The Challenges and Perspectives

DQI Bureau
New Update

Purely from an information systems perspective, the datacenter is a

heterogeneous mix of servers, operating systems, storage and management tools.

Along with an increase in technology complexity, the emerging trends in these

areas pose significant challenges.


Hardware and operating systems trends, multi-tiered architectures, TCO, and

evolving platform solutions (blades, bricks, racks and grids) have a bearing on

how you decide to consolidate your servers and what goes into your datacenter.

With ever-growing data volumes, effective storage tiers that address storage

management, networked solutions, disk technology and enterprise backup, archival

plus compliance become the backbone of your IS infrastructure. Few industry

trends have generated more attention and debate than utility computing. The

definition and ultimate form of utility computing varies by the vendor, all

promising to fundamentally change the way enterprises deploy and consume

computing power.

The prospect of a datacenter

The increasing demand for storage capacity, coupled with the challenges of

increasing data accessibility and adhering to new compliance regulations for

data retention, has spurred organizations to reassess the structure of their IT


There are several "possible" technologies on the horizon that have

an impact, not only on the efficiency and effectiveness of the datacenter, but

also the availability and resiliency of it. Commodity hardware, Linux and open

standards have the potential to dramatically decrease the technology risks that

companies are exposed to.


A solid information security infrastructure within the datacenter network is

just as important as it is within the local area network in the corporate

office, however, it's often overlooked or considered too expensive to address.

Even if you are considering outsour—cing your IT operations, there is a lot

that you need to assess about the capabilities of your service provider. It is

highly imperative to evolve the best method to determine, assess and review an

outsour—cing company's ability to recover or maintain availability.

Each square inch of datacenter space is prime real estate with a monetary

figure for not only the space, but for ongoing operations and support. And,

based upon your business needs, the tier level and redundancy of your datacenter

should provide protection against downtime; however, the budget must be balanced

to assure that unnecessary monetary expenditures are avoided. New datacenter

design considerations based on TIA/EIA TR942 Telecommunications Infrastruc`ture

Standard for Datacenters are the way out.


The biggest challenge facing datacenter designers and users today is

providing power and cooling to high-density equipment installations. The rapid

emergence of "1U" and "Blade" servers, and the ever

increasing demand for high-volume storage, present power and cooling demands

that were beyond comprehension just a few years ago. Most frightening of all to

IT personnel is the specter of liquid-cooled cabinets in the datacenter.

Iishwar Daas

The Four Essential Elements of System Availability


The CIO should look for an infrastructure which is designed with a focus

on reducing the Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) and, more importantly,

minimizing Mean Time To Recovery (MTTR). He should look at these elements for a

comprehensive availability strategy

Power Continuance Since power problems are the largest single cause of

downtime and data loss (Contingency Planning Research), a fail-proof UPS

strategy is one of the first steps a company needs to take to ensure system

availability. Look for vendors who can offer:


wide range of UPS from single 300VA to parallel redundant 1MW systems,

shutdown software for applications and servers to minimise loss and restart time

and networked managed UPS capability.

Power Distribution Messy, tangled power cables with multiple cascading

power distribution units can significantly delay the time to isolate a problem

and return power. Advanced power distribution minimises downtime due to operator

error. Look for vendors who can offer rack-mount power distribution units with

built in current metering and alarms, remote individually controlled power

outlets for power cycling, reboot and shutdown sequencing and automatic transfer

switches provide redundant power to connected equipment.

Secure Physical Environment In today's networks, the physical

environment is critical to the availability, security and reliability of your

equipment. Today's IT systems are extremely susceptible to environmental

problems. Racks filled with servers and other equipment can produce a lot of

heat, which creates the potential for data corruption. A secure physical

environment is made up of-rack systems to house all your IT equipment, thermal

management to cope with high power densities (over 5kW for a 42U rack), wide

range of racks for datacenter and wiring closet applications (13U, 25U, 40U, 42U

and 47U), etc

Integrated Manageability Intelligent network managed devices and

software drastically reduce Mean Time To Recovery (MTTR-includes the time it

takes to reboot the computer, restart applications and reconnect to the network)

by providing visualization and exception management.