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Mission Critical Data Centers: Demands and Monitoring

By: NetreoNoaa
February 4, 2021

Data center demands in the US are ever-growing. Whether for project management or merely keeping IT infrastructure up and running, many businesses across America need them. For example, 38% of all ‘hyperscale’ data centers are in the US! But at what point does a data center become ‘mission-critical,’ and why is a data center monitoring system so important?


What is a Mission Critical Data Center?

A mission-critical data center is one on which an entire company depends. It is the core of every business that operates with data. 

Such data centers could be in a hospital to help manage patient records and to keep equipment online. It might also be at the heart of the stock exchange. If data centers for either of these examples shut down, there would likely be a lot of chaos.

These data centers don’t just support important data. If they fail, they don’t just leave businesses with a few hours of lost work or revenue. You’ll understand that your data center is critical if your entire reputation is at stake without it.

Critical centers, of course, can be very complicated. Because they have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, there is a need for extensive internal computing. Keeping entire networks online, airlines operating, and hospital machinery working is a massive task.

It may be reasonable to feasibly assume that all data centers are critical to the mission. That’s because the term covers a lot of ground. These centers might also support offices with 24/7 customer demands. Also, they may keep phone lines operating.

It is also arguable that companies’ going digital’ may see their missions change. A company that might previously offer a purely physical service will suddenly rely on centers should they digitize.

A critical center is one that keeps everything going. That’s why keeping them healthy is a full-time job. As DCD argues, however, it’s not the size that matters. A data center that can keep running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is much more important.


Why is a Data Monitoring System So Important?

Real time data center monitoring is not always straightforward. Server rooms can be large, sprawling, and complicated for non-data scientists.

Complexity, however, is not the only problem facing human center managers. Data centers create immense amounts of heat. They burn off incredible levels of energy, which means they need cooling controls.

Knowing when a data center is about to overheat is likely not as simple as you may imagine. With multiple operations and connections working together at any one time, there is a lot to watch.

Trained engineers and scientists can set careful thresholds, area by area, to ensure that overheating does not occur. However, this can be painstaking work. Data Center Frontier advises that there is evidence for server energy demands growing by 9% each year. That alone indicates that cooling demand is not going away.

Keeping mission-critical data centers cool is a matter of public safety as well as corporate reputation. However, it is only a small piece of the puzzle.

Other challenges, again, as Data Center Frontier suggests, include remote management. How simple is it to direct engineers to monitor and maintain the right areas? Physical security, too, is likely to be an issue many users face. If a data center is only human-managed, there need to be many stringent controls in place.

What do all these challenges tell us, here and now? The need for data center management software is growing. Could automating management be the best course of action to take?

Data Monitoring - Netreo IT Monitoring System 


The Future of Center Management

Marc Garner, for Schneider Electric, explains that intelligent software could help to break down human error. “Many businesses will not have an individual on-site that will understand what the ‘flashing light’ means for their rack,” he explains.

The above mentioned is undoubtedly true. A data center monitoring tool could help to automate cooling and humidity checks. It could also help to fine-tune energy use and efficiency. Garner also recognizes that data center managers are under strain to be as eco-friendly as possible.

The answer to managing mission-critical data centers is not just to make them easier to understand. It is a case of setting up a data center monitoring system that covers all bases. Long term, smart management software could help to save money, time, and energy.

When it comes to essential centers, keeping everything ticking over is crucial. Human error and fatigue, however, could help to make that difficult. A monitoring tool designed to check servers and systems in real-time, however, is unlikely to fail.

As data centers with critical missions get more complex, the need for automation is likely to be more attractive. AI is already in plain sight all over the world. Machine learning could help us to create data monitoring services which keep their environments safe and operational at all times.

There are multiple monitoring tool options already available. Should remote working demands increase, the need for flexible, scalable, and remote center management, too, will rise. It is also unlikely that center demands are going to decrease as our dependency on technology grows.

Companies such as Google are already using neural networks, for example, to keep their critical systems operating. Is it likely that the data center monitoring system could make human data scientist roles obsolete?


Humans and Data Center Monitoring Working Together

AI and automated monitoring solution technology is still relatively new. Google may be pioneering this type of technology, but that does not mean all businesses will access it right away.

However, mission-critical data centers demand smarter, more efficient checks and more refined measures. An interesting proposal might be that businesses start introducing semi-supervised monitoring. Therefore, at least for a little while longer, we can keep human control over our data center monitoring system tools!

Want to learn how Netreo can impulse your business? Contact us! 

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