Six Steps to Operational Excellence in Datacenters


There is no shortcut to operational excellence. Not when you are the custodian of zettabytes of sensitive data. The cost of keeping the world connected is high, and datacenters are tasked to maintain security, safety and availability of the constant stream of data round the clock. Given the magnitude of data generated every moment and rising cost of infrastructure, datacenters must optimize every resource to perform optimally.

How can datacenters keep performing at peak, affording zero downtime, zero loss and healthy PUE? Skilled people, well defined processes and effective leverage of technology deliver efficient operations and improved productivity. Here are the six key factors that define operational efficiency in datacenters:

1. Safety First Approach
Safety and security at datacenters are non-negotiable. However, maintaining strict safety and security protocols require a behavioral shift. A culture of safety-first approach must be built grounds up and mandated from the top to ensure easy adoption. Change management thus becomes critical to adapt to and adopt new processes.

2) Optimized Processes, Skilled Workforce
There can be no room for redundancy in processes for a datacenter to work efficiently. Each process needs to be assessed and validated periodically with efficient benchmarking. The proven frameworks and best practices developed over the years contribute to accelerate performance of key systems. Agile incident management and quick problem resolution for the basis of efficient process management. The holistic approach to value delivery mandates regular datacenter audits.

Datacenters represent heterogeneous IT environment and require a battery of skilled workforce operating cohesively. Subject Matter Expertise, dedicated projected management teams and a healthy bench strength ensure quick ramp up to meet increased demand without impacting business as usual. The teams need to be on constantly updated mandating certified and OEM trainings.

3) Automated Maintenance Management
Datacenter operations hugely depend on various functions and systems working in collaboration. Managing the heterogeneous environment and keeping track of each and every activity is a mammoth challenge. The mission critical applications and core systems hosted in datacenters require regular maintenance and upkeep. There can be no room for human error. One way to keep the maintenance schedules on track is to put in place a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) to automate maintenance schedules down to task level aligned to each shift for workers.

4) Proactive Issue Resolution and Early Risk Mitigation
Datacenters cannot afford downtime. Every second counts. An outage of even a few minutes can disrupt business continuity, resulting in millions of dollars in revenue loss. It thus becomes imperative that processes are monitored and issues are proactively detected for quick resolution. Efficient datacenters maintain stringent SLAs following ticketing system to log and resolve complaints.

Robust risk management processes are essential for healthy operations. Thorough risk assessment and mitigation plan is necessary to avoid SPOF (Single Point of Failure) that can impact availability or reliability of systems or applications.

5) Quality Assurance and Compliance
Quality is an inherent factor for efficient functioning of any system. At datacenters quality is interwoven in each and every aspect of operations. Strict compliance standards and certified processes are the foundation of trust and credibility. Organizations across verticals trust datacenters that meet both the geographic and industry compliance standards.

6) Continuous Innovation for Sustainable Operations
Infinite stream of data is pushing datacenters to scale at unprecedented pace. The scale, criticality and complexity of data management requires continuous innovation. Operation systems, methodologies and processes need to be constantly validated and improved to meet the ever-evolving requirements. Datacenters consume nearly 10% of electricity globally. With the ever-expanding data inflow, there will be increasing pressure on infrastructure. Datacenters thus are increasingly adopting sustainable practices and moving to renewable energy sources. The onus to keep the world connected 24/7 with minimal impact on environment lies on responsible operations of datacenters – challenge that requires continuous innovation.

CtrlS runs responsible datacenters, pioneering sustainable practices. We are the first United States Green Building Council (USGBC) ‘LEED Platinum’ certified datacenter in the world. Our solar powered datacenter are 70% cost efficient with zero emission, zero loss and zero pollution. We have been able to set industry benchmark with 1.32 PUE and are continually bridging the gap with sustainable and efficient operations.