Is Successful Capacity Planning Virtually Impossible?

9 July, 2018

In the modern era of fluctuating demands on data, it pays to be prepared. Global IP traffic is set to increase nearly threefold over the next five years and will have increased 127-fold from 2005 to 2021.[1] Businesses are constantly developing the digital aspects of their organization out of necessity, while repeatedly pushing to meet the demands of customer expectation. Businesses that can adapt to changing demand swiftly and effectively will ultimately gain the cutting edge over their competition.

The need for more speed and availability from consumers has pushed data centers to grow and improve the way they plan for higher workloads. However, in the planning process, data center managers have historically had to make the painful choice between operational performance and speed of delivery. There is a tremendous amount of ongoing pressure from stakeholders to produce informed capacity plans to maximize the performance of the data center, while simultaneously cutting costs and reducing deployment times. But is this achievable in reality?

The Key to Collaboration: 6SigmaDCX Platform

With the complexity of this crucial process abundantly clear, the siloed approach taken by majority of data center professionals can be detrimental to the planning operation. With separate teams often in charge of planning the cooling, weight, space and power aspects of a data center, communication breakdown can negatively impact the performance and longevity of the data center, increasing both OpEx and CapEx.

Consequently, the right infrastructure needs to be put in place to allow teams to collaborate effectively throughout the entire planning process. Both running and planning a successful data center relies on effective communications between the relevant teams, ensuring all processes remain both agile and reliable.

The subsequent integration of the plans produced through these siloed processes can prove to be both slow and costly. Ultimately, data center planners must decide whether to speed up the planning process while sacrificing cost-effectiveness or vice-versa. Throughout the history of capacity planning, it has seemed almost impossible for speed and quality to co-exist in equal measure. This is no longer the case. Virtualizing the capacity planning process holds the answer.

Future Facilities’ Virtual Facility can mimic every aspect of a physical data center without installing any hardware. This digital clone offers the most advanced tools available, to fully plan, measure and simulate data center performance. IT hardware planners responsible for the deployment of racks and IT into the datacenter, to the facility engineers responsible for providing the power and cooling through 3 distinct products that work from the same dataset – 6SigmaAccess & 6SigmaRoom.

IT planners can propose asset changes via 6SigmaAccess, while facilities engineers can predict the outcome of these changes through the 6SigmaRoom platform. Critical aspects such as space, power, weight-bearing ability and cooling capacity can then be accurately measured in minute detail through the use of 6Sigma Gateway, feeding right back into the existing model for accurate predictions.

Immense Potential

This Virtual Facility is fully integrated, allowing traditionally disconnected teams to work together quickly, producing capacity plans that match business needs. The potential is immense: teams can cut processes that would usually take weeks to potentially a matter of days or even hours. Meanwhile, there is increased capability to deploy more hardware on less physical infrastructure, having a direct cost saving benefit while improving the facility’s flexibility.

Alongside the benefits of collaboration, allowing facilities teams to better analyze the effects of IT changes on power, space and cooling before physical deployment, businesses will benefit from an increased confidence in their decision making. The Virtual Facility acts as a sandbox to explore any “what-if” scenarios, ensuring no option is left wasted or unexplored. Data center professionals can innovate in a secure environment while remaining confident in a safe, effective outcome once deployed.

Here at Future Facilities, we know that speed and quality can coexist in capacity planning. The key to achieving both is to enable teams to communicate and plan effectively. By creating a toolset customized for the capacity planning process, we have done just that. The Virtual Facility platform is a combination of our tools designed specifically for data center operations. It unites IT, facilities and data center managers through a centralized platform for analysis and decision making, which in turn increases efficiency and reduces risk.

[1] http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/afcom/state-data-center-industry-2018-where-we-are-and-what-expect


Blog written by: Akhil Docca, Director of Marketing

 

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