DCN February 2017 - Page 33

infrastrucure management recovery (DR) tools. Alarmingly, only around 30 per cent considered their facilities to be future proof against these incidents. These results suggest a very real need to improve and modernise data centre’s infrastructure and associated management capabilities. Around a third of all respondents have modernisation initiatives currently in progress, while a majority of the rest have improvements on the agenda. It is also worth noting that around 30 per cent of respondents confessed that improvements should be on the agenda, even though they are not. While infrastructure and DR measures were in need of strengthening in a large number of the respondents’ data centres, the area most in need of strengthening was facilities monitoring and management. Interestingly, the survey identified a sub-group of respondents – around 30 per cent of all those interviewed – who were generally able to manage their facilities more effectively compared to the rest. The research showed these top performers to be more likely to be investing in or considering modernisation of their power infrastructure. They were also embracing advanced power management software more actively, with over 45 per cent already using such a system and 49 per cent exploring the options available. In comparison, only 17 per cent of the other respondents were currently using an advanced power management system. This seems to highlight a link between the use of modern power management tools and the successful delivery of IT services. Advanced software has the potential to play an important role in improving power management within data centres of all sizes by providing tools for modelling and planning, and active and continuous monitoring. The propensity of top performers to use such tools no doubt correlates to their ability to achieve more in these areas. Better control When it comes to simplifying the data centre management complexity, moving away from a siloed infrastructure management approach towards a more holistic model will provide managers with better control over their entire application. Instead of managing and monitoring power, space and environmental metrics separately, a holistic, cross-layered, software defined management and control model is required to communicate across all of these areas. Compared to the traditional siloed approach, the holistic model can help simplify management by providing managers with easy access to all key information on their facility’s status. This saves time and facilitates better informed decisions about long term data centre design improvements, as well as allowing managers to take immediate tactical action when needed, for example in response to environmental events. With systems infrastructure growing in complexity and skilled resources becoming increasingly difficult to obtain and expensive to use, software to automate power management represents a major opportunity to elevate service quality. The holistic approach can also assist in keeping a hold on the costs of power usage, and improving the organisation’s posture in relation to corporate social responsibility (CSR), now actively on many executive agendas, even if it’s not yet a prime driver for change. There is a growing appetite within the industry to utilise more advanced infrastructure monitoring software. Advanced infrastructure monitoring software To conclude, it is clear to see that power and infrastructure management is an area in which many companies recognise they could do better, as the shortfalls that exist can potentially undermine an organisation’s ability to meet energy efficiency needs, and to avoid power related failures and outages. However, there is also a growing appetite within the industry to invest in developing these areas and to utilise more advanced infrastructure monitoring software to help streamline operation and maintain business continuity. Indeed, an overwhelming majority of the respondents – over 80 per cent – acknowledged that effective management of data centre facilities is critical for business continuity. When considering future investment and upgrades, it is time for data centre managers to review their management approach and consider the steps they need to take in order to modernise their facility and optimise the easily achievable benefits of a more holistic approach to infrastructure management. 33