Data Center Operations: Adopting a Proactive Process with the Data Center Digital Twin

Whether you’re just starting out managing data center operations or you’ve been using the same approach for a while, it never hurts to revisit your workflow to identify potential inefficiencies and new opportunities. 

After all, data center operations are having to perform a balancing act now more than ever: businesses are requiring more and more from their digital infrastructure to keep up with growing digital consumption (Data Center Knowledge). 

Combine that with legacy infrastructure that can’t accommodate high-density designs and we’ll likely see many companies turn to the Cloud or even build new data centers rather than work with the ones they have. Even before the recent global pandemic, data center operators were building data centers at an alarming rate—three data centers for every two they needed (The Digital Twin for Today’s Data Center). 

Band aid solutions don’t cut it anymore—not for the environment or your budget. This blog covers the standard reactive process that IT and Facilities practice and proposes a new, more proactive process made possible by the Data Center Digital Twin.

Standard Data Center Operations Workflow

Before we get into the nitty gritty of data center operations, we want to clarify that we know it’s impossible to capture every data center operations workflow. From ticketing systems to excel sheets to multiple stages of approval, we know data center operators are taking the necessary precautions to safeguard their IT. For the purposes of this blog, we will detail an example workflow we’ve seen.

A standard operations workflow looks like this: The Procurement Team receives a ticket for a new device to be installed in the data center. The IT Operations Team then selects the device and zone. From here, the Rack and Stack Team, reporting either to IT or Facilities, select the cabinet and slot. Throughout these exchanges, all teams are having to look across multiple spreadsheets and Visio drawings to assess available space, power, weight and cooling.

The most important point to highlight is that once the piece of IT equipment is placed, it is highly unlikely it will ever move. If any issues are found after the fact, such as hotspots, it is much more likely for resources to be over provisioned to support the device than it being moved. What’s more, there’s often a disconnect between the team putting in the device and the one fixing it. Such issues arise due to communication bottlenecks and a lack of visibility into cooling and airflow. 

The Data Center Digital Twin Workflow

The Data Center Digital Twin repositions all relevant resource information in one place as well as calculates cooling and airflow, so your teams can easily simulate any potential IT changes. You know exactly how the device will behave before installation. 

Figure 1. The Data Center Digital Twin Workflow

This process is notably shorter because all involved teams work on a single platform with relevant resource utilization metrics available in said platform. Furthermore, the visibility that simulation provides into difficult to measure functions—like cooling and airflow—is unmatched given that the 6SigmaDCX platform is the only software on the market that uses the Digital Twin, backed by engineering simulation, for calculating cooling and airflow resources.

Operational Planning: Adopt a More Proactive Process 

 

Digital Twin software connects silos and therefore enables more informed plans to be put in place. The Digital Twin empowers a transparent, proactive process and can be implemented and personalized to fit your workflow. Contact us here to learn more about how the Digital Twin can improve data center operations.


Blog written by: Danielle Gibson, Lead Marketing Editor, and Robert Schmidt, Director of Sales + Client Innovation - Data Center Infrastructure Software SME

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22 June, 2020

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