Data center operations is the role of individuals (data center operators) tasked within a data center to oversee technical and IT issues. This includes management of computer and server operations, services and applications, massive quantities of data, and the protection and security of that data.
While some of these tasks require direct management, many can be automated to decrease the number of on-site staff, eliminate unnecessary manual tasks, and reduce associated business expenses.
What are the typical tasks in data center operations?
- Upgrading data center hardware and software
- Distribution and storage of data
- Backup processes
- Emergency planning
- Technical support
What are the challenges of data center operations?
- Managing multiple vendors and their associated equipment, applications, and operating systems with different contracts, warranties, licenses, patches, and upgrade processes
- Managing multiple sites with various maturity levels, equipment, processes, and procedures
- Maintaining SLAs in complex environments where there are different requirements for application availability, data retention, recovery speed, and network availability
- Monitoring change where there are poor or no processes for change control, antiquated equipment, and an inability keep infrastructure up to date
- Managing data center cost and reduced budget where resources are procured based on “best cost” regardless of whether they are deployed at the edge, virtualized, or housed in a colocation facility
- Deploying new services and applications quicker with limited knowledge of data center resource capacity such as power, space, cooling, data and power port connections
What are the components of data center operations?
Data center operators requite tools that improve uptime, reduce risk, and provide resiliency across their data center infrastructure including power, IT equipment, network, applications software, and applications services. They need tools and processes that enable:
- Data center infrastructure automation. Automation of changes to the infrastructure while providing a single source of information and a consolidated view across all facilities, IT hardware, networks, and applications.
- Data center monitoring and visualization. Monitoring and visualization of the data center, the associated status, and the changes within and across all systems and locations.
- Data center power, space, and capacity management. Collection and analysis of power, space, and capacity information to determine how to utilize the data center more efficiently to save energy and space or increase to the utilization of existing equipment.
- Data center backup and disaster recovery. Processes to identify backup and disaster recovery plans in case of failure, this includes failover procedures and processes and the identification of available space, power and equipment
How does DCIM software improve data center operations?
Data center health and efficiency is maximized when data center operators leverage tools and insights that provide a resilient environment where uptime is maximized, risk in minimized, and services and applications can be delivered quickly and affordably.
A modern Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution will radically simplify data center operations by giving data center managers the ability to increase efficiencies and improve data center infrastructure planning and design. DCIM typically replaces Excel, Visio, and homegrown tools. The benefits of deploying DCIM software include:
- Improve uptime. DCIM software constantly monitors critical facilities infrastructure by polling equipment and collecting, trending, and reporting that data. It monitors for threshold violations and provides built-in alerting, so you can react before failures impact users and services.
- Improve capacity planning and utilization. DCIM allows you to quickly allocate space for new servers, racks, and IT and facilities equipment. Manage relationships between IT equipment and critical facilities infrastructure in just a few clicks with power and network connectivity diagrams.
- Increase data center energy efficiency. DCIM automatically collects data from building feeds, IT loads, and non-IT loads and instantly calculates and trends PUE across all data centers to ensure corporate energy efficiency initiatives.
- Improve people productivity. DCIM with fully integrated and automated workflow management simplifies reservations, moves, adds, and changes. Dramatically increase employee productivity and morale with process assurance, tracking, and audit trails.