Can you imagine a world without streaming your favorite movies or contacting your family via your mobile devices? For better or worse we are all dependent on devices and data, becoming a more digital society every day. Data Centers help keep the critical flow of information going 7x24x365 to our desktops, tablets and mobile phones. And they are evolving as well, they are becoming “smart”.
Today many businesses are executing “data center modernization” projects. During this process we see some struggling to realize the benefits of internet of things (IoT) and advanced analytics. We have found 2 common data center management challenges:
1 – IT organizations are too busy managing the day-to-day activities of complex data centers to excel at data gathering and applying analytics. Hiring data scientists and ETL programmers to manage the knowledge building and data feeds for a data center is not a core competency of traditional IT.
2 – It’s difficult to scale. It’s a growing challenge to gather all the disparate IoT data streams coming from multi-data center environments, analyze it and take actions that positively impact the business.
What We Are Doing About It
Last year we embarked on a co-creation journey with our customer via our Early Adopter Program (EAP). The Hitachi Vantara EAP creates a repeatable framework to work side-by-side with customers to conceptualize, iterate and deliver the highest quality solution for the least overall cost. With our customers guidance we have combined our infrastructure automation and analytics solutions and Hitachi best practices to create a complete, end-to-end, subscription service called the Smart Data Center from Hitachi Vantara. Smart Data Center helps our customers answer their toughest questions:
- What are the largest cost drivers in my data center?
- What IT and business risk are we exposed to right now?
- Where am I over utilizing or underutilizing assets?
- How can I predict and prevent my next outage?
- How do I get near real time/on-demand visibility into global IT estate?
Analytics Are The Key to Unlock Data Center and Business Performance
To answer these questions, Smart Data Center ingests data center device IoT data then advanced analytics are leveraged to deliver the actionable insights and recommendations needed. Smart Data Center can also reduce both risk and costs by combining this intelligence with infrastructure automation to intelligently automate complex data centers. Data center IoT data is of high value to IT and the business if leveraged properly and in near real-time. While analytics are key to better decision making, it also takes IT automation, machine learning (ML), and other artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to make a data center “smart”.
We make data centers “smart” through the gathering of data center related IoT and financial data and the real-time application of advanced data analytics. There are four types of data analytics we can leverage for Smart Data Center:
- Descriptive analytics help IT learn from past behavior, to influence the future. They describe the current situation so patterns and exceptions become clearly recognizable. They answer the question “What has been going on?”
- Diagnostic analytics tell us why something happened in the data center and the factors involved. They give a quick and educated answer to the question, “Why did service X go down last week”?
- Predictive analytics provide an estimation regarding the likelihood of a future outcome in your data center. They also help to identify future business risks and opportunities, plan ahead and be procative. This is done through data mining of data center IoT and business data and modeling to determine correlations, create trends and predict the future. Examples of this are Smart Data Center’s ability to predict resource allocation needs and their impact on capacity and performance.
- Prescriptive analytics help determine the corrective actions to operational infrastructure required to increase performance, avoid outages and self-heal. They also give IT organizations the ability to take preventive actions, reducing risk and costs associated with service level degradation or outages. They help predict not only what will happen, but why it will happen providing actions and recommendations to remediate risk.
- Preemptive analytics are used in Smart Data Center “smart provisioning”. It uses advanced prescriptive analytics to make capacity and performance recommendations to prevent service disruptions before they happen.
Where minutes can mean millions of lost revenues, Smart Data Center from Hitachi Vantara utilizes IoT data and analytics to understand the data center environment then combines this intelligence with IT automation to drive maximize uptime and efficiency.
Smart Data Center Recent Developments
Smart Data Center now delivers:
- Optimization of data center performance and capacity from within racks to multiple data centers across the globe
- Expanded heterogeneous device support
‒ Brocade, ServiceNow, NetApp, Dell EMC, VMware and Hitachi
- Advanced analytics improves quality of prescriptive recommendations - enables rapid or autonomous decision making and answers “What should we do now?”
- Smart provisioning feature that uses AI and IT automation to ensure business needs are always met
- Enhanced user experience with new global dashboards for Capacity, Performance, Service
and Commercial health (see image below) and new custom reporting and query capabilities
Watch the Smart Data Center video (take a few seconds to load) or visit the Smart Data Center web page and learn how modern data centers can leverage IT analytics and automation to drive better business.