Moving servers and other computing hardware into a colocation data center is a big decision for any organization. Whether a company previously utilized an on-premises data solution or turned to cloud services for its computing needs, many of them find that the connectivity options and scalable services offered by a carrier-neutral colocation facility provide the flexibility and growth potential they need to grow their business more effectively.
Making the decision to place equipment in a data center doesn’t mean giving away control and access. With modern data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tools like vXchnge’s award-winning in\site platform, colocation customers now have the ability to monitor and manage their assets remotely. Whether they’re accessing a customer portal through a computer or even a mobile phone application, they can use DCIM software to keep a close eye on their assets and data center operations in a number of ways.
Knowing the exact location and status of colocated equipment is a chief concern for most organizations. Using technologies like RFID tracking, advanced data center monitoring tools like in\site allow customers to pinpoint exactly where their hardware assets are deployed and what is being done with them at any given moment. They can be alerted to any changes in the data center environment, such as a redeployment that might impact performance in some way. Since customers can look in on their assets at any time, they can also use a DCIM software portal to request changes without having to travel to the facility in person or send email requests that could take time to answer.
In addition to the actual rack space the servers occupy, colocation customers are primarily paying for their hardware’s power and cooling needs. While understanding power distribution needs are vital to any good deployment, it can be difficult to fully optimize power and cooling usage without DCIM tools. vXchnge’s in\site platform, for instance, provides real-time power utilization data, allowing customers to see just how much power their equipment is consuming at any given time. Armed with this data, they may want to make some changes to better optimize power consumption and server performance. They can also evaluate whether their current deployment is making efficient use of cooling resources. If the servers are having difficulty cooling down, it might be time to consider adjusting the deployment.
Monitor Network Traffic
When it comes to evaluating network and server performance, colocation customers want to know how much bandwidth they’re utilizing and when their servers are getting the most traffic. Modern DCIM tools can provide this data instantly, complete with historical trends that show traffic patterns over time. Advanced data center operations platforms like in\site can even provide notifications when bandwidth usage changes, allowing companies to evaluate network performance on the fly and make adjustments, keeping systems up and running to avoid downtime. This data can also show when capacity needs to be expanded, which can help companies scale their operations more efficiently.
While 24x7x365 on-site remote hands support should be a “table stakes” requirement for any colocation data center, the best facilities combine this service with robust DCIM tools that allow customers to identify problems in real-time and generate support tickets quickly. Programs like in\site create a link between monitoring and support, delivering notifications directly to a customer’s computer or mobile device while also providing the visibility needed to identify the nature of the problem. Rather than rushing down to the facility to perform tasks like rebooting a server or checking a connection, they can instead use DCIM software to send a support ticket to the remote hands team. Even if everything appears to be working properly, customers can use this software to request inspections or testing just to be sure that their assets are in perfect condition.
Monitor Security and Compliance
When organizations entrust their assets to a colocation facility, they want to know their data and applications are well-protected and their network is compliant with legal obligations. Using DCIM tools, customers can get the latest information about a data center’s security standards and compliance status. Data center operations software portals like in\site provide security audit and compliance logs, which helps companies better manage risk. Various logical security measures governing access to colocated assets can also be implemented to create a clear record of who has accessed key systems and when. Knowing that security and compliance protocols are being followed can give companies the peace of mind they need to focus on growing their business rather than worrying about their IT assets.
Modern DCIM software like vXchnge’s award-winning in\site platform make it possible for colocation customers to manage their assets as effectively as they could within a private, on-premises facility. In most cases, these data center monitoring tools provide even greater control over their IT infrastructure because they can leverage the resources of an enterprise-grade data center. The increased visibility and control offered by DCIM tools not only enhance business decisions and visibility, but also optimizes the total cost of ownership and increases accountability.
About Tom Banta
Tom is the Senior Vice President of Product Management & Development at vXchnge. Tom is responsible for the company’s product strategy and development.