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Five Tips for Better Data Center Management

January 04, 2016

The rise of cloud computing eases the infrastructure burden for most businesses and end users, but it adds extra responsibility in the data center. Network infrastructure performance and reliability is more important than ever, and infrastructure failures or data center problems can cause significant pain for businesses.

With that in mind, here are five tips for better data center management going into 2016. These tips will help ensure that your data center is performing at its best.

1. Set limits on rack-level capacity

There is a great variety in terms of server power consumption and utilization. By regulating power and utilization, data centers can better ensure that the addition of new equipment does not cause unintended problems and existing infrastructure is ready and optimized for new equipment on the rack.

2. Standardize the Unexpected

One truism is that tech changes fast. Data centers can minimize the disruption and chaos from this constant change by expecting change and standardizing change management. Good change management includes good best practices to cover adjustments and infrastructure organization built for constant changes.

3. Manage end-to-end

Of course it is important to monitor and manage the servers in the data center. For real efficiency and better monitoring, however, data centers should make sure there is good end-to-end management that includes not just servers, storage and network connections, but also cooling, energy efficiency and things like security. All aspects of the data center should be tightly managed in an integrated fashion for maximum awareness and efficiency.

4. Establish benchmarks

Improving efficiency and spotting trouble areas starts with good measurement. For this, benchmarking is crucial. To get the most out of your data center, IT and operations staff should thoroughly benchmark server performance so hardware purchases deliver the expected return on investment and systems run optimally and as expected.

5. Stick to Best Practices

Many of the problems that beset data centers come from standards variance. There can be a lack of space for appropriate cabling. Security exceptions can emerge. Network resources can be set up without appropriate monitoring controls.

There are hundreds of little things that can cause big problems when best practices are not followed. One big key is just ensuring that the data center operates according to established best practices and protocols. Shortcuts sound good in a pinch, but they often come back to haunt data center operations.

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