5 Reasons to Optimize Data Center Racking and Equipment
It's vital to data center performance and uptime to preserve optimized equipment layouts. How can administrators make it work for the operation?
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Today’s data centers are quite different from the physical centers of old. The standard physical and on-site infrastructure still exists and plays an important role. Still, virtual network applications, cloud environments, and well-balanced hardware – to share heavy loads – are the focus. It means administrators often have a little more room to play with if they want to optimize data center hardware and data center equipment. It’s also worth noting that data center racking – the proper placement of server racks – is just as crucial today as ever.
The argument for data center optimization is indisputable. Data centers are at the heart of modern operations, considering that nearly every business or organization relies on digital technologies. If a central data center were to go down, it would hinder not just the local operation but also many customers across the country – maybe even across the globe.
Consequently, data center equipment optimization is vital for smooth service and keeping systems online and can affect general performance for everyone relying on the technologies. A poorly planned data center layout, which doesn’t account for the hardware, is more likely to see failures and downtime. No one wants that.
5 Reasons to Optimize Data Center Hardware, Racking, and Equipment
Here’s a quick rundown of what can happen when data center hardware is not optimized.
1. Frequent Failures Leading to Outages
The placement of server and data center equipment, as well as the layout in server rooms, can directly impact performance and the conditions of the hardware in question. Heat dissipation, for example, is incredibly important – and it’s why data centers need such powerful climate control systems and why they’re facing a climate crisis.
A proper layout that factors in optimized airflow, cooling, placement, and performance can vastly improve the operation and cut down on the cooling costs for keeping the data center at the appropriate temperature. Most importantly, well-maintained equipment will see longer lifespans with fewer malfunctions or failures, allowing the data center to achieve unbroken service uptime.
2. Smarter Maintenance Options
The layout of servers, including data center racking, influences the speed, ease of service, and potential opportunities for maintenance teams.
When equipment is more accessible, crews can get to it faster and have more maneuverability to work, which can speed up the process. That includes properly organizing and labeling the racks, so IT crews know exactly where to go and what to swap when there’s a failure.
Proper organization and labeling also ensure predictive or proactive maintenance is possible, which deals with the prevention of major issues rather than taking a reactionary approach after something unfortunate happens.
Using the right rack-mount kits is imperative to a well-designed and well-planned system across the entire server farm. They’ll help ensure the proper spacing between components to make sure all hardware has enough room to fit. Not allowing enough room can cause systems to overheat and lead to downtime or damage. Using appropriate hardware adds value and makes for a smarter, faster-paced environment.
3. Lower Associated Costs
Data centers are expensive to keep operational for several reasons, including the powerful hardware contained within. When you optimize data center hardware, you are securing its health and performance.
The harder a server and its components have to work, the more heat gets generated, the shorter the overall lifespan, and the greater the costs. The goal is to reduce load-bearing stresses as much as possible to create a better operation. That’s the idea behind massive climate control and cooling systems, which keep optimal temperatures within the server room because heat causes stress for electronics.
Therefore, an optimal layout in terms of design and organization leads to lower operating costs and fewer hardware malfunctions or failures – yet another form of cost savings.
4. It Saves Space
Data center equipment needs room to breathe with proper airflow. With the right organization, it’s possible to cut down on a lot of excess space that the machines would otherwise take up.
Conserving space can offer more performance and service improvements to the entire operation because it makes the equipment more accessible, reduces the total area required to keep things running, and reduces the amount of cooling required. A smaller space is much easier to keep climate-controlled. A key factor here is the organization of data center racking, as the more server racks a chassis can fit, the less total space the entire operation will consume.
It’s important to think about optimal placement, temperatures, and performance. The more racks in a system, the more likely it is to experience issues under heavy loads. You’ll need to secure airflow within the chassis and around the hardware and have the relevant monitors in place to check health and temperatures.
5. Virtual Mobility Is Required
Server virtualization is beneficial to data centers because it increases the utilization rates of the server hardware. In other words, you can generate greater performance and more service options with the aid of virtual machines (VMs).
The problem is that VM platforms must remain dynamic and mobile. VMs often need to be moved around, including – from time to time – between multi-location data centers. For example, a natural disaster slated to hit a local center would call for the quick retrieval and movement of a VM housed within its internal hardware.
Or, it may be necessary to move an active VM to preserve or achieve balanced loads. There’s just no way to do any of this unless the data center hardware and software have been optimized on all fronts.
You must take a consistent and reliable approach to the process. It’s not a one-and-done task. Find ways to monitor progress and continue to assess what can be done to improve or update layouts.
Keep an Eye on the Future
Undoubtedly, administrators are always watching future technologies and solutions, looking for better ways to improve their data center hardware. Another approach should be taken here, however, rather than just looking for better technology.
Administrators should continue to assess potential applications based on how and where they will help organization, performance, and optimization. For example, take a moment to consider how edge computing can reduce latency for end-users and how it can improve data center performance and reduce costs. Another great example is how machine learning can help create optimized layouts and solutions for an active data center that are updated in real-time.
Everything discussed above can help optimize data center hardware, but also there’s a need to keep an eye out for future solutions. A persistent approach is the best to adopt.
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