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How IoT is Modernizing Data Centre Management

How IoT is Modernizing Data Centre Management 

Keeping enterprise applications up and running is at the core of modern business. While this typically goes unnoticed by regular employees, for those at the front lines of data centre management, it’s critical. Every minute of IT downtime and outages cost businesses money – and a technical or mechanical failure increases that cost exponentially. As businesses grow, and the sheer volume of data each one produces grows with it, the complexity and diversity of critical data centre environments has led to a management challenge for data centre professionals.

The Impact of IoT on Data Infrastructure

New methods of infrastructure management that utilize IoT can help end-users both optimize infrastructure performance and mitigate risk. With sensors throughout a data centre tracking everything from energy inflow to cooling systems, managers can have visibility across the entire ecosystem. These new methods, like EcoStruxure IT, provide secure global access and insights to data centre environments from anywhere, at any time and on any device. Bringing this level of visibility and access enables end-users to benchmark their entire IT ecosystem while providing trend analysis, intelligent maintenance and more, all while reducing risks and increasing efficiency. 

Monitoring data centre performance can now be as easy as paying a bill on your smartphone. There’s no longer the need for a specific computer with a VPN login to access a data centre monitoring system. When a data centre and all its information are connected to the cloud, information about the health and functionality of each element within the infrastructure can be available at a manager’s fingertips.

This unparalleled amount of data can now also help with predictive maintenance to identify potential issues before they occur and mitigate costly downtime. As information from around the data centre is captured on various sensors, machine learning software can monitor and analyze this information, so managers can fix components, like replace an aging or high-risk cooling system, before they break.

What’s Next in Data Centre Management?

The next big revolution in data centre management is DMaaS. Cloud-enabled Data Centre Infrastructure Management, also known as Data Centre Management as a Service (DMaaS), emerged as a solution for increasing operational efficiency and availability within an industry that relies on a break/fix model to meet service and maintenance requirements of both mission-critical infrastructure and local edge facilities.

In the past, organizations have had to rely on on-premise data centre management, which presents a challenge for many IT managers. The physical space and support infrastructure required to house an on-premise data centre is not feasible for many businesses, in addition to the operations support required by IT professionals. The new generation of data centre managers knows the convenience that cloud offers and expect this to be reflected in DC management as well. Compared to on-premise servers, DMaaS offers many conveniences, including scalability, CapEx vs. OpEx spending, ease of deployment, backup and update scheduling, and more. 

One of the most compelling arguments for the success of DMaaS is in how it accumulates data from across a vast network of connected data centres, not just the ones operated by a single customer. This information can be analyzed for customized recommendations to improve data centre performance. From a big data point of view, cloud-based remote monitoring brings advantages that point monitoring solutions can’t match. With data being accumulated across a range of operating and environmental conditions as more units are connected to the system, DMaaS gathers insight into events surrounding equipment failures and becomes more intelligent about maintenance requirements.

As more and more businesses realize the benefits of leveraging IoT to improve data centre management, efficiencies will occur throughout the organization. This will eliminate much wasted time, leaving managers and IT personnel open to do more proactive tasks like anticipating the needs of internal customers, researching trends in the IT and data centre space, and preparing for these trends ahead of time.

David O’Reilly, Vice President and General Manager, IT Solutions Division, Schneider Electric Canada.

(Photo: Pixabay)

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