5 Ways to Improve Your Data Center Business Continuity

Boost your agility and reliability through IBX SmartView and Equinix Smart Hands

Rodney Elder
5 Ways to Improve Your Data Center Business Continuity

When it comes to data center operations, just keeping the equipment running is no longer enough. In an age where everything is on-demand and delivered “as-a-service,” data centers are increasingly expected to provide the same kind of agility. That’s no easy challenge when maintaining high reliability and operating sustainably, which are also essential data center infrastructure management (DCIM) requirements.

In addition to recent events that have rapidly shifted work patterns from in-office to work-from-home, data centers also face variables such as external climate/weather, fluctuating power demand and available energy sources. For example, a high performance computing workload requires more sustained power than a workload that’s run once or twice a year. Most enterprises run a variety of workloads making it hard to predict energy needs for optimal efficiency. That’s where a data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tool such as IBX® SmartViewTM can help by providing on-demand visibility into digital operations.

This visibility is especially important in these times of restricted travel and access to your infrastructure. Due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in select markets, Equinix has issued a global advisory restricting access to Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers. To protect the health and safety of our customers, partners and employees, maintain the continuity of our services, and align with government and public health guidance, we are restricting access to our IBX data centers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, effective Monday, March 23, at 8 a.m. CET. For the remaining IBXs, except those in Asia-Pacific, we are moving to an appointment-only system starting Wednesday, March 25, at 8 a.m. local time for each site. To ensure business operations continue running with maximum uptime, Equinix Smart Hands® can extend the reach of your IT staff with around-the-clock technician support for your data center equipment.

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Visibility = agility when it comes to digital operations

Digital initiatives need to be planned with future changes and complexities in mind to succeed. By equipping IT teams with the data insights they need to optimize operating environments and plan for new infrastructure, enterprises can achieve their goals with improved agility and efficiency. But what does this visibility actually look like?

IT teams need on-demand visibility into hardware, infrastructure configurations and the current status of the environment to manage digital operations today and plan for the future. That means real-time operating data specific to your deployments including power draw, environmental, mechanical and electrical information. Visibility should extend down to the cage and cabinet level and be accessible on demand as if the infrastructure was all in-house. Data must be globally consistent, repeatable and available to stakeholders across the business. A real-time DCIM tool like IBX SmartView provides this kind of visibility into key operating data.

Source: IBX SmartView data sheet

On-site support = reliability when it comes to digital operations

Making sure that your digital business operations are installed and maintained with the highest availability and reliability requires data center expertise. An operational support service like Equinix Smart Hands can extend the reach of your IT staff through a wide range of on-site technical assistance including custom installations, testing and equipment troubleshooting.

5 use cases for improving your digital resiliency

There are a number of areas where a real-time DCIM like IBX SmartView and operational support services like Smart Hands can help an enterprise improve agility, reliability and efficiency.

1. Optimize power consumption: Power utilization is a key area that needs to be monitored closely for maximum efficiency and reliability. IBX SmartView enables you to see power draw profiles and historic trends from the data center level all the way down to the power circuit level. You can leverage threshold alerts and trended power data to mitigate recurring power overdraw. And if the power usage within a circuit is trending upward and approaching/exceeding set thresholds over time, you will be notified via email, text or a phone call, enabling you to take action ahead of time, rather than in reaction to an overcapacity event. You can also prevent circuit overload and increase uptime by identifying power strains on overworked equipment, and reduce operational costs by using power consumption data to redistribute or remove underutilized infrastructure. Equinix Smart Hands can give you the on-site assistance to help you redistribute your equipment before an overcapacity event occurs.

2. Improve capacity planning: Capacity planning is critical to ensure the right capacity is allocated for the current and future workloads. You can use trending reports to understand capacity demands for responding to burst and incremental workloads, as well as predict capacity requirements for future business growth. By evaluating capacity design limitations when deploying additional infrastructure, you can avoid costly under or over provisioning, and leverage Smart Hands to deploy your systems safely and efficiently.

3. Strengthen business resiliency and continuity: Visibility into key operating data gives you more time to react to events and implement disaster recovery plans. For example, if the temperature in an IBX data center is rapidly increasing beyond a set threshold, an alert will be triggered in IBX SmartView and a notification will be sent to you with specific information about the event (location, threshold exceeded and relevant impact). Likewise, if there is a system or power outage, you can implement disaster recovery plans to move applications away from affected systems until operations return to normal. We recommend that you use N+1 uninterrupted power supplies (UPS) for your systems to avoid any downtime caused by power failures. If an alert is triggered, Smart Hands can provide on-site technical assistance to help resolve it before a failure occurs.

4. Increase workplace productivity: Enterprises with IT infrastructure across different locations need an efficient way to monitor IT assets in a single view. A compact, web-based application enables you to monitor assets remotely, visualize your infrastructure and access near real-time data. It also provides a single source of truth for your Equinix infrastructure for streamlined communications, reporting and auditing. Some companies may want to integrate monitoring of their Equinix footprint into their own application. REST APIs make it simple to integrate data from their Equinix electrical, mechanical and environmental assets powering their colocation footprint into their in-house monitoring application. As part of this integrated view, Smart Hands can be an extension of your business operations team.

5. Achieve sustainability objectives: Energy efficiency is a key area for advancing digital operations sustainability. Monitoring the power, mechanical and environmental conditions in your Equinix footprint can help you make better decisions to improve energy efficiency. For example, you can evaluate your infrastructure layout to ensure optimal humidity and temperature levels using cage- or cabinet-specific data and redistribute IT workloads to optimize overworked servers with temperature-level insights. On-demand visibility also provides you with the transparency you need to report on your sustainability goals and progress.

Learn more about how IBX SmartView can give you greater visibility into your data center footprint and register for a free trial. Also discover how Equinix Smart Hands can extend the reach of your IT staff and increase uptime for greater business continuity with around-the-clock data center technical support for your equipment.

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Real-time DCIM with IBX SmartView APIs: 3 things you need to know

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