How can colos become more reactive to customer needs for flexibility and agility?
The age of DCIM
As the services demanded by COLO customers continue to evolve and diversify, management of their assets becomes a vitally important competitive element. Here, the ability to monitor and manage all aspects of a data centre’s infrastructure is becoming essential not only from the point of view of efficient use of their systems internally but also to provide billable value-added services to their customers.
By embracing Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software tools, colocation providers can bring consistency, predictability and control to operational metrics while also improving service assurance. DCIM allows service providers to convert metrics into meaningful analytics from centralising data collection, managing physical capacity and assets and integrating with critical IT management applications. DCIM unifies the processes tools and raw data needed to provide an accurate view of data centre performance embracing both IT and support facilities.
One consequence is that DCIM can give multi-tenant environments access to advanced power and full infrastructure monitoring and assure each tenant of the status and health of their individually allocated IT resources. Providers may offer reports such as statistics on data centre operations, the physical location of servers, update reports on the environment including metrics such as PUE and figures on power and cooling consumption.
Standardisation and custom data centre designs
Given the rapid growth and diversification of data centres, the ability to react quickly to changes in customer demand, especially in terms of capacity, is becoming a key issue for data centre operators.
This means that flexibility has to be built into a data centre from the start so that the contrasting challenges of insufficient capacity on the one hand or “stranded”, ie unused, capacity on the other are avoided.
Inevitably this is generating an increased interest in modular capacity so that server and storage space, along with attendant infrastructure, can be added or subtracted quickly and efficiently according to need. Prefabricated modular data centre infrastructure, comprising standardised server, power and cooling facilities has emerged as a partial solution to this challenge, providing further evidence that in today’s world one size does not fit all in data centres, whether they are located at the Edge or at the centre of a network.
Matthew Baynes, is Director, Offer & Business Development Cloud & Service Provider Segment Global Solutions, Schneider Electric