Global visibility and KPIs are the first step on the path to effective
infrastructure management, says R&M
R&M, the global Swiss developer and provider of cabling systems for high-quality network infrastructures, has outlined a set of Key performance Indicators (KPIs) that can help data center managers in monitoring, analyzing and optimizing their infrastructure, thereby improving their efficiency. Data center infrastructures, in particular, have huge potential to improve on processes, such as planning, forecasting, creating inventories and MAC processes, believes R&M. A KPI-driven data center management approach will not only enable standardization, but will also ensure high reliability and data integrity, says the company.
Dr Thomas Wellinger, Market Manager Data Center at R&M, says, “In the absence of good information, decisions are based on intuition, trends and incomplete, fractioned data. As a result managers will choose to err on the side of caution and assume the safest choice is over-provisioning. However, that is a very expensive, highly inefficient way to run a data center. An automated infrastructure solution can help provide an up-to-date overview of servers, network, storage, cabling, rack space, port capacity and more.”
KPIs for Data Center Efficiency
Global visibility and KPIs are the first step on the path to effective infrastructure management. With visibility in place, you can start proactively planning based on predictions and forecasts, and eventually move towards KPI-driven data center management. R&M recommends some KPIs to improve data center efficiency:
By keeping track of documentation time and average provisioning time, you can lower provisioning and service delivery times. This will certainly result in greater satisfaction amongst internal and external customers.
Documentation accuracy – the number of correctly and up-to-date documented items – and Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) are vital indicators which can lead to increasing reliability.
There are also several KPIs essential to increasing infrastructure efficiency and density. Lost capacity can be calculated by examining rack space in relation to limitations caused by factors such as power constraints, whilst Space efficiency looks at floor and rack space usage per area.
Infrastructure efficiency can be further increased through monitoring the utilization degree of switch/router port capacity, looking at the number of provisioned active ports in relation to the total number of present active ports.
The number of FTEs supporting the data center in an operational capacity is another interesting indicator that can be related to performance levels. Keeping track of these and making corresponding changes can help significantly optimize operational costs and utilization whilst improving TCO.
By tracking the number of unused active and passive ports – or free connection capacities – it becomes possible to optimize on the fly as well as plan ahead. This is also vital to securing capacity.
As data centers continue to expand, they must address the constant demand for new services and booming data growth. Moreover, many interdependent aspects of data center operations are outsourced to (multiple) third party companies. Automated Infrastructure Management (AIM) enables a KPI-driven smarter approach to decision making that significantly enhances the efficiency of a data center, says R&M.