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  • How to make your data center as efficient as it is available

Man walking through data center room, data center operations.
Now it is easy to get full data center visibility.

As IT loads have become much denser to accommodate consolidated servers, ensuring the right amount of cooling and power has become an increasingly complex balancing act — especially if you’ve virtualized those loads as well. Without visibility to where power and cooling capacity is available to handle more loads, you risk taking down an entire rack by overloading a branch circuit, for example. Or, from a building perspective, you might over-provision cooling at a costly operating expense.

Seeing across your data center’s physical infrastructure from the building level down to the server level (and vice versa) is imperative. Not only does such a view protect system availability; it can enable concrete energy and operational efficiency gains as well. Schneider Electric™ StruxureWare™ for Data Centers software, for example, provides this end-to-end visibility, bridging facilities and IT.

In fact, it graphically shows your IT equipment within the data center physical infrastructure layer so you can monitor and manage system uptime, as well as simulate the effect of moves, adds, and changes in relation to resource capacity. The result? Facilities and IT easily can collaborate to ensure that the data center can adjust at any time to business requirements.

Energy-efficient availabilityBy bridging facilities and IT, StruxureWare for Data Centers software enables operators to balance efficiency and availability with peace of mind. Specifically, it combines monitoring, automation, planning, and implementation to provide a multifaceted, complete view of all data center functions — but in an easy way that gives the right information to the right user at the right time.

Intelligent energy management lets you track and target energy use to detect, pinpoint, and correct over-provisioning. And with a smart view of your entire system, the software allows you to set more energy-efficient, cost-effective availability thresholds—without risk to system uptime given the software’s drilled-down monitoring capabilities of the entire power train, building-to-rack cooling, and the IT room.

As authors Torben Karup Nielsen and Dennis Bouley note in Schneider Electric white paper, How Data Center Infrastructure Management Software Improves Planning And Cuts Operational Costs, “By correlating power, cooling and space resources to individual servers, DCIM tools today can proactively inform IT management systems of potential physical infrastructure problems and how they might impact specific IT loads. Particularly in a highly virtualized and dynamic cloud environment, this real-time awareness of constantly changing power and cooling capacities is important for safe server placement.” StruxureWare for Data Centers software is among this advanced class of intelligent DCIM tools.

Handle increasing IT complexityAdditionally, StruxureWare for Data Centers software uniquely integrates with leading virtualization management platforms (e.g., VMware® vSphere™ and Microsoft® System Center Virtual Machine Manager) to provide built-in automated response capabilities. What this means is that virtual loads always have healthy host environments; if a host server is threatened by overheating or other issues, the software can move the dynamic load automatically before risk escalates.

Also automated are workflow tools that allow operators to assign work orders, reserve space, track status, and extract an audit trail for complete visibility and history to the change cycle when equipment goes in and out. Maintenance schedules, moreover, can be mapped out accurately within the context of ongoing operating conditions and the state of the systems.

The full system benefits from these robust DCIM capabilities. In the long run, Schneider Electric data center physical infrastructure with integrated StruxureWare for Data Centers software can save companies up to 30 percent in data center physical infrastructure costs over 10 years through optimized resource and energy management. As a facilities or data center manager, you now can tap your data center to deliver strategic business value through energy-efficient availability and proven agility.

Optimize performance with a modular, integrated software suite

No matter what business challenges you’re hoping to overcome — whether it’s energy efficiency, capacity planning, or staying connected to your data center on the go — StruxureWare for Data Centers software suite has the solution. Its modular design allows you to pick the modules your business needs today, with an integrated architecture that gives you the ability to scale down the road. Now, keep your data center Business-wise, Future-driven™ by aligning your business needs with your management capabilities.

Intelligent DCIM software can do this:

Analyze and optimize existing resourcesAnalyze airflow in real timeDetermine the impact of infrastructure failure on ITTrack your carbon and resource useIdentify excess capacityGenerate a PUE across facilities and ITMaximize uptime by monitoring power qualityReport average and peak power usage by rackMove at-risk virtual loads automatically to healthy hostsGenerate an audit trail for all asset changesProvide graphical representations of systemsCalculate recommended IT installation locationsManage space and cages in multi-tenant facilities

For references and best practices, read “How Data Center Infrastructure Management Software Improves Planning and Cuts Operational Costs.”
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