The Raritan Blog

What Happens When A University Needs A More Effective Approach To Data Center Locations And Management?

Posted on December 27, 2018 by Jessica Ciesla

All too often shrinking budgets within the education sector cause an array of IT challenges. For one large state university in the northeast, the challenge of a shrinking budget was threatening to limit their ability to use more than one data center. In order to overcome this challenge, the university turned to the Raritan team for a bit of help and of course expertise in data monitoring, security, and storage solutions.

Understanding The Challenge

The challenge of a shrinking budget involved a number of moving parts for our client.
1.    The university wanted to consolidate data center facilities. 
2.    By combining the core data centers, they wanted to effectively create a single DR site. 
3.    Operations needed to be closely monitored throughout the transition. 
4.    University clients needed to receive effective computing resources during and after the transition. 

Creating An Effective Solution

We approached the university's challenges by creating a solution with a dual focus. This focus included, a) monitoring operations, and b) increasing the effectiveness of the data center.

To start, we leveraged the power of PDUs to create an environment where monitoring started at the outlet level. Next, we used DC operations to increase the existing capacity and utilization of new and existing technologies. This approach enabled operations managers to effectively know what devices were being added, how much power was being consumed, and what levels of cooling were being provided. Understanding the latter three factors allowed the operations managers to more effectively deploy IT assets within the designated space. Finally, through additional environmental sensors, as well as a DCIM monitoring solution, the entire DC floor was thermally mapped to accurately identify areas in need of attention. The customized alerts were designed to identify specific locations (within the cabinet) where a problem had occurred. Once the exact location had been identified, the team could then go in and resolve the issue before it spread, impacted additional spaces, or resulted in downtime. 

The Result: Improved Monitoring And Increased Capabilities

Through outlet metered intelligent PDUs, environmental sensors, and a DCIM software deployment, we were able to effectively help the university overcome the challenges associated with a shrinking budget. By completely understanding the additional obstacles associated with a data center consolidation, we created a solution that saved the university money, while simultaneously deploying an environment with increased visibility and actionable insights. The end result was a data center that could be effectively monitored and maintained to readily meet its specific needs and future requirements.

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