you and your business is full scale replacement, upgrading parts or just providing regular maintenance, consulting an expert will go a long way in helping you determine how your UPS can serve you best. IT professionals whose expertise lies specifically in UPS technology are going to be able to help you determine the health of your current system, and which tweaks can be made to improve performance to maximize the lifespan of your existing system. When your system is no longer capable of providing the protection you need, a professional can also help you determine which new system on the market will best meet your needs.

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How Software Only Enterprise Storage Can Drastically Increase Productivity

Advanced PDU

The storage industry is rapidly evolving at every level. It is not just the technology itself which is undergoing constant transformation, but the very ways in which it is distributed, managed, and expended which are also rapidly diversifying. For the industry as a whole, this is indicative of a need to not only expand into better options, but to innovate a complex, diverse range of options which are able to address each of these variables. As it turns out, this is exactly what is happening.

The Fall of Integrated Systems

Though integrated storage systems have long developed a reputation for being clunky and outdated, they have continued to be a mainstay in the storage industry. This success is largely based on a resigned acceptance due to a lack of viable alternatives. Recently, many software only based storage systems have begun to challenge to the dominance of integrated systems, finally achieving a level of reliability and supportability on par with more established methodologies. Behemoths such as Facebook and Google have already moved towards this newer model, and have profited considerably in increases in efficiency and flexibility. This is indicative of an industry wide shift towards more efficient options which are able to adjust with ease to a constantly expanding, evolving technology.

Traditionally, storage systems have linked performance and capacity so closely that one cannot be increased without simultaneously increasing the other, whether this is necessary or not. This leads to a pattern of ongoing waste, in which one resource is chronically underused, and an increase in both the upfront costs of the system as well as on a day to day operational level. These unused resources must be powered, cooled and housed, all of which use up substantial resources. Software only systems allow the flexibility to move around these limitations, avoiding a significant amount of waste.

Meeting the Needs of an Increasingly Diverse

Not only is the size of data storage needs increasing at a rapid fire pace, the very definition of size within the storage industry has morphed. It is no longer a question of how large a file system can be supported, but how many it can host. The growing importance of shared systems and the introduction of microsystems mean that the needs of business storage solutions have diversified. The old standard simply does not have the scalability to address this need. Even this number is not quite as quantifiable as it once was, as differing file systems become increasingly integrated and codependent.

The current market demands efficiency, flexibility, and room for growth along with established support and reliability. Traditional markets are failing these expectations. Thankfully, innovative and exciting solutions are being introduced and implemented on a weekly basis.

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How Components Affect the Cost of Your Data Center


A data center is an important part of any technologically oriented business. Finding the right amount of storage space (not too much or too little) and monitoring power usage effectiveness are a couple common ways that organizations save money on their data centers. But what about the small components, like flash drives, CPUs, and other IT gear? There are some more specific and low-level adjustments that can save you even more money on your data center. Remember, a small adjustment can make a huge difference on a larger scale.

Some Components to Evaluate

There are a lot of components and gear that you will purchase to maintain an effective data center and network infrastructure. Here are a few examples:

1. Flash drives are an integral part of data management. They allow you to transfer data effectively and safely, without having to send it through a network. Flash drives are an especially effective way to store sensitive data—as long as you’re careful not to lose them! Make sure you examine all the different potential vendors. Why get a 16GB flash drive when all you need is 2GB of storage? Does one company offer a cheaper flash drive than the other? Look into all of these factors when you consider your flash drives.

2. Network connections can be remote or run through hardware such as network cables. It is up to you to find out the best balance between efficiency of data communication and saving on energy and product costs.

3. CPUs can be rather expensive. While it is best to be minimalist with your technology, it is also important to make sure you have the right amount of processing power to handle the workload for your specific organization. If your primary data is word documents and spreadsheets, you will not need as strong of a CPU as what would be used by an organization that works with images and videos.

Learn AboutHow Components Affect Data Center Costs at Data Center World

The kinds of considerations mentioned above are all important ways to save a lot of money. Amir Michael is an infrastructure expert with tons of experience. He has worked with both Google and Facebook. His session at Data Center World Global 2016, an event taking place in Las Vegas from March 14-18,will specifically address the various components of data center cost. Not only will he go into more detail about flash drives, networks, and CPUs; he will also examine such things as facility, power, hard drives, and DRAM.

Proper management of even the low-level components of your data center will even further improve your organization’s productivity and efficiency.

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Saving Power Saves Money – Effective Data Center Management


Data centers continue to change and evolve, and as this happens, the management demands change as well. Particularly with highly complex servers with high resource demands, it is essential to pay attention to power and cooling.


eBay Sets an Example

A good example of a company with huge resource demands that effectively manages power and cooling is eBay. Here is a peek at some of the important parts of their system:


1. The data center used by eBay is called the Tier IV Topaz Data Center. It is comprised of multiple blade servers each provisioning up to 17kW.

2. A blade server is actually like multiple servers. A chassis contains multiple thin circuit boards known as “blades.” Each one of these blades is itself a server. A multi-layer system like this increases power and efficiency.

3. These blade servers demand a high amount of power. By increasing their power supply from a traditional 208V distribution to a 400V distribution, eBay was able to reduce their energy costs by two to three percent.

4. 400V power reduces energy costs, but it does much more than that. A higher amount of power means less line transmission loss. Copper utilization was also reduced.

Other Ways to Save Power

Finding the most appropriate amount of power to use to fit your organization’s power needs can save you on costs much in the same way eBay was able to reduce their costs. Finding a power supply that is just right means identifying a voltage level that is not too much or too little. If you are unsure of the power statistics of your data center, consider investing in data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software. This kind of software can give you statistics on things like power usage efficiency.

Reasons to Use DCIM

There are a lot of things that DCIM can help you to ascertain. The amount of power being used by your servers vs the amount being put out by your generators affects efficiency, as can be understood by the example of eBay. There are other factors that affect power usage efficiency as well. Sometimes systems overheat, leading to expansive downtime. DCIM software can detect changes in power usage efficiency real-time, so you can trace the potential causes of overheating. For example, lower power usage efficiency on a hot day would mean things are overheating. The solution would be to increase power to cooling systems.

There are a lot of ways to keep track of power usage and cooling, so make it a priority with your organization’s data center.

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How DCIM Can Save Energy and Money


If you utilize computers that consume a high amount of energy, efficiency is a major concern when it comes to evaluating what your return on investment will be. Even a slight change in the consumption of energy can make a significant difference, and if your organization does not have measure implemented to detect these modulations in power efficiency, your ROI calculation could be inaccurate. There are many common causes of power usage efficiency (PUE) shifts, such as for example a particularly hot day causing equipment to heat up more than usual.

Have No Fear, DCIM Is Here

Thankfully, in this modern age there is a kind of software you can install that will monitor all of the slight changes that take place in a system, and these can then be traced back to their root causes. Data center infrastructure management will give you information about all of the different kinds of data and the fluctuations taking place in your infrastructure, all on a real-time basis. DCIM software will not only give you an overall picture of energy usage throughout your infrastructure; it can also look at the subsystem level, revealing even the minute causes of energy loss or mismanagement.

An Example of DCIM Applied to Energy Savings

Take the example of a very hot day. As the temperature rises throughout the day, your equipment must use additional energy to keep cool and function properly. If these adjustments go undetected, there could be a sharp rise in the PUE figure. Any shift in PUE needs to be accounted for in order to have reliable predictions of ROI. Installing data center infrastructure management software can give you a picture of the shifts in PUE. If a major difference is detected at a certain time, the next step is to diagnose possible causes of the problem. In the case of a hot day, it could be that the ventilation or cooling system needs to be adjusted. Without DCIM, you would not know that PUE was fluctuating, and thus you would be unable to pinpoint the cause of the loss of ROI.

DCIM is Green

DCIM does more than just save your organization money. By being able to understand the way power is processed in your infrastructure, you can be better prepared to implement changes that will maximize efficiency. Maximum efficiency equates to minimum energy consumption, and that will reduce the overall footprint your organization leaves on the environment.

DCIM saves energy and money and is good for the environment. Any organization using a data center with a complex infrastructure will benefit from DCIM software.

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3 Signs That Point to Power Quality Issues

Advanced PDU

Electrically powered devices are so run of the mill nowadays, it’s easy to write off a device’s malfunctioning or breaking down as having to do with the device itself. This is not, however, always the case. Many of the common problems we encounter with our electronic devices,whether it’s a computer, an electrical motor, or even the lights in your house or office, can be traced to what is called power quality. Power quality issues are a complex matter that should be dealt with by a power management professional. Here are some common malfunctions that may indicate the need to evaluate possible power quality based causes:

Equipment Running Hot and Overheating

A very common problem people run into with their electronics is that the device becomes hot to the touch. While it is normal for devices to generate heat from the high amount of energy running through them, it is standard today for devices to have cooling measures installed, such as the cooling fans you see on PC’s and laptops. If your device is getting so hot that it cannot function, this could not only hurt your business, but could also pose a fire hazard. If your device has no detectable flaws or is brand new, the cause of the overheating is likely related to power quality.

Poor Network Communications

It is important to be able to communicate information across networks in a speedy and efficient manner. Of course, networks themselves utilize a lot of energy, and if the network is buggy or running slowly, it could be that the power source is experiencing some sort of quality issue. If you have had a network specialist check out all your connections and network elements and they found nothing wrong, then the culprit is most likely a problem with power quality.

Sudden Shutdown of Equipment

Everybody has experienced the horrible gut-sinking feeling that happens when a document or file that has had a lot of work put into it is lost in a power surge or equipment failure. These kinds of problems are almost always a result of power quality issues. If you are constantly experiencing outages or surges, it is time to get the power source evaluated.

Don’t Let Power Quality Be an Issue

There are measures you can take to be better prepared for these problems and to properly diagnose them. Power monitoring software can capture information from different meters, allowing you to hone in on the source of the problem. Getting an energy management professional to do periodic assessments can also help prevent power quality issues before they occur. Getting the right professional and monitoring software is a worthwhile investment that will save you money in the long run.



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