Running a data center is not an easy task. Apart from deploying strict physical security measures and logical security protocols to protect customer data, you have to ensure that your facility is constantly optimizing IT infrastructure to improve power efficiencies and maximize cooling capacity.
Here are four practices that you can follow at your facility to improve operational efficiency:
1. Leverage DCIM Tools
It’s nearly impossible to manage a data center without using DCIM software. As a data center manager, you need to be constantly aware of what is happening at the facility at all times. Even a tiny problem can become extremely disruptive if it is not resolved at the right time.
DCIM software allows you to conveniently identify, locate, visualize, and manage all physical data center assets at your facility. It plays an important role in bringing down energy costs, improving data center design, and enhancing operational efficiency, according to Sunbird Software, Inc. You can also use it to analyze historical trends and optimize deployments for better performance.
2. Practice Good Data Hygiene
Some organizations tend to constantly create and store data because of a data-hoarding culture and an indifferent attitude to the retention policy. A recent report revealed that almost 33% of data stored by organizations is considered redundant, obsolete or trivial (ROT), and useless by IT leaders, according to a news article by Business Wire. It also revealed that hardly 15% of all stored data can be classified as business-critical information.
That is why it is important to implement good data hygiene so that you can help your customers better manage their ROT data and free up valuable computing and storage resources for more critical needs. It will also reduce the load on IT infrastructure and help you achieve lower power and cooling demands.
3. Optimize Data Floor Space
If there are any inefficient deployments on the data floor, it can cause problems such as wasted energy being consumed by underutilized servers or too much heat being generated for the cooling infrastructure to manage. As a data center manager, you should know how every piece of equipment on the data floor interacts with the others so that you can optimize the environment efficiently.
Under-floor and overhead obstructions are known to interfere with the distribution of cooling air and it can significantly reduce the air handlers’ airflow. You should ensure a minimum effective (clear) height of 24 inches for raised floor installations to create a more uniform pressure distribution, according to an article by the U.S. Department of Energy.
4. Ensure Better Cabling
Data centers usually require a lot of cables. These can be either bulky power cables or fiber-optic network cables. Any kind of poor cabling can not only be messy and difficult to work with but can also cause grave issues in a data center environment. For instance, too many cables in a closed and limited space can restrict airflow and put a severe strain on both computing equipment and the facility’s cooling infrastructure. That is why you should manage cables at your facility effectively.
If you implement these practices at your facility, you can significantly improve your operations in terms of efficiency and performance. It will also allow your customers to reap the benefits of reduced energy costs and a more robust, reliable IT infrastructure.