Networks Europe Issue 19 January/February 2019 - Page 19

OPINION Five steps organisations can take right By Dr Stu Redshaw, CTO, EkkoSense now to maximise their data centre performance in 2019... There are multiple innovations that are ready to generate real advantages for data centre operators over the coming year – particularly given the fact that even the best run data centres still have considerable cooling and thermal issues. And with cooling now representing around 30% of a data centre’s operating costs, it’s more important than ever for IT teams to focus on monitoring, managing and maximising their data centre performance as effectively as possible. Much more accessible DCIM, tighter Edge integration, fully-sensed data centre environments, ditching subjective optimisation insights and greater input from other sectors are all set to unlock significant bottom-line benefits over the next 12 months. The five key data centre optimisation trends for 2019 are: 1 Availability of DCIM for the rest of us Effective data centre infrastructure management is a key requirement, so why do most traditional DCIM suite solutions seem to make it so hard? 2019 will see an increased focus on more accessible approaches that are simpler to use and that directly address the requirement to have all the right cooling, power and space strategies in place. So, if you’re uncomfortable with over-complex DCIM or consultancy-led CFD approaches, you really don’t have to go down the DCIM route when there are equally effective SaaS-powered solutions available that can now give you all the control you need to monitor, manage and maximise your data centres. 2 Greater focus on edge integration Maximising your data centre performance isn’t truly achievable until you’ve successfully integrated all your operations – including all your different ‘edge’ micro and modular data centre activities. All too often, advanced M&E capacity planning and simulation capabilities have remained the preserve of the largest data centre halls and facilities. There’s no excuse for this to remain the case in 2019, particularly as features such as SaaS access, wireless sensing and mobile network access let you apply the same optimisation standards to all your data centre operations. 3 Fully-sensed data centres become a reality It’s only when data rooms are carefully mapped with all the appropriate data fields that operations teams can really start to gain a real-time understanding of their data centre performance. To do this properly, we estimate that more than 1,000 sensors are required for the typical data centre, enabling the measurement of a range of previously unknown factors including energy usage, heat outputs and airflow, above and below floors. Until recently, this used to be a problem due to the market cost of sensors. However, the introduction of low-cost IoT-enabled wireless devices has changed the cost dynamic, making new levels of sensing achievable. 4 Beyond subjective optimisation judgements While data centre subject matter experts are able to build up a mental picture of the dynamic behaviour of any cooling system over time, the critical nature of today’s data centre operations means that cooling is just too important an issue to leave to the subjective judgement of expensive consultants. Now, however, having access to increasingly granular rack-level data provides operators with exactly the sort of data platform that’s needed for true software- enabled real-time decision making and scenario planning.  5 Learning from other sectors Some of the challenges we’re facing in the data centre and other built environments can be better addressed if we’re smart about using innovations from other sectors. 3D data centre visualisation, immersive VR/AR engine and room builder capabilities, and geospatial data can all be used to populate advanced data centre models. n 19