Why Data Center Monitoring Is Key for Remote Workforces
By: Ernest Sampera on December 2, 2020
Imagine trying to run your business without any visibility into any of your operating expenses or business processes—like payroll, employee productivity, what resources are being consumed and how quickly, etc. It would be a recipe for disaster.
Every business process needs strict monitoring and high visibility so leaders can make data-driven decisions that actively promote the company’s goals—especially for the IT resources that modern companies rely on to stay competitive. However, all too many organizations treat their IT like a “black box” with no visibility into things like bandwidth requirements, power consumption, actual data center uptime, or other key performance metrics. This lack of IT visibility can negatively impact IT operations—which can be critical for remote workforces.
One way that companies can improve IT transparency and collect the information they need to make informed decisions is to use data center monitoring solutions. What is data center monitoring? Why is it especially important for remote workforces? How can you use intelligent monitoring to empower remote workforces?
Data center monitoring is the practice of gathering information about all aspects of the data center—such as power requirements, bandwidth usage, peak loads, what data packets are being processed, etc. This information is then used to optimize the data center to best address the needs of the organization.
Intelligent monitoring tools can be used to assess data center capabilities and compare them to actual use data—using predictive analytics to track data center performance over time and anticipate future needs or potential problems. This predictive capability is especially important for preventing data center failures. By proactively adding the required network bandwidth or processing power to handle growing demand for IT resources, bottlenecks and network outages can be avoided.
Why Data Center Monitoring is Especially Crucial for Remote Workforces
Remote work has been a growing trend for many years, as IT resources and broadband internet infrastructure have become more robust. One Tech Republic article published in January 2020 (a little bit before the COVID-19 pandemic really started hitting the USA) noted that “the number of people working remotely on a weekly basis has grown by nearly 400% in the last decade.”
To do their jobs efficiently, remote workers need to have consistent and reliable access to the company’s enterprise applications and data center resources. What does data center monitoring have to do with remote work? One factor is that remote work strategies put extra emphasis on network bandwidth requirements.
While most internet service providers (ISPs) advertise based on their download speeds, bandwidth requirements involve more than just that. There is also upload speed to consider. Data centers need to be able to handle simultaneous uploads to all of an organization’s remote workers. However, some bandwidth-hungry applications may quickly exceed the network’s upload bandwidth.
Additionally, certain security protocols for protecting the data center from illicit access attempts may introduce extra latency or lag as data packets are filtered and inspected for potential malware infections.
Data center monitoring allows organizations to track data center performance to identify these issues so that they can be addressed. For example, if demand for a particular application is too high and exceeding the server’s maximum load capacity, adding extra computing power may help address the problem.
Or, if there are a lot of users in one geographical area, the company may decide to add a colocation data center that is nearer to those users. This can reduce the load on the primary production environment and minimize or eliminate lag for these “edge” users.
Without solid IT visibility from data center and network monitoring tools, it would be more difficult to identify the specific cause of lag or network instability. Having solid IT transparency that ensures organizations know what resources are available and what’s being used is critical even without a remote workforce—because it can help organizations:
Avoid disruptions in key business processes that rely on the data center and network infrastructure;
Scale IT assets more accurately to control costs; and
Identify critical issues and make proactive optimizations.
Data Center Monitoring Tools Designed to Empower Remote Workforces
How can monitoring data center capabilities, power requirements, bandwidth requirements, and other key statistics help empower a remote workforce? Here are a few data center monitoring tools that do just that:
Colocation Inventory Tracking. What cabinets, power circuits, cross-connects, and other colocation data center resources is the organization using? Tracking colocation inventory can help businesses monitor their resource use and anticipate when they need to add more to help support a growing remote workforce.
Compliance and Security Reporting. Are remote employees following cybersecurity best practices (and company security protocols) to protect the business from cyber threats)? Does the organization have the right tools in place to meet compliance requirements? Compliance and security reporting tools empower remote team managers to track compliance with company and industry policies and identify potential issues that may open the organization up to security breaches or regulatory compliance audits.
User Authorization and Data Center Activity Reporting. Knowing which users are allowed to access specific enterprise applications and data center resources can be crucial for enforcing security policies. Using access controls to make it so that users can only access the files and applications they need to do their jobs can help prevent abuse of access privileges. Additionally, tracking activity in the data center is a must for investigating potential abuses of access privileges or intrusion attempts by malicious actors.
Power and Bandwidth Usage Reports. Knowing the data center’s actualbandwidth and power requirements is a necessity for effective and efficient scaling of data center resources. Businesses don’t want to spend more on data center power and bandwidth than they need to—but they also don’t want to be short on these critical resources and experience a service outage. Usage reports on power and bandwidth help businesses track their actual requirements so they can scale resources more efficiently. Real-time alerts for when certain thresholds are exceeded can help ensure that businesses know when to add more data center capacity so remote workers can consistently access the resources they need to work efficiently.
Mobile Intelligent Monitoring Tools. It isn’t just team members that are working outside of the office—business and team leads are working remotely as well! Mobile applications that allow leaders to monitor their IT resources on the go (such as vXchnge’s award-winning in\site tool) can be invaluable for gaining the IT visibility needed to verify data center performance and make smarter, data-driven decisions regarding their IT assets.
Experience Enhanced Intelligent Monitoring with vXchnge!
Do you need extraordinary IT transparency and visibility to verify that your investments in data center infrastructure and other IT assets is providing a meaningful ROI? vXchnge’s in\site platform delivers real-time information on your data center’s capabilities and performance.
Our intelligent monitoring platform is built to provide enhanced IT visibility and transparency so users of our collocated data centers can enjoy enhanced control over their production environments. in\site delivers a fully-customizable 360-degree view of the data center environment that can be easily accessed through a convenient mobile app that combines data center infrastructure management (DCIM), access control, billing systems, and service management systems into a single convenient whole.