Wednesday, December 19, 2012

NJ Tech Council: Adaptation of DCIM Tools Rages On

The first annual New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC) Data Center Summit was a real success. With upwards of 150 data center professionals attending, the first panel discussion focused upon Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) Challenges & Opportunities.

The first panel speaker, Peter Sacco, President of PTS Data Center Solutions, provided a solid overview of the DCIM sector, functional areas, and challenges faced by both manufacturers and end clients. He then put manufacturers on notice. Mr. Sacco stated there are 100+ companies producing hardware, software, and/or platforms for DCIM. The problem is that typically each company’s offering does one or two of the functional requirements well, others less well, and others not at all. Worse, little effort is made to work with one another although that is becoming less so as providers are realizing their own limitations.

As such, what data center managers really seek for DCIM, easy access to meaningful data that seamlessly correlates to actionable plans, has yet to be realized. In support of this supposition, Pete mentioned the Uptime Institute’s 2010 paper Data Center Infrastructure Management: Consolidation, But Not Yet which notes the market for data center infrastructure management systems will grow from $500 million in 2010 to $7.5 billion by 2020. So far, this hyper growth hasn't materialized as the holy grail of DCIM has been stunted by under powered solutions or solutions that are difficult to deploy.

The remainder of the DCIM panel discussion centered upon manufacturer and user challenges, new developments within the industry, and future directions as panelists compared existing solutions and viability of current deployments.

Beyond the DCIM panel, a second panel discussion focused on Lessons Learned from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Various disaster recovery approaches, processes, and solutions were debated by the panelists. The event also included exhibits with lively discussions around many current hot topics in the data center community.

To learn more about Mr. Sacco's perspectives on DCIM, contact him via email, or download Pete's latest white paper Data Center Infrastructure Management - The Updated Elephant which provides a detailed review of the market for DCIM solutions. Additional DCIM solutions are available on the PTS website. More information on the Data Center Summit is available at Data Center Knowledge.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Asset Performance Management for IT and Data Centers

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:
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:
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:
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 7x24:
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?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Preparing for the Next Disaster: Data Center Generator Deployment Considerations

PTS Data Center Solutions considers generators as a key to data center reliability. Supplementing a battery-based uninterruptible power supply (UPS) with an emergency generator should be considered by all data center operators. The question has become increasing important as super storms such as Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast United States knocked out utility power stations and caused many downed power lines, resulting in days and weeks of utility power loss.

Beyond disaster protection, the role of a backup generator to provide power is important when utility providers consider summer rolling blackouts and brownouts and data center operators see reduced utility service reliability. In a rolling blackout, power to industrial facilities is often shut down first. New data center managers should check the utilities contract to see if a data center is subject to such utility disconnects.

Following are questions to consider before, during, and after generator deployment.

What Should You Consider Before Generator Deployment?
  • Generator Classification / Type. Will the generator be classified as an Optional Standby power source for the data center, a Code Required Standby power source for the data center, or an Emergency back-up generator that also provides standby power to the data center?
  • Generator Size. When sizing a generator it is critical to consider the total current IT power load as well as expected growth of that IT load. Is specialized sizing software needed to properly size your generator?
  • Fuel Type. Will the generators be diesel or gas powered? There are pros and cons to both.
  • Deployment Location. Where will the generator be installed? Is it an interior installation or an exterior installation?
  • Exhaust and Emissions Requirements. What exhaust emissions standard are required in your town, region, or state?
  • Required Run-time. What is the expected run-time for the generator system? How much fuel needs to be on hand to support expected run-times?
What Should You Consider During Generator Deployment?
  • data center generatorsCommissioning. What is your commissioning plan? What type of rigging is required? What documentation is needed?
  • Load Testing. How will you perform load testing? Do you have access to a non-linear load bank with appropriate power factors for the generator to be tested?
  • Servicing. What will the service schedule be for the generator? How will the initial servicing be performed during final commissioning and testing?
What Should You Consider After Generator Deployment?
  • Service Agreement. Is a service agreement in place with the local generator manufacturer’s representative?
  • Preventative Maintenance. Preventative Maintenance should be performed at least twice a year. Most generator owners who envision their generator installation as being critical to their business execute a quarterly maintenance program.
  • Monitoring. How is the generator tied into the building monitoring system? Who is monitoring that system for generator and ATS systems failure?
  • Regular Testing. How often should testing completed to confirm availability of the generator? How should the testing be done?
  • Maintenance. What are the manufacturer recommended maintenance intervals, work plans, maintenance milestones? What other factors related to the operational characteristics of the generator need to be considered?

Friday, November 09, 2012

NJ Technology Council - Data Center Summit

PTS Data Center Solutions will be a conference sponsor for the 2012 New Jersey Technology Council Data Center Summit. Titled Working in the Clouds, the focus of the event is on the latest trends and innovative technologies driving the emergence of Next Generation Data Centers. There will be two panel discussions and PTS Data Center Solutions Founder & President, Pete Sacco, will be a panelist for the DCIM Challenges and Opportunities panel in the morning. This panel discussion will examine the world of Data Center Infrastructure Management as a catalyst to increase energy efficiency and control underlying data center operating costs.

2012 New Jersey Technology Council Data Center SummitThe afternoon panel entitled Data Center Options - Deployment Challenges - Solutions brings IT leaders from different industries together to share their data center experiences from due diligence to deployment. Solutions providers will offer examples of client objectives and services provided. The goal of this panel is to help you sort through identifying your data storage needs and the options and solutions that can help you achieve maximum return. If you are battling an IT deployment or storage problem, PTS can help you through our IT Solutions Group. We have a team of engineering experts including network and systems architects, server and storage engineers, virtualization engineers, and other IT-focused technical staff.

Who should attend this event?
  • C-level executives (CEO / CIO / COO / CFO / CTO)
  • Data Center Facilities Managers and Engineers, IT and Infrastructure Managers, Data Center Managers
  • Directors and Consultants, IT Directors, Infrastructure Directors, IT Consultants
  • Business Analysts, Finance Directors & Managers
When: December 13, 2012, from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Where: Eisenhower Conference Center, Livingston, NJ 07039

Friday, October 19, 2012

Is Your Disaster Recovery Approach a Disaster?

  • Are You Optimizing Your Data Backup Along with Your Disaster Recovery?
  • Are You Wondering if there is a Better Approach To Business Continuity?
  • Are You Looking for a Low-cost Alternative to Traditional Backup & Disaster Recovery Approaches?
PTS Data Center Solutions will be hosting a Lunch & Learn at the Chart House Restaurant in Weehawken, NJ. Please be our guest to learn about the better path to backup, recovery, and continuity.

Your IT team shouldn't have to worry about data disruption which leads to business interruption. Quorum solutions can solve your backup AND recovery pain and, more importantly, business continues as usual.
Quorum Hybrid Cloud Disaster Recovery Solution
Quorum offers a One-Click Backup, Recovery, & Continuity Appliance. These affordable plug and play appliances can keep virtual copies of your critical servers (physical or virtual) ready-to-run for instant recovery on and off-site. Deploy in 1 hour, test every 15 minutes, and recover with a click of a button.

Hear about Quorum's hybrid cloud solution for backup and instant recovery of your servers from your very own private cloud. Ideal for clients with 3-100 physical or virtual servers, this is one Lunch & Learn you will be glad you attended!. Additionally, we will be raffling off a $100 Gift Card to those in attendance.

You are welcome to invite additional colleagues in technology with job responsibilities relevant to this topic. You can find additional information about Quorum and its solutions (datasheets, videos, case studies) by clicking here.

A Lunch & Learn seminar you must attend this year. You'll gain a clear understanding of today's next generation approach to Backup & Disaster Recovery.
  • LOCATION: Chart House - Weehawken, NJ
  • DATE: Wednesday, November 7th
  • TIME: 11:30am - 1:30pm
Registration is Closed - call us at 201-337-3833 for more information

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Is Modularity the Future of the Data Center?

The idea of modular data center builds has been around for several years. One definition is the concept of modular design via the use of prefabricated, containerized POD solutions allowing data center operators to expand more rapidly than through traditional engineering design approaches. With PODs, best practices related to power, space, and cooling can be leveraged repeatedly. Each time additional rows of racks are needed, another POD can be deployed.

Another approach to modularity is to build free-standing data centers in a modular fashion. In this design approach, engineers build out a data center or computer room with necessary supporting infrastructure (mechanical and electrical rooms) to provide required, redundant power and cooling for the data center plus future adjacent data center space. This allows the data center operator to commission one room first and add a second room without having to start from scratch for the supporting infrastructure.



However, as with anything else, a modular data center design approach has its advantages and disadvantages. Thus, tread lightly and do your homework if you are considering a modular design for your next data center build, or just to supplement your space for growth.

To learn more, read the article in Global Corporate Expansion Magazine's Fall Issue. Or, if you like, contact the engineers at PTS Data Center Solutions to discuss the pros and cons.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Energy efficiency Improvement Methods: PermaFrost NMR

As a Data Center Design & Build company with a focus on energy efficiency services and energy efficient solutions, PTS Data Center Solutions is always looking for the next great technology that improves data center efficiency. We think we've found a solution worth considering to improve the performance of your cooling systems.

Powertron Global™ offers PermaFrost NMR™ Refrigeration Solutions in synthetic and non-synthetic formulations. PermaFrost Nucleo Molecular Regenerative (NMR) technology was designed to improve the performance for any A/C, refrigeration system, or heat pump without modification or alterations. 

PermaFrost NMR has been deployed for clients to improve energy efficiency in a 16-ton Liebert Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) unit supporting mission critical data center operations.

For one such deployment, the improved/restored efficiency attributable to PermaFrost NMR was substantial. Overall efficiency improved by 13.5% and the EER improved by 20.4%. There was an increase in coil capacity of 25,920 in Btuh which equates to gaining more than 2-tons of capacity or 15.7%. There is also an improvement of 2.1 degrees F in Delta T (difference between supply and return air) and an overall reduction in kWh and Watts per ton of 16.9%.

For data center use, PermaFrost NMR is available for Direct Exchange (DX) and Chiller units. Contact PTS to learn more.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Top Ten Reasons to Renovate Your Data Center

data center cooling
Like your home, data centers hit a point of no return --- when slapping some paint on the walls (or adding additional rack UPS or portable cooling systems (e.g. standing floor fans (you know who you are!)) just isn't enough to mask inherent issues.
When do you know it's time
to renovate your data center?
  1. I'm having hot flashes as I traverse the data center. The goal of data center cooling solutions is to drive average cold aisle and hot aisle temperatures. When these temperatures fluctuate too greatly, it may be time to look at Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis to gauge how best to arrange cooling systems and, where necessary, isolate hot and cold aisle containment.
  2. We've fallen behind on the latest technology. Advances in blade servers, storage and networking combine to catapult performance ahead of business needs. Blade servers, for example, have introduced the concept of high-density data centers that pack previously unheard-of performance in a single rack. New rack design and cooling technology provide a new level of control and savings in both cost and energy consumption.
  3. We're afraid to go on vacation. This means your IT staff is spending countless hours on mundane tasks just to keep your computing infrastructure up and running rather than focusing on the ways in which IT can help advance the goals of the business. Consider outsourcing some of those functions to a managed services provider; remote monitoring and management are becoming accepted practices in most IT departments today.
  4. data center cabling nightmareMy cable plant looks like this. When troubleshooting cabling issues is beyond your means, or there just isn't adequate cable management, it's time to consider new approaches to improving cabling. This will save time and money and improve overall reliability of the data center.
  5. Sorry, but no room at the inn. When you can't squeeze a single additional piece of gear or another watt of power into your data center, it's time to consider a renovation. Like cleaning your basement or attic at home, a renovation will free up rack u-space. Under-utilized or obsolete equipment can be identified and discarded. And, renovation can be used to increase power capacity for those high draw blade servers.
  6. You worry more about disaster recovery than your peers. Hope is not a strategy. If you're not really sure how well your disaster recovery plan will protect your data in the event of a flooded data center, an earthquake or any other emergency scenario, then your plan is outdated. The process of a formal data center renovation will address redundancy in power and cooling and begin the process of designing to overcome a disaster.
  7. Portable fans are in vogue. Fans beget fans. A fan cools a hot rack by re-directing cool air intended for another rack. Now an additional fan is needed to fill the cool air gap. As additional servers are deployed, the cooling needs change. Performing a CFD audit can re-balance your data center hot-aisle / cold aisle air-flow system design for today’s needs and allow you to maintain optimal temperatures in the data center while conserving energy and its associated costs.
  8. Centralized control can only happen in a large enterprise.Take a serious look at virtualization and Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) tools. These approaches may require renovation to certain aspects of an older data center but can be worth it if you can gain visibility and centralized control within the environment. DCIM tools come in many flavors and feature sets which are scalable for the smaller data center.
  9. A Green data center design is only a pipe dream.Visions of Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) under 2.0 need not be impossible. Considering green data center design techniques green data centerand improved performance of facility supporting infrastructure can remove inefficiencies in how much power goes to IT equipment versus non-IT equipment. The result can be reduced operating expenses direct to the bottom line.
  10. When designing your original data center requirements your crystal ball was only good for 5-7 years. Data center designs hinge upon key design criteria to support today's IT load. Well planned data center designs also consider future IT requirements, organizational growth, applications growth, etc. However, with significant IT design and innovation, it's extremely difficult to plan for IT requirements 5 or more years in advance.
In the end, renovating a data center is far more complex than renovating a home. Smart home owners, when asked about a major renovation such as a kitchen upgrade, talk of making excellent choices such as checking into a hotel when the kitchen was lost. In a data center renovation, operations must continue on, many times with little to no acceptable downtime during critical renovation phases. Exceptional planning, significant prior experience, and a well conceived and vetted Data Center Renovation process are critical to reduce risk of downtime during a renovation project. With so much riding on day-to-day data center performance as well as the long-term effectiveness of the facility, the stakes are high when planning and implementing any changes. Consider seeking out a professional data center design & build firm.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Monitoring & Managing Virtual Servers


No Limits Software has extended its Virtualized Server Support in the RaMP DCIM Solution through the VMware Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) Program.

RaMP already provides support for both physical servers (including blade systems) and virtual servers, but by joining the VMware TAP program, No Limits Software will be able to provide additional support for extended VMware features.


No Limits Software RaMP
RaMP is the only DCiM Discovery and Monitoring tool that discovers and tracks the utilization and changes of both physical and virtual assets.  Because RaMP was designed with an open Web API this collected and real-time data can easily be pushed or pulled into your asset management, DCIM platform, help desk and other software platforms.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Importance of Data Center Site Cleaning

Why Invest in Data Center Cleaning?
Is It Really Critical to Professionally Clean My Mission Critical Facilities?

Data Center Cleaning is NOT about the aesthetic appeal of a clean, dust-free environment. Rather, investing to maintain a clean data center is a vital service that can sustain the maximum operational life span of IT infrastructure equipment. The primary benefit to professionally cleaning a data center is increased reliability, up-time, and extended IT infrastructure life. Dust and dirt buildup at the server fan air intake can cause fan failure or static discharge inside electronic equipment. By eliminating dust and dirt buildup, system reliability and up-time is ultimately increased. In addition, by eliminating dust and dirt buildup, the thermal output of server and storage components can be reduced and, therefore, reduce cooling requirements.

PTS Data Center Solutions experienced cleaning crews are well aware of the caution that must be employed in an active data center environment during regular cleanings. After data center construction is complete, PTS will thoroughly clean above and below the raised floor paying particular attention to components that have a strong attraction to dust. In addition to post construction cleaning, PTS strongly recommends regular cleanings throughout the life of the data center.

  • Encapsulation of sub floor to eliminate concrete powdering
  • Systematic vacuuming to remove dirt, dust, and contaminants
  • Antistatic cleaning and machine scrubbing of high pressure laminate raised floor surfaces
  • Damp wiping of environmental equipment and counter surfaces
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Ramp and tile floor landing waxing 
Learn more here or contact PTS at 201-337-3833.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Top 10 Ways Colocation Can Impact Your Business

For most primary data center or computer room operations, PTS Data Center Solutions contends that owning and operating your own data center offers the best opportunity for long-term ROI, flexibility, and OPEX cost control. However, owning your own facility comes with a CAPEX premium - and that is sometimes not an option. To that end, it may be worth considering a colocation company to support your data center infrastructure requirements. 
Data Center Image
Here are our Top 10 reasons to consider a colocation:

  1. Reliability. Have you checked your tier rating lately? The Uptime Institute's tier rating system provides higher ratings for facilities which have several levels of redundancy for power, cooling, etc. The costs are significant for a company to build many levels of redundancy throughout its data center or computer room (i.e. design costs, procurement of equipment and services, management costs).
  2. Flexibility. Are your typical power requirements at 2.5 KW per rack? Needing a facility capable of supporting blade servers with 10 KW per rack requirements? Consider a colocation specializing in high per rack power requirements. They'll also have the appropriate cooling systems in place.
  3. Speed to Deploy. Did management forget to tell you early about a new acquisition and the need to add disparate IT solutions in your data center? Colocation providers typically have ample availability, ready for IT build-outs, at a moment's notice. Sure, you won't be in tomorrow, but a few weeks will do.
  4. Security. There's a cost of doing business for colocations in terms of physical and network security. Services include providing protection from theft and fire, but also may include well conceived network security designs. And, if needed, you can look for a facility with 7x24 security.
  5. Facility Size. Tired of the endless guessing games related to sizing a facility? Colocations can actually save an organization money because it doesn't have to over-size power, space, and cooling in the facility.  
  6. Maintenance. Too many assets to maintain between servers, storage, UPS, cooling, switching, etc.? Think of the time you would save not having to worry about supporting infrastructure and being able to concentrate on keeping the IT infrastructure up-to-date.  
  7. Capital Budgetary Constraints. Waiting for your CAPEX budget to be released? What if you can forget about the capital to expand or build a new facility? Colocation monthly fees fall into the operating expense or OPEX category.  
  8. Network Management & Monitoring. Is your facility manned 7x24? Many colocation facilities have around-the-clock network operations personnel ready and waiting for a failure. Sure beats yanking the IT manager out of bed. 
  9. WAN Connectivity. What happens when the network goes down? Colocation providers have facilities from more than one network services provider and, because of the volume of services, can provide truly separate infrastructures.
  10. Offsite Backup & Disaster Recovery. Still taking tapes offsite? Worried about the financial impact of a data center down condition? How about the peace of mind knowing you stored your critical data offsite at a colocation specializing in backup and disaster recovery?  
All these reasons should be considered when looking at colocation or, for that matter, cloud services. If you are looking for expert advice and analysis relevant to your particular scenario, consider PTS' Data Center Facility Business Strategy Consulting Services. The service analyzes your situation, evaluates potential risks, hidden costs, and other items which can affect making the right decision.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Can Your Data Center Recover From A Disaster?

Looking for a reliable, cost-effective data protection and recovery solution? Tired of tedious tape back-up? Afraid your data center isn’t disaster ready?

PTS Data Center Solutions announced July 10th it has been accepted as a Strategic Reseller Partner by Quorum. The announcement comes as Quorum continues to build momentum in delivering its appliance and hybrid cloud backup, recovery and continuity solutions. The award-winning Quorum series of appliance and hybrid cloud disaster recovery solutions makes continuity a reality for small to mid-sized companies, letting them recover from any type of disaster within minutes.

Quorum Disaster Recovery Solutions

Quorum solutions are simple and cost-effective. If your company avoids just 30 minutes of downtime, the Quorum Solution typically pays for itself. The solutions are scaled to support smaller clients with just a few physical or virtual servers but can scale to support larger mid-size clients. The solutions are offered in a range of sizes to match almost any requirement and include processing, de-duplication, storage, and virtualization seamlessly integrated into the appliance.

PTS' President, Pete Sacco, states he is very pleased to be able to deploy Quorum's solutions to our customers. Coupled with PTS' Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Consulting Services, the Quorum appliance-based and Hybrid Cloud Disaster Recovery Solutions provide PTS clients with peace of mind knowing their revenue, customers, and reputation are safeguarded.

Read the complete press release.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Data Center Move Pitfalls: How to Avoid Them

Data Center Moving Pitfalls
Data Center relocations are fraught with risks. Unlike other organizations within the enterprise that might have more mundane equipment such as desks, book cases, and file cabinets, data center operators and IT staff must have everything go smoothly. If the move doesn't go as planned, troubles can range from costs associated with replacing or fixing broken servers to company downtime because critical data and applications were lost in the move.

Thus, it is critical to plan. “You cannot plan enough. Poor planning can lead to extended outage, damage to equipment, and all kinds of other problems,” says Michael Petrino, Vice President at PTS Data Center Solutions. “During the preparation for the data center relocation, you need to have many meetings months before the move to ensure that you have all of the backup plans ready to go for the project.”

And remember, since this is not a project you do everyday, make sure to bring all the critical people to the planning events. IT staff must work hand-in-hand with facilities or project management staff employed on these "special projects". The worst scenario is one in which management and/or specific project managers oversee all the elements of the move but don't see or understand the complexity of the IT migration or the need for specialized IT moving personnel.

Also of concern, have your IT staff look at the age of the IT infrastructure. Old servers, switches, and storage devices which are already out-of-warranty are a major risk when subjected to the strains and stressed evident in an IT relocation. Planning activities should consider what, if any, IT infrastructure should be replaced with new, in warranty equipment that is less likely to fail during the data center move. This is also a great time to consider reducing the overall footprint through server or storage consolidation using virtualization technologies. Not only does this reduce the burden in terms of items to move and, therefore, relocation cost, but it's a great way to replace older physical servers with virtualized servers running on new virtualized hosts, eliminating the need to move those old server.
Data Center Moving
Consider leveraging a reputable third party to support the rare data center move. For example, professional IT movers will use specialized packing materials, such as sea bins with foam, blankets, and plastic, and sometimes use the packing materials from the equipment manufacturer, Petrino says. A consultancy firm will have a proven data center relocation methodology and should also know which firms are certified to move specific OEM products so the company can maintain warranties. “You do not just call up any moving company out of the phone book,” Petrino says. “Most companies are not insured to cover a data center equipment move and associated custom insurance.” 

Finally, even superior planning cannot offset the unexpected failure. Contingency planning is critical when relocating mission critical assets and should be a core component of your data center relocation plan. Know what you will do ahead of time if a server doesn't start-up, a UPS fails after them move and re-commissioning or theft means a lost data store. Planning for a failure is better than scrambling when it occurs.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DCIM Made Simple 
Last week's Triple Play Lunch & Learn was a resounding success. Feedback from attendees was extremely positive as presentings from PTS Data Center Solutions, RF CodeRackwise, and No Limits Software providers viewers with a variety of thought provoking approaches to improve management of their data center systems.

As an added bonus, attendees were able to take advantage of 3 "signing bonuses" offered by the vendors to add to or upgrade their current DCIM solutions. If you were unable to attend but would like to learn more about the signing bonuses and DCIM solutions, please contact us. And remember, consider our leading DCIM tools to:
  • Know where your assets are in the facility and in their lifecycle
  • Discover how your assets are performing 
  • Use discovered and trended data to plan and optimize your data center with tools you are already familiar with

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Puzzling Over Effective Computer and Server Room Design

Creating an effective computer or server room design is a bit like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. Unless you’re a glutton for punishment (which, I admit, some of us probably are), you wouldn’t get started on a puzzle without making sure you had all the right pieces or without looking at the picture on the box to see how the finished puzzle is supposed to look. In order to get the project done as efficiently and effectively as possible, you need to assess the puzzle’s pieces, make a game plan, and then begin work in a systematic manner.

When creating a server room design, not only do you need to take stock of all the elements of the server room, you also need to consider the way those components work together. It’s rare that you get a server room design right on the first try – throughout the design process, you’ll need to adjust for different design elements to make sure the systems work harmoniously.

To make sure your team has all its pieces in place, begin by meeting with your IT and facility staff to review your server room objectives based on your existing systems and facility. With your company’s design goals in mind, your team can evaluate the availability expectations as well as the requirements for your server room’s power and cooling density. The Planning & Feasibility stage defines the scope, schedule and budget for the new server or computer room. You can develop a conceptual server room design and draw up construction budgets and timelines.

With feasibility accomplished and a high level plan in place you are ready to move to the Engineering & Design phase. The end result of your design project should be a server room that not only provides enhanced scalability, flexibility and server availability, but also concurrent maintainability and fault-tolerance against failures in which a component must be replaced.

To evaluate the quality of your server room design, consider the following points:
  1. The server room should accommodate your current needs, as well as your facility’s expansion for up to five years in the future. If it doesn’t, you may need to go back to the drawing board.
  2. Your location should be centralized and in a secure location. Try to avoid placing the server room near in the basement, on the ground floor, near bathrooms, and near the roof or exterior walls because of flooding and climate control issues. Also, avoid high traffic areas in order to improve the security of your server room.
  3. When evaluating your server room’s power and cooling requirements, don’t stop with just the servers or the air conditioning system. Consider the impact of air flow, floor space, lighting, UPS, fans, and other hardware. Each of these elements affects your design’s power and cooling loads. You may have to revisit your plans multiple times to create an efficient server room design.
  4. Take security seriously. Control access to your server room via auditable methods and consider installing security cameras.
The true test of an effective server room is whether your design will allow for future expansion while remaining reliable and cost-effective in the present time. Through careful planning, you can design a sophisticated, successful server room that meet your company’s demands for years to come.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

PTS Data Data Center Solutions Open House Highlighted by Emerson Network Power Smart Solutions Tour

On May 16, 2012, PTS Data Center Solutions hosted a half-day open house featuring the Smart Solutions by Emerson Network Power. Attendees had the opportunity to tour the SmartRow solution, talk to PTS engineers about their emerging data center design requirements, and explore possible implementation of the solution within their own environments. In addition, conversations ranged from Emerson's powerful new DCIM solution, Trellis, to the latest design techniques used in green data center design and energy efficiency programs.

Smart Solutions are an alternative to traditional design. They allow data center managers to:
  • Quickly increase data center capacity
  • Improve energy efficiency and space utilization
  • Offer location flexibility and capability with existing infrastructure
  • Lower data center operating costs through lower PuE
  • Deploy higher density zones in their legacy data centers
To learn more, please contact PTS or call us at 201-337-3833.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Still Manually Collecting Data to Make Decisions for Your Data Center?

DCIM made simple: When you select open solutions that were designed to make use of and integrate with tools you already have and know, DCIM will be embraced by your organization.
 
No Limits Software, RF Code, RackwisePTS Data Center Solutions present, "A Lunch & Win with DCIM Experts: A Triple Play Score for Your Data Center!"
Have lunch with Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) category experts and discover the triple play that guarantees success for the implementation and continuous use of DCIM in your organization:    
  • Know where your assets are throughout their lifecycle 
  • Discover how your assets are performing throughout their lifecycle 
  • Use discovered and trended data to plan and optimize your data center with tools you are already familiar with
The 1st Lunch & Win seminar you must attend this year. You'll gain a clear understanding of today's DCIM field and how simple it is to get on base. There will be promotional offers to help attendees score this Triple Play with ease.

  • LOCATION: Chart House - Weehawken, NJ
  • DATE: Wednesday, June 13th
  • TIME: 11:30am - 1:30pm

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Emerson Network Power Welcomes Partners into Trellis Pilot Program

Emerson Network Power today welcomed PTS Data Center Solutions and 10 additional channel partners into its Trellis™ Pilot Partner Program. The program is designed to enable this select group of Emerson Network Power partners to effectively and successfully support the Trellis data center infrastructure management (DCIM) platform. 

The Trellis platform is a real-time infrastructure optimization platform that enables the unified management of the data center’s IT and facilities infrastructure, allowing for unprecedented insight and action to achieve optimal data center performance. To help ensure success of the go-to-market strategy for this platform, participants in the pilot program were selected from the Emerson Network Power Innovation Partnership Program based on an intensive screening and interview process that identified channel partners with the strongest data center strategies and activities in place, experience selling complex software and solutions, and commitment to the vision and growth of DCIM.

“We appreciate that Emerson Network Power saw the potential in PTS Data Center Solutions to consider us as a pilot partner for the Trellis launch,” said Pete Sacco, president of PTS Data Center Solutions. “To PTS, it was critical that Emerson Network Power saw the importance and invested in preparing us to take the industry’s most advanced and comprehensive DCIM technology to our clients." 


Learn more about the Trellis Pilot Partner Program.

Monday, May 07, 2012

End-to-End Real-Time Power Management from your IT Devices to your Utility Feeds

Power Management at the IT device and utility level is a hot topic today. With legislative  driven by driving data center green initiatives, utility investment in energy audits for clients, and events such as the Con Edison Energy Efficiency Summit, data center managers everywhere are engaged in ways to build high-performance and energy efficient data center facilities.

Famed management consultant Peter Drucker once said, "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it." That statement holds true for data center power management where managers need to be able to effectively monitor and manage power consumption within the facility at both the IT device and utility level.

At the device level, PTS is bullish on the Rack Management Platform (RaMP) solution developed by No Limits Software. RaMP automates the build polls and trends power right from the IPMI chip and through service processors such as iLO & DRAC. It also makes recommendation to take specific action based upon analytics.

At the facility level, the PowerLogic Power & Energy Monitoring System from Square D monitors and measure every level of facility power infrastructure from the utility feed, to main distribution panels, to the transformers, PDU's and circuit breakers feeding data center IT equipment.

Other solutions such as Power Assure provide combined IT & Facilities power monitoring solutions. Also for consideration are other Power Monitoring solutions as well as integrated Data Center Infrastructure Management solutions from Raritan, Packet Power, nlyte Software, Emerson Network Power, RF Code, ServerTech, and Geist to name a few.

To learn more about PTS' Energy Management Services & Solutions, visit us here or contact us.

Monday, April 09, 2012

PTS Exhibiting at Con Edison Energy Efficiency Summit 2012

Con Edison Energy Efficiency Summit 2012

Join PTS Data Center Solutions at the Con Edison Energy Efficiency Summit on May 1st at the Hilton New York Hotel. The second annual event brings together building contractors, manufacturers, and consultants working to reduce business energy consumption. Many reports state greater than 50% of the power burden for businesses resides in the data center and its IT and facility support infrastructure. Leveraging our proprietary data center & energy usage assessment approach, PTS provides actionable recommendations to reduce energy consumption and green the data center.

Register and get the event details here or learn more about PTS' role as a Market Partner to ConEd focused on assessing and improving energy efficiency within data centers and computer rooms.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Data Center Management Gotchas

As the complexity of IT infrastructure continues to increase in data centers, managers must look ahead to avoid unexpected downtime. A list of 10 common surprises for data center/IT managers was released by PTS supplier, Emerson Network Power, at AFCOM Data Center World Spring 2012.
According to a Ponemon Institute study, an outage can cost an organization
an average of about $5,000 per minute. That’s $300,000 in just an hour.
The 10 common surprises include:
  1. Those high-density predictions finally are coming true
  2. Data center managers will replace servers three times before they replace UPS or cooling systems
  3. Downtime is expensive
  4. Water and the data center do not mix – but we keep trying
  5. New servers use more power than old servers
  6. Monitoring is a mess
  7. The IT guy is in charge of the building’s HVAC system
  8. That patchwork data center needs to be a quilt
  9. Data center on demand is a reality
  10. IT loads vary – a lot
For complete details on the Emerson list, click here.
As a Diamond Solutions Partner for Emerson, PTS Data Center Solutions leverages our engineering and architectural experience in designing and building data centers with our IT network, storage, virtualization expertise to avoid the surprises mentioned in the article before they result in significant downtime. To learn more contact PTS today.

Monday, February 27, 2012

An Industry Look at Locking IEC Power Connections

Not sure if any of you have experienced outages caused by loose fitting IEC power connections, but there is a big push in the industry to address the major problem of IEC plugs coming loose on equipment & power strips due to vibrations or inadvertent disconnects caused during rack equipment moves, adds and changes. Here are six (6) solutions we have found to address this issue:

1) IEC Lock. This solution is universal on the equipment side and addresses the problem by having a button that slides to engage a pin that drops down on the ground plug. This is now UL approved. IEC Lock
2) IEC C14 Grip Secure Insert. This solution is not UL approved, and only addresses the PDU side, but it is very inexpensive. IEC C14 Grip Secure Insert
3) APC / V-Lock by Schurter. The solution works well, but the APC PDU must be 8000 series and the equipment outlets must be changed out to also secure the IEC receptacle on the equipment side.

4) Raritan ETO Outlets. Some Raritan PDU’s are available with this option, designated by an –E2 on their parts list. It appears to work the same as IEC Lock, but they do not address the equipment side only the PDU side.

5) Server Technology Retention Clips. Server Technology provides retention clips that clip into their power strips only and clip around the head of the IEC power cord. This solution only addresses the PDU connection and works well with ServerTech power cords. It does not work with all IEC power cords as there are variances in the size of the IEC C14 heads and input cords.

6) HP PDU Notches and Bands. HP now has notches on their PDU's and they provide bands to secure the IEC power cords to the PDU. This only addresses the PDU side of the problem.

Would like to hear about your experiences and what your organization is doing to address this issue. See this link for more information on the solutions we have found.