Mitigate downtime with DCIM and real-time monitoring

Mitigate downtime with DCIM and real-time monitoring

Every second counts in the data center.

As more organizations turn to cloud infrastructure as a way to cut back on technology overhead and enhance scalability, third-party IT vendors will be under increasing pressure to perform. Namely, the stakes of facility downtime are raised. Any incident that obstructs data center operations will trickle all the way down to consumers. This means lost opportunity for the client, and a bad look for the cloud provider. 

To be fair, this is an issue that negatively affects private cloud deployments too, regardless of whether they're managed by a vendor or operated in-house. Consider the recent example of the IT downtime that impacted Delta Airlines. According to MJ Shoer, Chief Technology Officer at Internet & Telephone, Delta's IT outage technically occurred in a private cloud environment. It's not clear who oversaw this infrastructure, but what is clear is that our dependency on the cloud makes it more than just an IT prerogative: It's also a business directive and one that needs to be better managed. 

"Our tolerance for downtime is shrinking exponentially as our use and dependence on technology grows at the same or faster rate," Shoer wrote.

As this "tolerance for downtime" shrinks, the potential damage tied to outages expands. According to ZDNet contributor Larry Dignan, Delta's downtime cost the company $150 million. With that much at stake, there's just no room to treat data center infrastructure management (DCIM) like a second-class citizen of the corporate world. 

Deploying DCIM is a start

With so many revenue models depending directly on continued IT uptime, it's important to ensure that private and public cloud facilities are meticulously managed. To do this, many businesses have begun to rely on DCIM software, which aggregates and analyzes facility data such as temperature, humidity, electrical loads, the total number of online equipment and a variety of other metrics. Insight is then depicted on a single screen, essentially supplying a complete, digital map of your data center conditions.

From here, managers can drill down for greater depth regarding a specific set of servers and other vital facility components. They can assess the overall health of their equipment, and even run predictive models to help preempt possible causes of downtime. 

But is that enough?

Downtime mitigation is often a race against the clock.Downtime mitigation is often a race against the clock.

Better business results require real-time monitoring

"Time is of the essence in the data center."

Many DCIM providers will often use the term "real-time" to describe their solutions when what they really mean is "near-time." Whereas the former provides up-to-the-second data center insight, the latter will display metrics from a few minutes ago.

On the surface, it may seem like splitting hairs, but things move fast in the data center. Data travels at about the speed of light (186,282 miles per second), which means that the demands being placed on your IT equipment can shift substantially within a second. The actions that are taken in the first moments that these shifts occur will ultimately determine the extent of a loss.

Time is of the essence in the data center, and that's not something that will change in the near future. DCIM that integrates with your monitoring solutions to aggregate and analyze data in real time isn't a luxury anymore; it's a commodity.