Managing a data center is a 24/7 gig. Those wanting a typical 8-hour a day, Monday through Friday job, will definitely want to look elsewhere. It’s common in data center management to get called in to work at a moment’s notice even when you’re “off the clock.” Beyond that, data center managers have to be able to anticipate potential challenges or issues before they arise in order to have contingencies ready.
The 3 things data center managers worry about most:
- Constant power
A UPS (uninterrupted power supply) is something the average PC owner probably doesn’t bother to install in their home. But for a data center, ensuring power is always available is essential. Every crucial server must be connected to a UPS, and each UPS needs to be able to support those servers in the event of an outage. In addition, generators need to be working and ready to deliver power during an extended outage. Data center power issues usually fall into one of two categories: 1) when the entire data center loses power for an extended period, or 2) when power is restored quickly but some of the hardware doesn’t restart correctly. So, in addition to implementing power redundancies, data center managers also need to make sure the hardware actually works when it power cycles in the event of an outage.
- The pace of change
Managing a data center means ensuring operations run as smoothly as possible while embracing the idea of constant change. For example, virtual configurations are in need of around-the-clock modification, and that can mean a lot of oversight and planning. Change management is one way to help manage the flux of day-to- day operations. A good change management program should feature a Method of Procedure (MOP) or some type of work control document to govern all tasks related to critical infrastructure equipment. Data center managers should also ensure there’s a documented process for how IT staff should use the MOP itself. Additional quality control guidelines and formal training programs are also smart investments data center managers can make to ensure optimal performance.
- When the hardware stops
Picture the biggest warehouse you’ve ever seen filled with as many servers and network nodes as you can count. Now picture warehouses like that all over the world serving companies of all sizes—that’s what today’s digital marketplace is like. The largest data centers in the world contain thousands upon thousands of servers running applications and supporting countless database instances and users. With all this infrastructure, hardware failure is a certainty, and it's up to every company to make sure they have a contingency plan in place. Data center management strategy should always include monitoring cluster density, because if and when a hardware failure occurs, it will affect all of the applications within that cluster. Knowing exactly what to do when hardware failure occurs and being able to instantly repair or replace what’s failed can save every data center manager time, money and a lot of stress.
For more information on how data center preparedness can help your customers, talk to Ingram Micro’s data center experts. Contact Samuel Alt at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Nick Vermiglio at email@example.com
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