The Growing Trend of Data Center Automation Puts People First
Automation is putting people safety first – especially in the data center
Automation within the data center is nothing new, but with people safety a priority now more than ever, it is not the time to be daunted by the technology.
In the face of the global COVID-19 crisis, data center operators are united in recognizing the importance of creating safety-first policies for access to facilities, within shared spaces and in private halls. Keeping our critical data centers running while ensuring employee, partner and customer safety is a front-and-center concern across the industry.
Anyone who operates a data center knows it is not a black box. Human intervention is sometimes unavoidable. While some automation and monitoring of data center environments has been attempted, these are often standalone disparate systems with little or no integration across data center and IT infrastructure.
The issue of automation within and outside the data center, on the other hand, has surfaced as an approach that can meet the requirements of the new normal.
Getting Started with Data Center Automation
The case is clear for the productivity benefits of automating tedious and repetitive but necessary tasks currently performed by humans. But even – and perhaps especially – at time of crisis, adoption of automation technologies can appear daunting, high risk and prone to project stagnation and failure.
However, simple steps and easy wins to make your data center automation ready are within reach. And it’s easy to forget: for a data center operator to even begin thinking about processes that can be automated is a big step.
Manual processes within data centers may at first appear difficult to automate. And it is not always obvious which procedures are ripe for automation. When exploring existing operations, disparities can emerge between the processes considered best for automation and those that will deliver the greatest benefits.
But a holistic view of processes and a deep understanding of the capabilities of automation platforms may expose something different.
If we think about a discovery stage, the first question could be: How many of the processes in your data center involve hand-written notes with multiple stages to process?
Could you identify end-to-end, well-documented processes that are consistent in format and data?
There is a high probability that even those processes are only in part digital. Some monitoring may be done using tablet computers, but the processes for handling documents generated may not be digitized or automated, requiring as it does much human intervention at different stages.
How much more efficient could your data center be if those processes where automated?
It is possible to begin to prepare for automation of IT and data center management processes. Think about ways to make small changes to create an environment which is automation ready, such as basic process mapping to standardize approaches. This will help identify opportunities for task and process automation, the deployment of intelligent technologies and embracing cultural change.
Automation: Vital to the Smooth Running of IT and Physical Infrastructure
We have already entered the era of invisible infrastructure.
For many business and IT leaders, adjusting to the realities of employees and engineers working remotely in the current crisis is likely to accelerate the trend toward infrastructure and IT management being delivered by specialists.
Addressing a group of CIOs through a recent online event, one expert pointed out that if the current crisis had hit even five years ago – enterprise IT could be facing serious downtime issues. But because of third party data center hosting services in facilities operated by dedicated experts using monitoring and management platforms, automated data center management has contributed massively to the smooth running of IT at a time of huge disruption.
Be InCommand of Data Center Automation
Serverfarm’s approach to automation is built around InCommand, an open source-based platform created with agile development methodology. Delivered as a cloud service, InCommand combines people, processes and software for the physical management of data centers and infrastructure. InCommand provides unrivalled insight, metrics and analytics into current and predicted behavior of the data center. As a single seamless platform that virtualizes the entire data center, InCommand uniquely turns data center management into a cloud service.
InCommand is a scalable, highly available cloud service where access, authentication, authorization, and security protocols and permissions are in place.
Automation is not restricted to the data center. As the pandemic hit, CIOs and business leaders in many disciplines are being advised to accelerate automation plans.
Automation delivers benefits quickly. Using InCommand, it is not necessary to attempt a total digital transformation restructuring which requires a complete service design remap every six months.
InCommand from Serverfarm is the automation platform for data centers.