The Data Center Manager’s Interactive Solutions Forum

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(aka – Everything I Never Knew I Needed to Know About Data Centers)

Jon Jonz and Chris Scaglione of Bick Group moderated an interactive forum of more than 30 data center managers and industry experts discussing the latest trends and solutions today. The discussion took place Oct. 4 during the AFCOM Data Center World conference in Orlando, Fla. Attendees represented a wide variety of businesses in the public and private sectors around the world, with data center footprints ranging from 750 square feet to over 300,000 square feet. Breakout groups covered four major topics with notable findings:

  • How to Improve the Capacity Planning Process – use of chargebacks to internal customers; design and implement modularly; begin gathering input from business; utilize third-party assessment services; standardize architecture; implement thorough monitoring and change control processes (ITIL)
  • How to Optimize Operational Costs – centralize support staff; standardize architecture to gain economies of scale; develop broad skill sets on staff; make fully informed purchasing decisions for all aspects of the data center
  • Best Practices in Data Center Consolidation – assess the current environment thoroughly so you know what you have; identify “low-hanging fruit” opportunities for both best AND worst facilities before consolidating; align tier of service to business need; thoroughly plan and test the migration process; dedicate internal PM resources together with expert third party; communicate throughout the process, especially with business sponsors.
  • How to “Go Green” in the Data Center – more responsible selection of equipment; use of solar power, ice, setpoint deadbanding; shift to non-peak usage times; use of Koldloks; improved fire suppression (FM200, water mist); use of flywheels.

The group also shared some of their greatest successes over the past year, including:  virtualization, improved monitoring and alerting systems, standardization of architecture, and higher employee productivity and efficiency.