The Raritan Blog

Increase Operational Efficiencies and Security With Remote Power Management and Server Access

Rick Gonedes
August 21, 2018

They say that life happens in a blink of an eye. In the case of Choice Hotels International, which operates more than 6,300 hotels worldwide, life happens at a much faster pace. At the heart of one of the world's largest lodging companies is its global reservation system. When someone checks in or out, a room is looked at, or a reservation is made, the transaction is promptly processed via Choice's data center. The challenge of course is that any downtime not only means lost revenue, but dissatisfied customers. This challenge is all too familiar for many corporations; fortunately, a solution exists whereby a virtual presence within an offsite data center is created.

Leveraging Remote Intelligent Power Management

Before you can successfully leverage remote intelligent power management, you must first determine what requirements are necessary for an existing in-cabinet PDU. These requirements might include:

•    Reliable power delivery.
•    Remote outlet-level monitoring of both power and energy.
•    An easy-to-use web interface.
•    Efficient support for servers and devices, including existing (and / or future) monitoring solutions.
•    The ability to unplug a server or device virtually.

The last listed requirement is arguably the most important for corporations interested in managing their data centers remotely. Through a web-based GUI, data center managers are able to not only monitor sensors remotely, but they are able to report and plot values in real-time. This information is then leveraged to optimize the data center environment for maximum efficiency levels.

For example, with two PDUs in each cabinet, both ingoing and outgoing air temperatures, as well as humidity levels, can be monitored and adjusted to ensure proper operations during all seasons. When combined with any DCIM or Power IQ energy management software, the latter abilities are given an analytics boost that tracks power consumption trends for every server. These trends provide early indicators of potential server issues, so that the potential malfunctions can be resolved before they are realized. Once remote monitoring is in place, corporations will need to achieve remote server access, to further optimize security, reliability, and operational efficiencies.

Achieving Secure Remote Server Access

Digital KVM switches in a colocation data center simultaneously create a graphical user interface, while also providing secure access to any servers and devices that use an Internet browser. Through Raritan’s Command Center SecureGateway, a single console view is created to provide server access via an established secure gateway that goes straight through the KVM. When combined with existing PDUs, KVM switches are able to increase productivity and security, while also providing a complete picture of the entire data center, including micro details at the cabinet-level. Additional benefits include:

•    Increased uptime.
•    Exceeding established SLAs.
•    Enhanced operation efficiencies.
•    The ability to unplug a server virtually.
•    Outlet-level power switching is achieved.
•    Reduction in operational costs.
•    Improved operational insights, including data gathered across individual devices and multiple power sources.

The Bottom Line: KVM Switches Deliver Additional Benefits to Existing PDU Solutions 

If corporations want to enjoy the benefits of remote data center monitoring and access in real-time, then they need to leverage the power of both in-cabinet PDUs and KVM switches. While a PDU can provide the ability to remotely power-down a server, KVM switches offer numerous security, productivity, and operational benefits. Together, these two vital tools give operations staff a complete macro and micro picture of the entire data center. From a server's locational data, to the network port that it is using, KVM switches and PDUs, coupled with DCIM software provides corporations with the capabilities needed to successfully manage power, space, moves, changes, and equipment additions. When life operates at the blink of an eye, the latter abilities are vital to successfully managing data centers remotely and virtually.

Learn more about Raritan's remote access solutions here