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Data center power chain management and risk assessment can help your business avoid costly disruptions.
A serious data center outage can do a lot of damage in a relatively short amount of time. Not only does an outage impact your ability to serve your clients, but it can tarnish your business’ reputation, which has consequences of its own. This is a scenario your business needs to prepare for because it’s one lesson you really don’t want to learn the hard way.
Taking a proactive approach to managing your data center and preventing a power failure is the smartest way to protect your business from these consequences. Power chain management, in particular, is something your IT team should be focused on since an issue here is the first domino – meaning it has the ability to trigger a whole mess of problems for your business.
As a business owner, you should make a point of asking questions about your power chain management. Understanding how this vital component of your IT infrastructure works and how it’s maintained is the easiest way to have a little control over the inner workings of your business’ technology, even if it’s not your area of expertise. You can gain even more control over the situation and better manage your risks by following these five steps.
Step one is learning how your physical IT infrastructure is mapped to your power chain. Figure out which devices actually make up your power chain, where they’re located, and what each components dependencies and lifecycle statuses are. That last part is especially important for you as a business owner to know, since having a record of when a device was last serviced and by whom can give you a clear picture of the shape your power chain is in, even if the more technical aspects of your setup are still a little murky to you. You don’t have to become an expert on the subject; you just need to know how your power chain works, and what could go wrong.
A good data center manager will have some type of monitoring system in place that offers a centralized means of viewing different aspects of your data center and related components. Having an all-encompassing solution to access all of that data in real-time through a consolidated portal that automatically pulls needed information together from sources like data centers, building management systems, and vendor-provided IT systems is the easiest way to stay on top of your systems.
The ability to run power failure simulations is beyond critical if you want to start being proactive about protecting your power chain. They’re an easy way to test the resilience of your power chain while getting a good look at what the impact of an outage looks like on your data center and related systems and services at the same time. Keeping a detailed record of these tests is also a great way to show partners and clients that your team has a good grasp on systems management, and that your business is fully capable of dealing with a disaster scenario quickly and efficiently.
Even the smallest incidents need to be tracked and carefully looked at by your business’ IT personnel. These minor incidents can help you to spot a pattern that could be an indication of a worse problem looming, and give your team the information they need to avoid it. This works best when your IT department and data center operations are fully integrated, either in-house or through an outsourced IT provider. Tracking and documenting data center usage trends is also extremely helpful since this information can help you predict and plan for future capacity needs. By planning ahead, you can avoid growing pains that can lead to outages and other problems.
If your IT security measures don’t cover both network vulnerabilities and your power chain’s devices, that needs to change, and change fast. If your power chain isn’t part of your business’ IT security protocols, things like access control points are left unprotected. A breach here can not only compromise your power chain but can open your entire network up to a cyber attack. Data center infrastructure management is a great way to keep tabs on any potential security concerns, and allow your IT personnel to address them. Furthermore, by bringing all of your security under one umbrella, you can cut back on your overall security costs.
There is no way to guarantee 24/7/365 uptime on any system, no matter how carefully you plan, monitor, and maintain your infrastructures. However, taking these steps can go a long way towards minimizing downtime and the impact that downtime will have on your operations, your clients, and your reputation.
Ready to learn more about how to improve your control over your business’ data center? Contact CPU Inc. at info@CPUonline.com or (419) 872-9119. We’re the trusted IT professionals for businesses nationwide.
Published on 15th September 2017 by Jeanne DeWitt.