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Smart Data Centers: Supporting the Next Generation of Technology with UPI
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High Speed Data Transport Feature Editorial

September 17, 2009

Smart Data Centers: Supporting the Next Generation of Technology with UPI

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

For businesses today, agility and performance are two pivotal factors that decide whether you will sink or swim. To remain competitive and ultimately succeed in an environment that demands faster, stronger service and performance within the data center, enterprises must be forward-thinking and harmonize their overall goals and metrics. It will determine whether you make it upstream and propel your company forward, or go under when the tides change.

In a recent podcast with TMC (News - Alert), Jeff Paligia, director of global solutions at Panduit, discussed some of the industry trends driving enhanced connectivity solutions and how they are able to increase business agility and performance within smart data centers.
As Paligia explained, there are three different environments or key areas of application solutions: data centers, connected buildings and industrial automation. Inside those environments there is a lot of convergence, with similar trends and drivers occurring across typical horizontal environments.
“As far as our connectivity solutions, we see a real transformation across the board and that includes the physical infrastructure going from just the connect state into more of a managed state and ultimately into an automated state. So we see the relevance of physical infrastructure becoming increasing over the time going forward and we see that type of infrastructure over several common systems: power, control, compute communication and security. Those five systems apply to almost any enterprise,” he said, noting that Panduit offers one of the broadest product sets on the market today.
There are a number of industries where IP-based solutions are at the core of the organization and where Panduit can pave the way for a more unified physical infrastructure, including the education, finance, health care, government, gas and energy sectors.
“The trend and driver across all those verticals and the horizontal applications are really IP-based solutions. As we see the continuous uptick in demand grow for IP-enabled devices, IP-enabled connectivity, customers/end-users demand real-time data, open integration, people are looking for increased efficiencies and reduced risk,” Paligia said. “We see all of our products/services, and thought leadership applying across all these different markets because we see a lot of interdependencies between the environments as well as vertical markets in a collective approach.”
All paths in due course lead back to the data center, which is why business agility is critical to this environment, especially considering the rate at which data is being created and disseminated. The amount of applications that are available today and the requirements to store, secure and retrieve data is putting businesses in an interesting position, Paligia said.
As data continues to rapidly multiply and customers demand more, enterprises have to be able to deploy new applications and technologies to support their client expectations. “At the core of that enterprise, businesses need to respond and be agile as quick as possible. Customers require and  demand new applications, and all those reside in the data center,” Paligia said.
Forward-thinking companies are looking at their data center in a different manner, he noted, taking a more tactical, proactive approach.
“They’re looking at the planning, the building and the operation of their data center as a strategic business tool. They do not want to be the limiting factor to keep their business from being able to grow and migrate to new technologies and ultimately respond to their customer demands. The worst thing that could experience is that certain applications or customers expectations not being able to be met because they were not able to react quickly enough or respond quickly enough or proactively have the infrastructure in place to adopt new technologies and bring online new applications.”
However, like anything else worth fighting for, there are often obstacles involved. Most impediments on the path toward business agility and data center performance are attributable to a lack of vision and a human element that requires unison.
As Paligia notes, there has to be unification of common goals and metrics from a facility, information technology and real estate standpoint. “These have to be united. Looking at the lifecycle of these critical facilities, a lot of focus has been on the CAPEX, getting applications up and running; the reality is the larger percentage of your costs is going to be on the operational side day two and beyond. The impediments to grow and be able to respond to business agility is that people paint themselves into a corner because they didn’t take the proper steps to plan, design and implement and they probably didn’t go all the way across the lifecycle and look at what the operational costs are going to be for the facility in order to respond to the business needs and remain agile.”
To address these challenges, Panduit’s connectivity solutions allow businesses to grow through planned stages through consolidation and virtualization. Panduit’s physical infrastructure solutions are extremely pervasive within the data center, Paligia said, one that reaches literally every aspect within the data center where Panduit can help plan for the future through high-speed data transport and by evaluating at the connectivity, bandwidth and performance requirements of a company for not only today, but also the future.
“What UPI does is it sets up a path that’s going to enable customers a current and future technology migration plan going forward,” Paligia continued. “The holistic view our solutions provide through UPI principles – looking at power, space, cooling, performance and sustainability – that’s going to support the next generation of technology. Their willingness to adopt new technologies and adopt new technologies comes with another degree of confidence. Their risk level is reduced and their operational savings and benefits are increased.”

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.

Erin Harrison is a Senior Editor with TMC. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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