With today’s dependence on network connectivity to data center assets – because the applications and information hosted in data centers form the foundation for business operations – the data center has become the beating heart of the enterprise world.
Data center technology, though, like all communications networks, has become increasingly complex, with an abundance of formerly disparate resources and systems now residing on single, converged networks. Naturally, this evolution delivers significant operational and cost efficiencies to data center operations, and enables access to data center resources more reliably to more users, any place, any time, and on any device – the common definition of Unified Communications (News - Alert).
Data centers have their own version of UC in a unified physical infrastructure, which supports enterprise UC by optimizing the physical layer infrastructure of data centers to provide reliable access to the bandwidth intensive applications that are the order of the day.
UPI-based data centers consolidate physical infrastructure systems onto a converged IP network, allowing them to function more efficiently as a single unit with interconnected parts, rather than as disparate, independent units.
But, to keep that enterprise heart beating steadily, and to realize the UPI promise of greater agility and flexibility, increased efficiency, and reduced risk, a management system capable of coordinating the activities of the various data center systems is required.
That’s where Panduit’s Physical Infrastructure Manager solution comes into play. The PIM software and PanView iQ hardware have been designed specifically to support Panduit’s UPI vision, which it itself has embodied in the design of its new corporate headquarters in Tinley Park, Illinois.
While the entire design of the new facility is defined by the UPI ideal, the PIM software helps ensure the efficient, reliable operation of the data center’s physical infrastructure, providing end-to-end visibility into the entire system at all times.
While the ideal situation would be for all data center elements to run optimally and provide uninterrupted connectivity at all times, the reality, given changing requirements and accidental or potentially malicious security breaches and configuration changes, is that the infrastructure must be monitored at all times.
Panduit’s PIM solution is designed to not only monitor the entire connectivity status of the physical infrastructure, but to alert IT staff of any changes in connectivity status, allowing them to quickly isolate the incident and troubleshoot to restore complete connectivity, allowing business operations to continue seamlessly.
The risk management capabilities of the PIM solution, made possible through the integration of all critical systems onto a single platform, are a critical part of ensuring the reliable operation of the data center. Troubleshooting, including identification of the source of any faults and making changes to re-establish connectivity within the patch field are made possible through a point-and-click diagnostic interface, which can be accessed on-site or remotely, further increasing the value of the converged infrastructure.
While the physical infrastructure is typically overshadowed by the cost of the logical infrastructure, the cost factor is no indication of its relevance to the overall success of an enterprise. The physical infrastructure, properly designed, should last through several generations of logical systems and, as such, must be designed to fully support the connectivity needs of its users.
Near-100 percent uptime of the physical infrastructure is key to the sustainability of the enterprise, and insight into the infrastructure, including immediate notification of any breaks in connectivity are a must, which is why the value of a n integrated management solution, like Panduit’s PIM software, designed for today’s smart data centers, cannot be underestimated.
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