Thursday, November 18, 2010

Impact of IT Upgrades on Energy Usage and Operational Costs

With energy costs skyrocketing, it is becoming increasingly important that data center operators incorporate energy efficiency savings without sacrificing performance. In answer, the market has been flooded with various facility and product design techniques promising energy efficiency savings. But how well do they actually work?

To find out, our team at PTS upgraded the IT systems within our own facility and operations in order to validate the energy efficiency savings estimates.

Our first step was to create a baseline to measure the IT performance, capacity, and energy consumption. Next, we redesigned our IT systems with the goal of reducing energy consumption. We also wanted to increase the capacity without sacrificing performance. Lastly, we measured results to assess confirmation of the expectations.

In the end, we consolidated our sever footprint by 60% and reduced IT energy consumption by 24%, yielding a 26% drop in facility power consumption.

Our conclusion is that these results are not anecdotal in that the energy savings realized as a result of this study are completely scalable with larger, more complex data center and computer room facilities. Additionally, these energy savings may be realized without sacrificing IT performance and systems availability, while improving overall systems capacity.

To find out the details of our systems redesign and what specific strategies yield the best results, read our complete white paper “Impact of IT Upgrades on Energy Usage and Operational Costs” [PDF].

Friday, October 01, 2010

Data Center Events for October 2010

Here’s a look at the data center industry events that our team will be attending in October.

Data Center World
October 3-6, 2010

Viva Las Vegas! PTS Data Center Solutions will be presenting and exhibiting at the Fall 2010 Data Center World Event at the Mirage Hotel and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our representatives will take part in the “Upgrade or Build: You Decide” roundtable discussion, as well as speak in three sessions during the event:

• Achieve Higher Availability with an Effective Plan for Data Center Maintenance
• Data Center Builds and Expansions: From Concept to Completion
• Data Center Maintenance Management Software - Case Study Examples of Improved Maintenance Management

Please visit us at booth #207 and learn more about the successful Data Center Maintenance Management Software (DCMMS) Solution.

Interop New York
October 20-21, 2010

Our team is also exhibiting at the Fall Interop conference and tradeshow at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. The event runs from October 18-22 with the tradeshow open October 20-21. This year’s conference features the Enterprise Cloud Summit: 2 days devoted to cloud computing: standards, infrastructure decisions and economics to transform your IT organization.

PTS partner Enterasys Networks is the lead Interop Network (show network) provider and is providing personal tours of the network. Make sure you visit us at booth #756 across from the interoperability and show network area for a tour.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Data Center Design News

Our data center design experts are often asked to share insights with leading industry publications. Here is a sampling of our recent appearances:

Upgrading Building Wiring To Support Gigabit & Higher
Use The Newest Technologies & Follow Latest Standards
PROCESSOR, Vol.32 Issue 18

Cabling projects are so disruptive and chaotic, most companies wait until they expand existing facilities or move to a new one before replacing cabling. Cabling expert Andrew Graham shares his thoughts on Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and the need for faster networks and consequent wiring upgrades.

Building a Data Center: Tips for a Smooth Process
Data Center Post, August 27, 2010

Michael Petrino, vice president at PTS Data Center Solutions, offers tips for selecting a professional services firm, coordinating internal and external data center design teams, and ensuring a smooth transition during the data center build process.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Data Center Events Schedule

Summer is quickly coming to an end and we’re gearing up for a busy fall. Before you head out for the Labor Day weekend, here’s a recap of our upcoming events schedule for the month of September.

September 14-15, 2010 – 7x24 Exchange Borgata Event
PTS is pleased to participate in the 7x24 Exchange Delaware Valley Chapter’s Annual Fall Conference. The event is in Atlantic City at the Borgata and will include a number of presentations and panel discussions related to sustainable data center design, including data center performance measurement, EPA updates, the “Buy vs. Build” debate, etc. Click here for more info.

September 15, 2010 – QuikEnvision 3rd Annual Technology Conference
PTS is pleased to sponsor QuikEnvision 2010, the 3rd Annual Technology Conference presented by Quality Technology Solutions. The event is in New York City and presents strategies for delivering business value with Information Technology. Attending this conference will help you to identify IT strategies and resources that will help your business save money, improve service and create competitive advantages. Click here for more info.

September 22, 2010 – “Beef Up Your Data Protection” Seminar
RSVP today to join PTS Data Center Solutions, Compellent and ExaGrid Systems, along with your fellow IT and data center operations peers for a complimentary lunch seminar on Wednesday, September 22nd at 11:30 a.m. at Ruth's Chris Steak House in New York City. Entitled “Beef Up Your Data Protection”, the seminar will focus upon PTS Data Center Consolidation Consulting, Compellent Storage Area Networking, and ExaGrid Disk Backup. All attendees will be entered in a raffle for a free Apple iPad. Click here for more info.

Coming up in October, PTS will be working with manufacturer partner, Enterasys, during the Interop NY event. Our team will also be presenting and exhibiting at the Fall 2010 Data Center World Event in Las Vegas. Please visit us at booth #207 and experience our new Data Center Maintenance Management Software (DCMMS) solution. We hope you’ll join us.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Storage & Data Deduplication

PTS continues to build upon our Storage & Data Protection Consulting Services aimed at providing the right storage solution for our client's needs. Therefore, the IT-side of this month's Solutions Showcase provides an overview of our newest storage and data deduplication solutions.

Compellent Fluid Data Storage solutions and ExaGrid Systems Disk-Based Backup with Dedeplication solutions add additional depth to the PTS storage portfolio.

Compellent Fluid Data Storage

With a powerful data movement engine, intelligent software applications, and an open, agile hardware platform, Fluid Data storage is an enterprise-class solution which actively and intelligently manages data at a more granular level to cut cost, time, and risk.

Fluid Data storage dynamically moves enterprise data to the optimal tier based on actual use. The most active blocks reside on high-performance SSD, Fibre Channel, or SAS drives, while infrequently accessed data migrates to lower-cost, high-capacity SAS or SATA drives. The result is network storage that's always in tune with application needs, plus overall storage costs cut by up to 80%

The Fluid Data storage intelligent software applications enables enterprises of all sizes to move beyond simply storing data to actively, intelligently managing data. Powerful network storage software with built-in intelligence and automation optimizes the provisioning, placement and protection of data throughout its lifecycle.

Unlike network storage systems that require organizations to rip and replace hardware as business needs change, Compellent storage uses standards-based hardware and supports new technologies on a single, modular platform. Users can mix and match drive technologies such as SSD, FC, SAS and SATA, and utilize a range of interconnects - from FC to FCOE and iSCSI to 10GbE. Plus, fully redundant hardware components and advanced failover features ensure no single point of failure for high enterprise data availability.

To learn more about Fluid Data Storage, Click Here.

ExaGrid Systems Disk-Based Backup with Deduplication

ExaGrid's EX Series disk-based backup with deduplication revolutionizes how organizations backup and protect their data. By leveraging your current backup application and replacing tape in your nightly backup process, ExaGrid's simple, turnkey appliance can:
  • Reduce the disk space required by at least 10:1, and up to 50:1
  • Shorten your backup window by 30-90%, ensuring all of your data is fully protected
  • Improve your disaster recovery plan through off-site disk-based retention of your data
  • Reduce the amount of time your IT staff spends on managing backups
  • Scale easily and cost-effectively with your data growth
  • Fully protect your virtualized environment
  • Reduce other costs associated with tape-based backup

The six core ExaGrid disk-based backup appliances include GRID computing software which allows them to virtualize into one another when plugged into a switch. As a result, any of the six appliance models can be mixed and matched into a single GRID system with full backup capacities up to 100TB (6 PB logical). Once virtualized, they appear as a single pool of long-term capacity. Capacity load balancing of all data across servers is automatic, and multiple GRID systems can be combined for additional capacity. Even though data is load-balanced, deduplication occurs across the systems so that data migration does not cause a loss of effectiveness in deduplication.

ExaGrid's unique approach to scalability provides the following benefits:
  • Performance is maintained as your data grows - each additional ExaGrid server added to a system provides disk, processor, memory and GigE
  • Plug and play expansion - adding an additional ExaGrid server is as simple as plugging it in and letting ExaGrid's automatic virtualized GRID software do the rest
  • Cost-Effective and Flexible Solution with No "Forklift" Upgrades - no need to over-buy storage capacity up front - modular systems are easily combined in a virtualized GRID to smoothly scale up for larger capacities as needed with no painful "forklift" upgrades.
  • Capacity utilization is load-balanced across servers - as a single server reaches full utilization, it can leverage space available on other servers in the GRID

To learn more about the ExaGrid EX Series, Click Here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

PTS Data Center Solutions Expands its IT Solutions Portfolio with Compellent Fluid Data Storage and ExaGrid Systems Disk-Based Backup Solutions

PTS Data Center Solutions has launched a strategic distribution relationship with Compellent Technologies and ExaGrid Systems. The relationship includes the full breadth of products from both manufacturers targeted for midsized enterprises.

As a data center consulting and turn-key solutions provider, PTS provides integrated data center facility and IT technical expertise for clients. With a proven process for understanding and addressing client needs, as well as integrated facilities and IT experience & expertise, PTS has a unique vantage point for executing data center, computer room, and network operations center projects. PTS understands the impact IT architecture and network design approaches have on the underlying facility layer in terms of power, cooling, and space considerations and seeks out best-of-breed IT solutions that reduce facility load requirements.

"PTS is often approached by clients requesting support to improve data center efficiencies through energy efficiency analysis, computational fluid dynamic modeling, and virtualization assessments. By expanding our portfolio of storage, backup, and data deduplication solutions with two leading providers in Compellent and ExaGrid Systems, we are providing leading edge solutions with proven track records. Compellent's block-level storage management offers a more granular approach to automatically and actively manage data resulting in reduced data center costs, footprint, and energy consumption. ExaGrid System's scalable disk-based backup solutions reduce the total amount of disk space needed through backup compression and deduplication. Together with PTS' consulting services, we are able to significantly reduce overall data center operational expenses," said PTS President, Peter Sacco.

Compellent's Fluid Data architecture enables superior utilization and efficiency while its unified storage with zNAS offers a single user interface to streamline management of heterogeneous Unix, Linux and Windows file and block data. The Fluid Data architecture increases storage efficiency and utilization by automatically tiering file storage at the block-level, intelligently thin provisioning storage for unstructured data, and delivering rapid data recovery and thin replication. Integrated SAN and NAS management simplifies planning, provisioning and recovery of virtual servers in VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, and Oracle environments.

The ExaGrid Disk-based Backup System is a turnkey, plug-and-play solution that works with existing backup applications and enables faster and more reliable backups and restores. Customers report that backup time is reduced by 30 to 90 percent over traditional tape backup. ExaGrid's patented byte-level data deduplication technology and most recent backup compression, coupled with high-quality SATA storage, reduces the amount of disk space needed by a range of 10:1 to as high as 50:1, or more, resulting in a price that's often less than traditional tape-based backup.

About PTS Data Center Solutions
Experts for Your Always Available Data Center

PTS Data Center Solutions specializes in the business strategy, planning, designing, engineering, constructing, commissioning, implementing, maintaining, and managing of data center and computer room environments from both the facility and IT perspectives.

Founded in 1998, PTS is a consulting, design/engineering, and construction firm providing turnkey solutions, and offering a broad range of data center, computer room, and technical space project experience. PTS employs industry best practices in integrating proven, ‘best-of-breed’, critical infrastructure technologies that result in always available, scalable, redundant, fault-tolerant, manageable, and maintainable mission critical environments.

In every engagement, PTS applies a disciplined, consultative approach to systematically survey and assess the situation and then develop effective plans for seizing opportunities and overcoming obstacles. And, PTS offers a full complement of services—from business strategy and planning to facilities engineering to IT design and implementation—to help transform those plans into reality.

For more information and news, visit the PTS website at

About Compellent

Compellent Technologies (NYSE: CML) provides Fluid Data storage that automates the movement and management of data at a granular level, enabling organizations to constantly adapt to change, slash costs and secure information against downtime and disaster. This patented, built-in storage intelligence easily delivers significant efficiency, scalability and flexibility. With an all-channel sales network in 35 countries, Compellent is one of the fastest growing enterprise storage companies in the world.

For more information, visit the Compellent website at

About ExaGrid Systems

ExaGrid Systems offers the only disk-based backup appliance with data deduplication purpose-built for backup that leverages a unique architecture optimized for performance, scalability and price. The combination of post-process deduplication, most recent backup cache, and GRID scalability enables IT departments to achieve the shortest backup window and the fastest, most reliable restores, tape copy, and disaster recovery without performance degradation or forklift upgrades as data grows. With offices and distribution worldwide, ExaGrid has more than 2,400 systems installed at 600 customers, and more than 170 published customer success stories.

For more information, visit the ExaGrid website at

# # #

Contact Information:

Larry Davis
PTS Data Center Solutions
201-337-3833 ext. 123

Liem Nguyen
Compellent Technologies

Bill Hobbib
ExaGrid Systems
508-898-2872 ext. 286

Thursday, July 08, 2010

To Co-Lo or Not To Co-Lo?

I'm interested in hearing how organizations have come to the conclusion that this was their best alternative to expanding data center capacity?

We have seen some organizations dive into Co-Lo facilities because the industry is growing so they assume it is the right thing to do or they think it will be more cost effective before anyone has really analyzed the cost implications. I think it is critical for an organization to analyze all of the suitable approaches to their need of expanding data center capacity such as; upgrading existing facilities, Co-Location, building new or building a scalable Data Center Shelter that can be leased to provide tax benefits while the lease payments may be close to what you’d pay for suitable Co-Lo space.

First of all, what is driving your interest in Co-Location is it the costs of running your own facility? Or one of these issues:

• Have you outgrown your own facility?
• Is your facility unable to handle new higher density infrastructure?
• Are you looking to Co-Locate to have access to better carriers or lower your network latency to your business partners?
• Does your own organization lack the expertise to manage IT facilities?
• Is your organization just looking to get away from operating & managing IT facilities so you can focus on your core business?
• Is it for a new application such as DR or business continuity that is requiring a secondary site?

Next lets assume you have determined that Co-Location is right for your organization & application, there are now 1,000’s of Co-Location facilities, what one is right for your organization and your application? Sure you can spend a lot of time touring facilities & trying to find one that meets your availability, density, accessibility, service, budget, expansion & growth objectives, but what will you base your decision on and how long will your process take? Is there a need for an expert who has rated 100’s of Co-Lo facilities in all of the key areas and attributes within those areas? I think it is important for an organization to define their design criteria as well as assess their load, density and growth projections before the organization takes a step into any Co-Lo space for a tour. An ogranization can then quickly narrow its search from 100’s of suitable Co-Lo’s to the few that warrant further consideration thus saving time, effort & budget. Also, by having a detailed design criteria an organization is now in a better position to negotiate a contract and Service Level Agreement that is tipped in their favor and make comparisons on one Co-Lo vs another.

Curious to hear how others have made decisions to Co-Lo and what process they initiated to make their site selection? I'd like to hear both positive & negative experiences as well as where you thought your processes could have been improved?

Monday, June 21, 2010

AFCOM Data Center World Fall 2010

PTS Data Center Solutions will be presenting and exhibiting at the Fall 2010 Data Center World Event in Las Vegas, Nevada during October 3-6. Please visit us at booth #207 and experience our new Data Center Maintenance Management Software (DCMMS) Solution.

PTS Data Center Solutions' presentations will include:

Data Center Management Track

Achieve Higher Availability with an Effective Plan for Data Center Maintenance

: Is preventative maintenance the only proactive component of your maintenance program? Discover tools and methods that will allow your organization to take best practice actions based on monitored and reported conditions to achieve higher availability in your data center.

Learning Objectives:
  • Understand best practices to achieve higher availability in the data center.
  • Understand tools available for proactive maintenance of data center assets.

Facilities/Management Track

Data Center Builds and Expansions: From Concept to Completion

Description: Before you begin expanding an existing data center or building a new one, it is necessary to understand the design, engineering and construction process for these types of projects. Data center managers should put a tremendous effort on the planning and pre-design phase, forming a clear vision of the outcome of the project, and use this vision against which to benchmark progress. This session will cover the entire process – from concept to completion, and include success tips and pitfalls to avoid during a data center expansion or build.

Learning Objectives:
  • Understand the complete data center project process needed to successfully complete a data center expansion or new build.
  • Understand the need to perform detailed pre-design analysis and planning when considering a data center build-out.
  • Be able to successfully plan a data center expansion or new build.

Roundtable Discussion

Upgrade or Build: You Decide

Description: Data Center Managers have several choices when it comes time to expand their data center footprint. This roundtable discussion will focus upon issues and opportunities related to upgrading a data center versus building new. What planning tools are available? What do you need to consider beyond financial impacts? Why is it sometimes more beneficial to upgrade and expand than to build new? What benefits arise from building new and migrating to a new facility?

Product Information Session

Data Center Maintenance Management Software – Case Study Examples of Improved Maintenance Management

Description: This presentation will discuss computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) and present DCMMS, an innovative software application from PTS Data Center Solutions that was specifically designed for managing data center maintenance. The software was released in spring 2010 and the presentation will review, in case study format, current client use of the solution including live examples of client use, management of assets and parts, tracking of maintenance schedules, costs, recurring product problems and issues related to effective and efficient preventative maintenance management in the data center.

Learning Objectives:
  • Understand how a data center manager can more effectively manage support infrastructure.
  • Learn about best-in-class solutions aimed specifically at managing the maintenance of all support infrastructure within the data center.

We hope to see you in Vegas this fall.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Alleviate Your IT Headaches

The June 4 issue of PROCESSOR magazine (Volume 32, Issue 12) takes a look at how consumer devices and tools are causing problems for IT. From technological solutions to corporate policies, the series of articles offers advice on managing and securing social networks, personal wireless access points, USB devices and other employee-owned devices. Check it out:

Social Networking Nuisances – by Holly Dolezalek - Social networking sites pose both technical threats and behavioral threats, but blocking social networking isn’t always the answer because many employees use these resources for business reasons.

When Wireless Goes Rogue – by Christian Perry - Personal wireless access points not only put employees at risk during company time but also can compromise company data, particularly when there is a bridged connection to the company network.

Headaches From USB Devices – by Bruce Gain - USB devices can potentially serve as a conduit for malware to infect the enterprise’s network or as a source for data leaks beyond the firewall. While it may seem appropriate to prohibit their use completely, taking such an absolute approach is impractical.

Troubles With Employee-Owned Devices – by Elizabeth Millard - Smartphones, cell phones, notebooks, and other devices change so often that they can create major challenges for IT departments. Make security the top issue when dealing with devices and creating policies about usage.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Design & Construction Network Networking Event, June 29 @ 6pm

PTS is sponsoring the upcoming Design & Construction Network Networking Event near Philadelphia, PA. The event will bring together many members of the local design and construction community.

RSVP online at

Additional Details:

When -
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM (ET)

Where -
Fox & Hound Pub & Grille
160 N. Gulph Road
King Of Prussia, PA 19406

Who can attend? - Anyone that is a member of the Design and Construction Network on LinkedIn. If you know someone else that might want to join us at the Happy Hour please just send them this link ( and have them click "Join Group." Once they are a member they need to RSVP using the link above.

How much does it cost? - FREE! (Cash bar)

More than 100 people attended the last two DCN Philadelphia events and this next one is shaping up to be an even bigger success. Again, you can RSVP online at We hope to see you there.