Data Center Products
Whatever the task—in a data center or elsewhere—you need the right tool. Jury rigging may be okay when you’re in a tight spot (for instance, you’re trying to bring your data center back online after a downtime event), but as a long-term strategy for operating your facility, it can be frustrating, expensive and ineffective. For almost every job that a data center manager faces, someone’s come up with a solution that makes tackling it easier. The following data center products—including some you probably already know well, along with some you may never have heard of—could be just what the doctor ordered.
You’ve almost certainly heard of this company and its virtualization products. VMware offers a range of products, such as vSphere. Currently in version 5.0, vSphere is a server, network and storage virtualization package that enables data center managers to reduce operating costs and consolidate infrastructure by better utilizing existing resources. With energy cost and consumption being a growing concern among data center managers, virtualization is a widely employed method of increasing efficiency. Find out more about VMware’s virtualization products, such as vSphere, at www.vmware.com.
Spectra Logic Data Integrity Verification
Backup data storage using tape libraries may have fallen out of favor in some quarters, but it is still a widely used method. But backup data is only useful if it accurately transcribes the original data. Spectra Logic offers its Data Integrity Verification (DIV) feature as part of its BlueScale 11.3 software management platform. DIV monitors the integrity of tape archives, helping to ensure the integrity of backup data throughout its lifetime. Read more at Spectra Logic’s website: http://www.spectralogic.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=products.showContentAndChildren&CatID=2061&p=308&src=foot.
STORServer Backup Appliances
If you run a data center long enough, something will happen to corrupt or erase your data, whether through a malicious attack or through some accidental means. Data backup is a critical means of protecting valuable information as well as the continuity of your business in the event of some unforeseen event. STORServer offers its fully integrated backup appliances for implementation of a turnkey data protection system. The company’s backup appliances range from the EBA800 entry-level product to the EBA3100 high-end product. The appliances offer disk-to-disk backup and restore, simple management, data deduplication and offsite disaster recovery. For more information, check out STORServer’s website: http://www.storserver.com/ApplianceComparison.aspx.
F5 Networks BIG-IP v11
F5 Networks offers version 11 of its BIG-IP to give data center managers “a comprehensive view of users, applications, and the network.” Part of running an efficient data center is monitoring performance and resource usage and availability. BIG-IP products offer fast deployment and enables the per-application service provisioning and deployment. For more information, access http://www.f5.com/products/big-ip/v11.html.
APC StruxureWare for Data Centers
Speaking of energy, increasing efficiency is good, but you must also have a way to measure the results from your efforts. APC by Schneider Electric offers its StruxureWare for Data Centers, a mission-critical software suite for managing physical infrastructure in a data center. Combining Schneider Electric’s data center infrastructure management (DCiM) and data center facility management (DCFM) tools, StruxureWare enables monitoring, data gathering and automation, giving data center managers the ability to track and analyze their energy usage, for instance. Read more about APC’s data center management products at http://www.apc.com/products/category.cfm?id=7.
HP Performance Optimized Datacenters (PODs)
Demand for IT services is constantly increasing. Most data center managers will thus see their current facilities running low on capacity relative to demand within a few years. But with a tight economy, building a new traditional data center may not be feasible. That’s where data center containers come in: their modularity and portability make them a good stopgap measure—or even a more permanent solution—when additional capacity is needed. Hewlett-Packard offers its Portable Optimized Datacenters (PODs), which provide a means of quickly adding space in smaller amounts compared with constructing a new traditional facility. The HP POD 20c, for instance, is a 20-foot data center container providing 2,000 square feet of equivalent brick-and-mortar space, according to the company. HP’s products enable a modular approach that allows companies to scale with growing demand without requiring the high capital costs of traditional construction. For more information on HP’s PODs, access http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/servers/solutions/datacentersolutions/index.html?jumpid=ex_R2849/us/en/ISS/cclicks/4AA2-9292ENW/discover/pod.
Raritan Smart Rack Controller
You can avoid a variety of problems in your data center if you just know what’s going on, but keeping track of numerous sensors and other incoming information by hand is difficult, if not impossible. Raritan offers its EMX smart rack controller products for managing and monitoring data from a variety of sensors, such as temperature, humidity and smoke sensors. The EMX device is a IP-based central point for collecting data from the company’s sensors. Find out more at http://www.raritan.com/products/environment-management/emx-smart-rack-controller/?afftid=70150000000fKZn.
VYCON VDC and VDC-XE UPS Systems
Utilities will give your data center power, but you generally will get no guarantee on how well-conditioned that power is. Spikes and other power events can wreak havoc on your equipment if you don’t provide your own protection to improve power quality. VYCON offers VDC and VDC-XE Direct Connect UPS (uninterruptible power supply) systems based on flywheel technology. Instead of chemical-cell batteries, which contain toxic chemicals and must be replaced periodically, a flywheel-based system uses mechanical energy to condition power. Although the company’s flywheel-based UPS systems are designed only for dealing with very short-term power events, they offer an environmentally friendly alternative to batteries, and they can be integrated with a longer-term solution for dealing with power outages. Access VYCON’s website for more information on their flywheel UPS products: http://www.vyconenergy.com/pq/pages_pq/pqbrochures.htm.
LSI WarpDrive SSDs
Traditional data storage media include tape and disk, but solid-state drives (SSDs) are gaining momentum in data centers and elsewhere. LSI offers its WarpDrive SLP-300 SSD on a PCIe card. This 300GB NAND flash SSD offers latencies of less than 50 microseconds, PCI Express 2.0 capability and ECC protection of up to 24 bits per 512 bytes, according to the company, all on a small-form-factor PCIe board. Find out more at LSI’s website: http://www.lsi.com/products/storagecomponents/Pages/WarpDriveSLP-300.aspx.
Data Center Product Roundup
The products discussed above are, of course, just a smattering of what’s out there for data center managers to choose from. Furthermore, they only cover a few areas—for instance, your data center still needs racks (not mentioned) and servers (also omitted) to run. For any particular area, you are likely to find that multiple companies offer similar products to meet your needs. Selecting the right product requires extensive research and careful thought—not every company will offer a product that meets your needs within your budget. You may have to make some tradeoffs to get what you need, and the products briefly described above may or may not fit the bill, depending on your situation.
Whatever the case, these products offer a summary of some of the solutions that are available. Happy hunting!