Data center management
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Historically, data center management was seen as something performed by employees, with the help of tools collectively called Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) tools. Now an outsourcing option exists: Data-center Management As A Service - DMaaS.
Data center management is a growing major topic for a growing list of large companies who both compete and cooperate:
Hardware/software vendors who are willing to live with coopetition are working on projects such as "The Distributed Management Task Force" (DMTF) with a goal of learning to "more effectively manage mixed Linux, Windows and cloud environments."
With the DMTF a decade old, the list of companies is growing, and also includes companies much smaller than IBM, Microsoft, et al.
Among the topics currently being explored are:
- Securing Data Center Networks
- Disaster Recovery
- Government restrictions
- Estimated cost of downtime regarding:
Remote Data Center Management allows offsite experts to watch for situations needing their timely intervention at a lower cost than having such staff be onsite 24/7/365.
Data center infrastructure management
Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) is the integration of information technology (IT) and facility management disciplines to centralize monitoring, management and intelligent capacity planning of a data center's critical systems. Achieved through the implementation of specialized software, hardware and sensors, DCIM enables common, real-time monitoring and management platform for all interdependent systems across IT and facility infrastructures.
Depending on the type of implementation, DCIM products can help data center managers identify and eliminate sources of risk to increase availability of critical IT systems. DCIM products also can be used to identify interdependencies between facility and IT infrastructures to alert the facility manager to gaps in system redundancy, and provide dynamic, holistic benchmarks on power consumption and efficiency to measure the effectiveness of "green IT" initiatives.
It's important to measure and understand data center efficiency metrics. A lot of the discussion in this area has focused on energy issues, but other metrics beyond the PUE can give a more detailed picture of the data center operations. Server, storage, and staff utilization metrics can contribute to a more complete view of an enterprise data center. In many cases, disc capacity goes unused and in many instances the organizations run their servers at 20% utilization or less. More effective automation tools can also improve the number of servers or virtual machines that a single admin can handle.
DCIM providers are increasingly linking with computational fluid dynamics providers to predict complex airflow patterns in the data center. The CFD component is necessary to quantify the impact of planned future changes on cooling resilience, capacity and efficiency.
Preventive maintenance (or preventative maintenance (PM) ) is ongoing scheduled inspection intended to detect and correct incipient failures either before they occur or before they develop into major problemssuch as downtime.
Managing the capacity of a data center
Several parameters may limit the capacity of a data center. For long term usage, the main limitations will be available area, then available power. In the first stage of its life cycle, a data center will see its occupied space growing more rapidly than consumed energy. With constant densification of new IT technologies, the need in energy is going to become dominant, equaling then overcoming the need in area (second then third phase of cycle).
It is important to define a data center strategy before being cornered. The decision, conception and building cycle lasts several years, hence it is imperative to initiate this strategic consideration when the data center reaches about 50% of its power capacity.
Maximum occupation of a data center needs to be stabilized around 85%, be it in power or occupied area. Resources thus managed will allow a rotation zone for managing hardware replacement and will allow temporary cohabitation of old and new generations. In the case where this limit would be overcrossed durably, it would not be possible to proceed to material replacements, which would invariably lead to smothering the information system. The data center is a resource in its own right with its own constraints of time and management (life span of 25 years), it therefore needs to be taken into consideration in the framework of the SI midterm planning (between 3 and 5 years).
Top data centers and service providers
According to Cloudscene’s Leaderboard for Q1 2018, data center operators are ranked “based on both data center density (total operated data centers)", as well as "the number of listed service providers in the facility". Cloud service providers are ranked based on "connectivity (the total number of PoPs) for the region.” Chosen from a pool of more than 6,000 providers, the rankings are as follows:
- Q1, 2018 Top Data Center Operators Worldwide
|2||Digital Realty||Interxion||NEXTDC||Global Switch|
|3||CoreSite||Telehouse||Vocus Communications||NTT Communications|
|4||Zayo||Digital Realty||Global Switch||GPX Global Systems|
|5||Level 3 Communications||Global Switch||YourDC||ST Telemedia Global Data Centres|
|6||Cologix||Level 3 Communications||Macquarie Telecom||Netmagic Solutions|
|8||TierPoint||Colt Technology Services||Interactive||Digital Realty|
|10||QTS Realty Trust||Orange Business Services||Data Centre Limited||OneAsia Network|
- Q1, 2018 Top Service Providers Worldwide
|1||Zayo||Colt Technology Services||Telstra||Colt Technology Services|
|2||Level 3 Communications||EuNetworks||Vocus Communications||PCCW Solutions|
|3||Verizon||Cogent Communications||PIPE Networks||Tata Communications|
|4||Crown Castle||Zayo||Optus||PCCW Global|
|5||AT&T||Level 3 Communications||NextGen Group||Telstra|
|6||Cogent Communications||BT||AAPT||NTT Communications|
|9||Comcast||Orange Business Services||Zencross Connect||China Telecom|
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