Data centers not only store and process the organization’s data they also create a lot of data on their own. Every device in a data center is logging its actions and activity about what it’s doing, what is accessing it and how it is responding to requests. Servers, hypervisors, operating systems, applications, networks and even cooling devices are generating data and activity logs. The problem used to be not enough data to make good decisions. Today, there’s so much data that it’s not obvious what decision should be made and the data from all of these sources is often siloed and not cross-correlated to optimize overall data center efficiency.
The sea of data and the lack of correlation across the various data center components makes it difficult for IT to proactively manage their data center and plan for future growth. This operational data has grown so rapidly that Ironically, we seem to know less about what’s actually going on within our data centers, in fact, the lack of data center awareness even makes it hard for IT to reactively manage their data center. Without the right insight, the typical answer to data center problems is to buy more hardware and software, which only makes data center efficiency worse.
The data center needs a centralized solution that will collect data from all the devices in every data center into a centralized database. Then the data can be analyzed and correlated, and sophisticated algorithms can be used for real-time predictive analysis that result in prescriptive recommendations to improve performance, availability and cost optimization. In addition, many of these recommendations can be automated to achieve these higher levels of utilization and performance faster and easier.
A solution that collects, analyzes and automates information between these previously siloed devices can provide much greater insight that make operators smarter when doing day to day operational tasks. Like, where to place the next workload so that current applications are not impacted, or which storage systems are best suited for a particular application, or which network paths should be used to minimize the chance of bottlenecks. Because it’s making you smarter about what you already do, the solution easily goes beyond traditional IT devices like servers, storage and networks to facilities management and non-IT related devices within the data center. For example, it can adjust data from cooling systems can be collected, analyzed and automated to adjust cooling to not run as hard when data center load is low or to anticipate high activity by producing greater cooling.
Sophisticated solutions like this can often present an implementation and learning curve challenge to even the most capable IT staff. That’s why an attractive option for many organizations is to consume a pre-designed and pre-engineered solution that can be offered as a service. By leveraging the expertise that comes with a fully managed solution, an IT organization can more quickly realize the benefits of real-time analytics and automation – and the optimized results they bring to the data center.
In our on demand webinar a panel of experts from Storage Switzerland and Hitachi Vantara discussed the concept of an intelligent data center. In the webinar we discussed the challenges that IT professionals face when trying to manage their data centers and the opportunity to optimize data centers so their components are utilized more efficiently. We also introduced Hitachi Vantara’s Smart Data Center which provides the solution as a service, making it easy for organizations to get started and to more quickly realize positive results.
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