30 Nov 2012

30 Nov 2012

Asset Performance Management for IT and Data Centers

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Category: Uncategorized

We are all likely using some tool to track IT assets. To that end, many use their asset management tool to manage the lifecycle of their IT and Data Center assets. However, most tools that provide lifecycle management of IT assets only look at the depreciation value of the asset or perhaps the cost to maintain the asset. Unfortunately, how can we really understand the lifecycle of an asset without also looking at the performance of this IT asset versus the costs to operate the asset and/or versus the cost to operate a new asset? With the rising costs of operating IT assets, PTS thinks it is time to borrow an idea from our manufacturing brethren who have developed tools to manage the performance and to optimize the production of their plant. After all, isn’t a Data Center merely a manufacturing plant for processing and storing data? Much like a power plant wants to optimize electricity produced per unit of fossil fuel burned, we as operators of Data Centers need to optimize the IOPs (Input/Output Per Second) produced per kW (KiloWatt) consumed. The difference is there are numerous Asset Performance Management{APM} software tools for the manufacturing world to help optimize the plant by managing such issues as: • Reducing Operational Costs • Extending Asset Life • Delivering Higher Performance with Reduced Resources • Compliance with Regulations & Standards • Standardizing Asset Care Process or Practices • Dealing with Data Management & Islands of Data • Safety and Environmental Performance • Time-based PM tasks and the Need for CBM • Aging Workforce, Loss of Knowledge All of these issues addressed by today’s manufacturing APM software tools, in PTS’ opinion need to be addressed by APM tools for IT and Data Centers. In conjunction with several of our key partners, PTS has been leading the way with tools that provide the analytics to evaluate the performance of our IT and Data Center assets. Tools must analyze the performance of IT assets as well as quantify and recommend whether to retire, replace, consolidate, or maintain these IT assets:

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Optimization tools should put facilities metrics on the same screen as IT metrics allowing data center operators the ability to view and close the gaps between planned capacity and IT and facility energy usage:

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Tools need to go beyond a basic measurement like PUE (Power Usage Efficiency) that can be skewed by underutilized or rogue IT equipment and look at Server Compute Efficiency, which is the number of primary processes performed by the server versus the watts consumed by that server:

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Finally, data center personnel cannot optimize the performance of their data center assets without managing the labor, tasks, parts and contracts needed to keep our entire data processing plant functioning 7×24:

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We’ve highlighted just a few of the tools PTS has brought together to tackle the problem and build the foundation of Asset Performance Management for IT and Data Centers. It’s comical when you think about how the IT and Data Center Industry prides itself on technology and software, yet one could argue there is better software available today to manage and optimize a paper mill than a data center. Wondering if lack of knowledge on the value and performance of IT and Data Center Assets are a problem in your organization and wondering what your organization is doing to address APM for your IT and Data Centers?