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Measurement is the only way to avoid costly failures

Date: 19th March 2011

Stephen_LorimarMany data centres are underperforming due to the incorrect provisioning of plant capacity for the levels of resilience required according to Stephen Lorimer, Data Centre Design Consultant at Keysource.

Speaking at Data Centre World, he explained that lack of data centre management and monitoring was preventing some facilities from achieving optimum efficiency because of excessive power and cooling capacity.

“With increasing focus on energy consumption, data centre owners and operators are under pressure to achieve greater operating efficiencies, whilst getting the most capacity out of assets and managing resilience. However, this can only be achieved by having a true understanding of operational performance, so monitoring and measurement should be central to any data centre optimisation,” said Lorimer.

He went on to say that those data centres with ageing infrastructures and legacy equipment are those with most to gain as it is these facilities that are often operating inefficiently. Where cooling and power is over provisioned there is an opportunity to right size by finding out what is needed and what capacity is available.

He added that effective analysis enables operators to make informed decisions regarding environmental operating parameters, plant utilisation, configuration and renewal required to easily fine tune the operation of a facility. It also enables performance criteria to be set and confirm whether these targets are being met.

“Everything within the data centre is connected, so without appropriate monitoring and measurement operators are blind to how any changes are impacting a facility’s performance. Simply adopting best practise solutions without understanding how it affects different areas of a facility is unlikely to achieve the desired results and could become a costly failure. By adopting a cycle of reporting, recording, analysing and making changes, operators can understand what is needed and take the appropriate action,” concluded Lorimer.

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