As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This holds especially true in the world of the data center, where even a small outage could easily end up costing several million dollars. As a data center operator, you want to do absolutely everything in your power to minimize downtime.
We’ve already gone over a number of different tactics in the past. Today, I’d like to talk about one that we’ve touched on many times, but never really explored in depth: predicting outages before they happen.
Let’s start with the basics.
What do you do to maintain your data center equipment? Do you lend extra attention to components that are likelier to fail, such as hard drives, power supplies, and fans? Do you have a maintenance and monitoring schedule that’s based on average wear-and-tear; one that allows you to fix failing equipment before it becomes a problem?
“The more advanced, data-driven approach to data center maintenance is predictive,” explains Paul Lachance, president of Smartware Group. “This strategy relies on a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to monitor machine components before they break down and generates work orders to address issues that arise outside of regular calendar-based maintenance. In data centers, where uninterrupted service is critical, a CMMS offers a clear benefit by showing the actual condition of each machine rather than an assumption based on a schedule or historical data.”
The Power of Analytics
There’s currently a bit of an arms race in the data center market . Cloud vendors equipped with big-time data processing power are offering their services to help businesses monitor, analyze, and optimize their data centers. By making liberal use of embedded systems alongside analytics software, a data center management team can gain greater visibility into their overall facility, and a far better means of predicting (and preventing) downtime.
It may be worth looking into one of these solutions yourself. After all, the more you can do to keep your facility running 24/7 – the more you can do to prevent downtime and optimize maintenance – the better.
So, there you have it – a few sage words of advice that should go a long way towards helping you reduce the chances of unscheduled downtime.
Just remember that not all downtime can be predicted. There’s always going to be things that are out of your control. The key to success lies in mitigating every cause – both the ones you can predict and the ones you cannot.
Of course, if you’d rather not deal with the intricacies of uptime, you can always host with Liberty Center One – let us handle the heavy lifting, and you can continue to focus on your business.