Power is in the firing line for risk averse data center operators

There’s never a good time for an unplanned outage. A lack of visibility or capacity to report is never helpful. But in today’s climate, these issues are potentially a matter of commercial success or crippling corporate failure. With the health of so many businesses in the balance, power management in the data center is suddenly a critical priority.

Power engineers may be facing an unexpected, almost certainly unwanted profile in the data center industry during the pandemic response and recovery period. In fact the role may not previously have been more critical. This is because effective power management is key to reducing outages, and this is an economy that’s hostile to any sort of business failure.

The Uptime Institute makes it clear that in data center management, power is the keystone in running an effective facility that responds to the needs of the business, without introducing unnecessary risk. It’s rather more important than that: “Power problems are still the biggest cause of major outages. Systems/ software and networks may be catching up, but power failures — which impact everything on-site and can cause knock- on effects — are the most likely cause of major outages.” Of the organizations surveyed by the Uptime Institute, power was the primary cause of an outage in 37% of all instances.

SLAs become business critical

The ability of a facility to react quickly to the needs of the business has always been a balance between responsiveness and risk. And many of us have experienced the uncomfortable feeling of trying to manage power with primitive, unscalable and imprecise tools. It leaves you unable to manage power at appropriate levels of granularity and precision - so the buck stops with you, for something you can’t fully see or control.

This data center dilemma has been the perpetual burden of technical teams, but things have got a lot easier with the ready application of a Digital Twin for your data center. The Digital Twin is a virtual replica of your facility. It provides a risk-free model in which you can accurately simulate even the most detailed changes to your physical facility and IT infrastructure. In other words, you can test scenarios, model outcomes and predict the impact of change without incurring delays or risk.

It also makes it easier for power engineers to collaborate and coordinate with other teams, such as facilities and networking. With better coordination and visibility between teams, any changes within the data center can be tried, tested and checked to ensure they deliver the optimum solution for all stakeholders.  

This isn’t an easy time for technical teams operating in the data center. The pressure is high, and the resourcing low. But things become a lot easier with the Digital Twin.

Blog written by: Sherman Ikemoto, Managing Director

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18 November, 2020

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