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Trend: Colocation facilities provide tools to manage data centre infrastructure

Robert S. Lindsay | June 23, 2017
Customers gain a view of their gear, better capacity planning.


Power Data for Capacity Planning

A DCIM platform allows colocation customers to do better, more proactive capacity planning. They can see how much power their IT footprint utilises daily, weekly, or monthly, and use trending data to predict future power requirements. This provides a cost savings, because it allows the customer to right-size their power capacity needs more accurately.

"The data provided by COLOVIEW®, our DCIM platform, is extremely granular," explains Bryon Miller, Chief Data center Officer at FORTRUST, a Denver-based colocation provider. "Our customers can break down power consumption in amps or kWs, by individual rack or cabinet, or by individual circuit in their IT environment. They can track power, temperature, and humidity levels for every minute of the past 365 days, recognise power usage trends, and use this data to manage their power needs."

"In addition, COLOVIEW helps customers to do more effective day-to-day capacity planning. For example, if the customer needs to add a server to a rack, they can log into COLOVIEW to see if they have enough rack power available to add that piece of equipment."

Ravishankar adds: "The ability to proactively plan is key for Equinix customers. Their power draw varies, and there are peak times, such as the holiday season, when they need to boost power to handle higher server traffic. IBX SmartView offers customisable reporting that lets them analyse power usage to effectively manage and plan for future capacity requirements."


Preserving Customer Privacy

Usually, colocation DCIM tools are accessed through a web portal with a secure, comprehensive permissions system. The customer decides who has access to operations data for their deployments via the DCIM tool. Also, the data is segregated, meaning customers have real-time access to data for their own IT footprint, but not for the IT footprints of any other customers in a colocation facility.

The level of access the colocation provider needs in order to set up the DCIM tool for the customer depends on the tool itself. For example, FORTRUST's technicians don't need access to customer cages or cabinets to set up COLOVIEW.

"At FORTRUST, we do electrical monitoring at the branch circuit, so none of our sensors are installed in the customer's environment," says Miller. "Temperature and humidity probes are all wireless back to the DCIM system, so we don't have to enter the customer's environment to read them. Also, COLOVIEW only offers data for the environment itself, not for individual servers within that environment."

"When a customer purchases IBX SmartView," says Ravishankar, "we install additional temperature and humidity sensors in their cabinets or cages, with their permission. Edge servers collect data from embedded sensors and management systems at the IBX level in our facilities, and pipe it back to our core platform. The customer can then view real-time or trended data through the secure Equinix Customer Portal or their own internal monitoring tool."


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