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Erasing Data Center Pain Points
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Unified Physical Infrastructure Feature Editorial


August 21, 2009

Erasing Data Center Pain Points

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives


Considering that the amount of data in the world is doubling every 18 months, the call for companies to optimize their key critical systems – communications, computing, control, power and security – to build a smarter, unified business foundation has never been more apparent.


In a recent TMC (News - Alert) (News - Alert) podcast, Anil Maheshwari, director of marketing at Panduit, addressed some of the key pain points of data centers and explained the company’s vision for a unified physical infrastructure in a smart data center, and how the industry leader’s solutions support that model. 
 
According to Maheshwari, many so-called pain points in data centers are a direct result of the current economic climate, with a major focus on energy costs and  sustainability.
 
“Unified physical infrastructure makes for fewer resource requirements, fewer cabling and less quantity of resources required to deliver them, yet in a way that’s connected and can be monitored for high quality of availability and reliability,” Maheshwari explained. “It means that you have software, hardware, and components that are all pretested to connect with one another to deliver a high-level of security, cooling capacity, power, control, computing and collaborating capability. So ultimately unified physical infrastructure allows you to connect, manage and automate all the components in your infrastructure to deliver the right amount of capability for security, power, control, collaboration and computing.”
 
With space limitations top of mind for IT decision makers, companies are compelled to find ways to save space and, furthermore, save on related costs in the data center.
 
“When you have a unified physical infrastructure, it helps create a high degree of connectivity, it gives you the performance you need from the data center, and helps lower energy costs and deploy more green and sustainable behaviors, which makes data more available and delivers a high level of performance. When you use pretested components, they give you more reliability and time to deploy,” he explained.
 
Panduit’s vision provides a much broader view of infrastructure, necessitated by the extension of IP networking well beyond voice and data networks and the IT and data center environments, to building facilities, including lighting, ventilation, air conditioning, and other systems, to factory floors, including sensors, controllers, access, security and more.
 
The company offers 10Gig connectors and cables, using copper and optical fiber, as well as thermal management solutions and special data cabinets to stores switches and servers, that can help lower energy consumption.
 
With cost savings top of mind for every data center executive, a unified physical infrastructure can have a sizeable impact on a data center’s bottom line, Maheshwari explained.

Direct and indirect costs – such as downtime – are two ways of looking at a how a data center affects a company’s bottom line. 
 
““If we can design better ways of managing air flows in the data center, we could save as much as 20 to 30 percent of energy,” Maheshwari said.
 
He explained that power and cooling is becoming a significant part of the costs of doing business with data centers and data centers need to be prepared, given the staggering statistic that the amount of data in the world is doubling every 18 months. 
 
Panduit’s UPI approach of integration can reduce energy consumption by up to 30 to 40 percent, he said. 
 
“It is not possible to keep building smart data centers in the same way. You need to have a data center that has 15 to 20 years of life and is designed to handle three to four generations of logical elements so you have to really build the capacity in the data centers so that it can take care of new generations of logical elements,” he continued. “You need to have a lot of fast connectivity, such as high speed data transport (HSDT), within your data center as part of virtualization. The traditional silo approach will not work and is becoming inadequate.”
 
Physical infrastructure is critical, with 50 percent of failures occurring in the physical layer, according to Maheshwari. “Any element of building and reliability through better physical infrastructure will mitigate your risk to help minimize potential downtime, and can even strengthen your safety and security.”
 
“We have a variety of accessories and software for physical infrastructure management that provides visibility and control that allow you to discover, diagnose and quickly resolve any problems.” Panduit and their strategic partners, such as IBM (News - Alert), HP, Cisco (News - Alert) and Johnson Controls, working with the company’s concept, “such as adaptive infrastructure for HP, or unified communications for Cisco (News - Alert), and aligns unified infrastructure as the physical layer solution for their logical layer solution.”
 
In addition to eliminating redundancy and improving agility, UPI solutions can help reduce a company’s carbon footprint, he added.
 
For more on what Panduit is doing to increase operational efficiency in data centers, go to www.panduit.com.


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