Playing Jenga in the Data Centre

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A letter to the editor from Andrew des'Ascoyne, Spook Limited. 
Energy consumption and utilisation has become a priority focus for IT Management.  From the drive to improve Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) ratings to corporate CSR pledges, the need to reduce energy related expenditure and address Energy Efficiency has put the data centre firmly centre stage.
Unfortunately, while energy consumption is a serious issue and cost many IT teams are simply too tightly stretched to impose control over power usage in the data centre. A lack of attention to detail here can, over time, result in potential circuit overloads, power phase imbalances and general power inefficiencies.  Even the most beautifully designed data centre can descend into chaos within a matter of months if new equipment is added or swapped without due consideration to power planning.

This lack of understanding, forethought or resource can have a devastating effect on business.  According to recently published data from SunGard Availability Services, some 27% of invocations in 2010 were power related. Add to this the consideration that 80% of data centres do not have adequate or, in some cases, any back-up power generation facility and the potential financial cost of such disruption is significant.
However, organisations that monitor how power is used within the data centre are able to take proactive steps in planning future changes and also address any remedial issues regarding circuit loading, phase balancing and general efficiency.  By linking real time monitoring from a single global view of the entire data centre's power utilisation to graphical weekly reports that highlight both risks and opportunities for improvement, organisations gain an immediate insight into any areas requiring attention.
Companies cannot afford to play Jenga with their IT resources. It is time to leverage the insight provided by power monitoring tools and take pro-active, predictive steps to help minimise business downtime, reduce costs and improve power efficiency.

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