The data center has become the center of many of the operations businesses conduct these days. That means managing a data center the right way has turned into a main priority for most organizations. But many IT departments struggle trying to figure out the best way to manage a data center. With so many components and changing technologies, data center management remains a formidable challenge without an easy one-size-fits-all solution. Having said that, it’s also important to note that as companies have gained experience using their data centers, a number of helpful practices have risen to the forefront. These practices are certainly some you’ll want to consider as you work to manage your data center in the easiest, most efficient ways possible.
One of the most worthwhile strategies you can employ is getting to know all about the latest technologies and advancements for the data center. Technology evolves at a blistering pace, so you need to know what new developments are coming out to ensure your data center is up to speed. Of course, when you’re familiar with older technology, it’s easy to hold onto it for longer periods of time, but you might be missing out on some excellent opportunities to help your data center progress. Adopting new technologies can improve data center performance, save on costs, and simplify operations. Some of these technologies include converged infrastructure, virtualization solutions, and increased use of automation to handle regular tasks. Without these advancements, you’re only hindering your ability to compete.
Much of what goes into managing a data center involves increasing efficiency and ensuring equipment works properly. These considerations usually include managing the temperature of your data center. While conventional wisdom dictates that server rooms should be kept cool to prevent equipment from overheating, that traditional thinking is being challenged. Google has advised data centers to actually raise temperatures from the mid-50s to around 70 degrees. While some may balk at this idea, equipment can still be kept cool by making sure there is proper airflow and venting for your data center. By eliminating cooler temperatures, the costs of managing a data center can decrease significantly, which should make business executives happy.
Any new strategy, of course, requires the right planning. This becomes all the more crucial when it comes to managing your data center. Like in the above example, better airflow and venting is made possible when you plan out your data center layout effectively. Always plan for what the future holds. The last thing you want is to be restricted by the amount of space available in your data center. Always leave room for growth and plan for additions as they occur. That planning also needs to take into account future energy usage. As you plan for the future, you’ll be in a better position to respond quickly.
You should always be looking for ways to improve your data center operations. Enacting those improvements, however, should be done gradually. A total data center overhaul might sound like an enticing option, but you’ll be subjecting your business and customers to a lot of downtime, which could damage your company. Instead, make your improvements in increments, gradually adopting new solutions to ensure they perform well with legacy infrastructure. There are some exceptions to this general rule, such as a data migration project, but for the most part, future upgrades should be done over time with minimal downtime.
Beyond these suggestions, common sense practices should rule the day. One example of this is keeping track of all of your cables. Data centers usually feature a large number of cables, and to make sure things don’t get confusing, you’ll need to prioritize organization. Sometimes this requires the use of cable guards and color coding so that you’re able to identify specific cables when needed. This can make repair, upgrade, and management projects much easier and quicker. It’s also an easy way to look out for the safety of those who regularly use the data center.
Managing a data center is not always easier, but these tips show that an effective management strategy can simplify things. You should always take a look at what can be done to more efficiently manage your data center since it is so critical to your normal operations. After considering these practices, you’ll be prepared to make the right choices for present and future data center management.