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Network Availability Depends on Physical Infrastructure Management
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Physical Infrastructure Management Feature Editorial

November 01, 2009

Network Availability Depends on Physical Infrastructure Management

By Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director

Physical infrastructures have become the foundation of business’ networks, facilitating communication between the various physical and logical systems in a converged infrastructure and delivering reliable connectivity, security, power, and automation. Increasingly, businesses are deploying the latest converged networking solutions to drive operational efficiency and eco-sustainability. A key trend is to converge physical infrastructure systems on a single IP network to simplify deployment and configuration, centralize management, and help reduce physical footprint and power requirements.

But, while a unified physical infrastructure provides significant cost savings – both short and long term – ultimately, the success of any operation is dependent upon the availability of its network so that users have access to the resources they need to conduct business effectively and efficiently. As such, network uptime and the ability to meet network service level agreements (SLAs) are a critical driver of business success. If you consider network availability as a product, it’s easy to understand that downtime can be as detrimental to business success as poor customer service.
The ability to ensure network uptime requires management solutions designed for today’s complex network infrastructures, including the automated monitoring, diagnosis, and configuration of network assets, to increase efficiency in problem isolation and resolution.
Panduit’s Physical Infrastructure Manager (PIM) solution, with its PanView iQ (PViQ) hardware components are designed specifically to address the complex physical infrastructures that support the access requirements of today’s demanding workforces.
Specifically, the PIM solution adds intelligent management software to the converged data center network, enabling the automation of many tasks, increasing efficiency and reducing risk inherent in manual processes. The real-time visibility enabled by the PIM solution allows network assets to be properly tracked, work order processing and documentation to be automated, management functions to be performed remotely, and, perhaps most importantly for network availability, it is designed to identify connectivity issues and unauthorized access to network resources, which can otherwise result in access failures, inhibiting access to network resources.
When connectivity issues are detected, the solution is designed to quickly restore any failed connections, including assessment of configuration changes required to reinitiate or enhance connectivity. By automating the identification and resolution of connectivity faults, costs associated with time-consuming manual troubleshooting are significantly reduced, and IT staff can focus on other tasks to further business objectives.
In addition, with the entire physical infrastructure connected by a single network, the system is also able immediately identify unauthorized access to the network, whether internal or external. This aids in reducing network resource hijacking, increasing network availability and uptime.
In addition to automated troubleshooting and management functions, Panduit’s solution also provides an easy-to-use interface for manual troubleshooting when required for more effective resolution or preventative measures when strain on certain elements is anticipated.
To further support IT staff in maintaining the network infrastructure and identify recurring points of failure within the network, the PIM solution provides automated reporting and documentation, which can then be used to provide a detailed or high-level overview of network performance, access logs, points of failure, and resolution.
Combined with a UPI-based design, the PIM solution helps IT managers ensure their network resources are being effectively utilized, but also provides the visibility to provide timely alerts when connectivity failures occur – and even provide information required to prevent network failure in the first place.
With the dependence on network connectivity for access to data center resources, this ability is as critical as the physical infrastructure itself. Without proper management capabilities and insight into asset utilization, the infrastructure design can only live up to a portion of its potential in terms of increasing availability and efficiency.
Panduit’s PIM solution supports its broader vision of a unified physical infrastructure by delivering the management capabilities required to ensure the resource optimization enabled by converged infrastructures is fully realized.

Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Group Editorial Director of TMC, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to 2,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erik Linask

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