Modular data center management powers enterprise hybrid IT
It’s challenging to predict future business needs in today’s disruptive IT environment — especially when it comes to data centers and data center management. Organizations often embrace new market opportunities even if their existing technology isn’t able to support new demands.
To incorporate private or hybrid cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT), cognitive computing, analytics and high-performance computing, organizations must ensure a robust data center infrastructure to meet the demands of an always-on world.
As data center managers and IT leaders adopt cloud, social, mobile and analytics platforms, they must examine every data center asset from an IT service delivery perspective. As a result, IT leaders have started sourcing and deploying IT infrastructure in new ways. Data center managers are increasingly concerned about limiting factors, such as floor space, power, cooling, data center life cycle management and staffing.
The power of modular data centers
To deliver results to ever-changing business demands, IT leaders need an effective strategy to design and deploy data centers in a scalable and modular way.
Investing in data center modularity allows organizations to add modules to increase rack space, boost power density and add cooling capacity without needing to redesign and rebuild the entire data center from scratch. The modular data center uses a building-block approach that allows additional blocks to be added when needed. This strategy reduces time to market, minimizes capital expenses and enhances cost savings.
For example, if a client is working within a private cloud, they may need 10 kilowatts per rack of power density to get started. However, this may go up to 24 kW per rack in the next five years. Therefore, their strategy for data center power and cooling modules should provide the flexibility not only to add incremental power and cooling capacity but also to offer different availability or tier-level design.
Similarly, some organizations may leverage edge technologies, such as content delivery network services or an IoT platform, as a part of distributed data center resource deployment. They may not have a regional data center in tier-two or tier-three cities. To meet these needs, organizations should utilize prefabricated modular data centers.
Depending on the availability of space, power and cooling in the existing regional or branch offices, organizations may benefit from deploying portable modular data centers (PMDCs) in shipping containers or room-based PMDCs. They may also benefit from IBM’s Cloud Prefabricated Modular Data Center, which is not only self-contained but also IT vendor-neutral.
DCIM drives resiliency and performance
IT leaders work to help enterprises achieve operational resiliency and maximize the performance of distributed data center resources. To achieve this, IT management must bridge the gap between IT and facilities. This gap slows down services deployment, produces unscheduled downtime and inefficient equipment, increases expenses, lowers productivity and results in lost revenue.
Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) provides the tools necessary to provide 24/7 visibility and control over IT and facilities infrastructure and power real-time decision-making. DCIM helps to track programs with high capacity, power usage effectiveness and availability. By using IoT devices, DCIM is becoming more holistic to support edge computing infrastructure.
In addition, data center operations should make use of IoT and cognitive platforms to provide predictive insights on infrastructure outages. This will equip data center managers to deliver the best infrastructure uptime while dealing with reduced power and cooling redundancy. These insights will also help them to plan for workload mobility in case of a brownout.
A modular data center, paired with DCIM, equips enterprises to run their day-to-day data center operations and meet the business needs of software-defined infrastructure, IoT, analytics and machine learning platforms.