final thought Look To The Future Dirk Paessler, CEO of Paessler, discusses how to future proof the data centre using IT monitoring. F uture-proofing in a data centre context is often thought of as simply buying the latest hardware to ensure that the facility remains secure, efficient, and can cope with whatever demands are put on it, both now and further down the line. Some organisations can afford to invest in the newest technologies, but many are still restrained by tight budgets. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that future- proofing the data centre is out of reach for companies without boundless financial resources. Better data centre performance can be achieved with the right software solutions, avoiding the need to commit significant expenditure to new hardware. Diagnosing problems For organisations looking to squeeze in as much capacity and gain the highest possible performance from their infrastructure, an IT monitoring solution can be an indispensable tool. Common network problems, such as bottlenecks, can cause a problem to the data centre if left undiscovered and unchecked. Another issue is the ‘IT monitoring helps to detect and diagnose problems before they can cause issues, reducing downtime in the process.’ risk of devices underperforming; an overloaded server, for instance. Once again, if not addressed this could result in outages. IT monitoring helps to detect and diagnose such problems before they can cause issues, reducing downtime in the process. It can also analyse bandwidth use, and inform organisations on how they can maximise data usage. In this way, IT monitoring is a crucial tool when it comes to making sure that valuable information in the data centre doesn’t get lost or become unavailable. Improving ROI When capital is freed up for IT investment, a network monitoring solution can help guide how the money is best used and also assess how effective the investment has been. Businesses expect new technologies to work seamlessly within existing infrastructure and to demonstrate how the investment is having a tangible benefit. The responsibility usually lies solely with the IT team to ensure this happens. By using an IT monitoring tool, it becomes easier to identify the most effective way to integrate new devices into the network, and IT staff can be more confident of avoiding teething issues. The added insight that network monitoring offers, helps to ensure that new hardware delivers on its promised benefits. A new world of data One further consideration is future technology developments, which look set to dramatically increase 52 | August 2017 demands on the data centre. Take the Internet of Things (IoT) as an example – the possibilities it holds are virtually limitless, and it has great potential to radically improve the way businesses operate. We can only speculate how widely IoT will be adopted at this point, but it is vital to know how it could transform the way we use the data centre. When you consider that through IoT virtually any device – from a kettle to a robot on a factory floor – can be connected into the existing network structure, the amount of data passing through the network is set to expand exponentially. This mass of data will need to be added to the central IT system, analysed and displayed in a meaningful way. And of course, the IT network will be the key to the interchange of all this data, so will need careful attention to ensure smooth running on an ongoing basis. This is where an IT monitoring solution can prove invaluable. Monitoring the future IT professionals must be proactive if their organisation’s data centre is to stand the test of time. The knowledge of the IT infrastructure that a network monitoring tool provides, will put them in a strong position when it comes to helping businesses secure and maintain the data centre. While we can only make an educated guess at the true effects of technological developments such as IoT at this stage, it is clear that the demands on the data centre could increase substantially. Tools such as an IT monitoring solution will stand IT professionals in good stead, arming and preparing them for such dramatic change.