Making the Case for Automated Data Center Tools

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 11-10-2015 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Making the Case for Automated Tools in the Data Center
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    Making the Case for Automated Tools in the Data Center

    Manual tools are still the tool of choice for data center planning, yet automated tools can help identify problems and understand the costs of power outages.
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    Data Center Forecasting Is Still Manual
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    Data Center Forecasting Is Still Manual

    43% of data center managers plan and forecast capacity manually, and one in 10 walk around with tape measures. MS Excel also remains a popular tool.
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    Automated Tools Considered Too Costly
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    Automated Tools Considered Too Costly

    Asked why they use manual methods, 46% of respondents say feel alternatives are too expensive. 35% say they lack the resources for an automated approach.
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    Size Does Not Matter
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    Size Does Not Matter

    The manual approach has nothing to do with data center size; the proportion of manual approaches is the same among small and large data centers with over 1,500 servers.
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    Extent of Capacity Planning and Forecasting
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    Extent of Capacity Planning and Forecasting

    56% of manual planters devote 40% of their time to capacity planning and forecasting. This may be why they are locked in a vicious cycle; they neither have the time nor resources to implement DCIM tools.
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    Cooling Efficiency
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    Cooling Efficiency

    63% of respondents use DCIM tools to help optimize cooling efficiency. Other methods used include sensors, spreadsheets and hotspot audits.
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    Hotspot Audits Suffer Without DCIMs
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    Hotspot Audits Suffer Without DCIMs

    Respondents who don't use DCIMs analytics are also less likely than their peers to conduct hotspot audits and are unlikely to perform CFM simulations.
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    Reliance on Thermal Sensors and Spreadsheets
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    Reliance on Thermal Sensors and Spreadsheets

    One in five data centers rely exclusively on rack-level thermal sensors and spreadsheets to maximize cooling efficiency.
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    Space and Power Constraints
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    Space and Power Constraints

    75% of respondents acknowledge floor space constraints and 63% acknowledged power constraints, highlighting the business-critical need to manage resources as efficiently as possible.
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    Actionable Data Lacking
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    Actionable Data Lacking

    32% of respondents say they lack adequate actionable data to make day-to-day decisions on long-term planning.
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    Outages
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    Outages

    59% of data center managers can quantify the costs of outages. In contrast, 72% of DCIM users know the cost to their business compared to 14% who do not use DCIM tools.
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    Average Cost of Outage
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    Average Cost of Outage

    The average cost of an outage among the 118 data centers the survey could quantify was $28,900.
 

Planning and forecasting the capacity of data centers is without a doubt challenging, but it’s surprising that slightly less than half of data center managers still rely on manual methods to do so. The main reason? Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) tools are too expensive, according to a recent survey, so managers resort to tape measures and spreadsheets. Redshift Research conducted the online survey online for Intel. It included 100 data center managers in the United States and 100 in the United Kingdom. The survey concludes that DCIM tools can help data center managers by providing access to valuable information, identifying problems and helping them understand the true costs, implications and causes of outages.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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