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Facility, infrastructure concerns must align when supporting cloud operations

By Max Burkhalter
August 30, 2012
Data centers are typically divided into two broad operational categories. The first is the facilities area, where engineers are tasked with managing power systems, HVAC infrastructure and some network components that pertain to connecting external solutions to internal cables. The second is the infrastructure section, which manages the servers, storage systems and network components within the data center. However, these two areas of operations occasionally align because of specific requirements.

According to a recent Data Center Knowledge report, converging facility and infrastructure operations has become a critical concern in response to the growing movement toward cloud computing. At its core, cloud computing is simply the delivery of applications, services and compute resources through the WAN. However, the infrastructure that makes this possible is flexible, scalable and moves at a faster pace than traditional IT architectures. It is also more dependent on the supporting facility systems to maintain ongoing operations and support service levels. Because of this, facility and infrastructure operations have to align to support cloud operations.

The report explained that one key area where these two elements of running a data center intersect is with how the data center is sized. Because the cloud requires such a complex and demanding physical architecture, companies have to precisely size the data center in such a way that it can support the cloud's scalability requirements. The size of the facility can also impact the availability of hot and cold aisles, which need to managed effectively to ensure the increased equipment density does not lead to servers overheating because the physical makeup of the data center does not allow for enough space to properly balance airflow.

It is also vital that organizations supporting cloud operations install advanced cabling systems that allow for optimal airflow and consistent data delivery throughout the facility and to the external network, the news source said. At the same time, monitoring systems also need to be in place to analyze operational conditions for both infrastructure and facility systems.

In many cases, one of the best ways to support the cloud, from a data center management perspective, is through console server systems. These solutions allow organizations to take facility- and infrastructure-related data and view it from a control application that allows technicians to make configuration changes to the data center and hardware systems. This enables IT to control facilities more effectively and provide the level of support and responsiveness needed to support the cloud.

Perle’s wide range of 1 to 48 port Perle Console Servers provide data center managers and network administrators with secure remote management of any device with a serial console port. Plus, they are the only truly fault tolerant Console Servers on the market with the advanced security functionality needed to easily perform secure remote data center management and out-of-band management of IT assets from anywhere in the world.


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