The Raritan Blog

The Consultative Role in Data Center Installations

Jon Inaba
September 12, 2013

data consultation

One of our roles in every data center installation is to bridge communication gaps between functional groups so goals can be met to everyone’s satisfaction.

That’s a consultative role, one that takes boots on the ground at first, and an ongoing relationship thereafter. At Raritan, we prefer to be on-site at deployments, working side-by-side with customers.  Sometimes, the work we do isn’t particularly technical but rather logistical. Knowing, for example, that a customer is going to have 200 racks installed, we make sure that PDUs show up prior to installation so critical dates aren’t missed.

Often, PDU installation is only a small part of the process that gets us about 30% of the way there. Assuming the customer has the power strips, sensors, and software running on Day 1, we can then help immediately start extracting value from their investment by Day 2. Now that they have all this great new power consumption and environmental data, what are they going to do differently? By the third day, we can start the iterative process of making those changes and measuring gains.

You’d be surprised to learn how many data centers are still plagued by server underutilization with one or very few applications running on a single server. It’s exacerbated by the fact that this particular server might be the least efficient machine to actually perform these tasks.

People still have a hard time unplugging stuff. Our system gives them the data to take an intelligent step forward. The conversation between Data Center Manager and User might go something like this: “You’re telling me you use this server?” And the user says “Yes, we use it.” With this new data, the manager can show the user that in the last 90 days the server hasn’t fluctuated at all from a power perspective and the network traffic has been essentially zero. The manager can now tell the user, “What you’re telling me doesn’t match the data we’re seeing. Let’s migrate this to a virtual appliance. We’ll decommission the other one, and if you have a service impact, we can discuss reprovisioning it.”

Hard data gives you a firm basis upon which to realize power and cooling efficiencies. It’s very important to Raritan to make sure our customers achieve the value that they are expecting from our product. The faster we can turn data into actionable information. The better the outcome will be.