With the average enterprise spending significant sums on electricity every year, you would expect data center energy efficiency to be a major priority for operators. Apparently not. Recent research from the Data Center Users’ Group showed it only ranked fourth in investment priorities, while the common denominator across the top three concerns was in fact, availability.

This is hardly surprising, especially if you consider the financial implications of a data center failing. As facilities become more accountable within an organization, there is also a growing trend for greater executive-level insight and control of the data center.

Best of both worlds?

As a result, enterprises are searching for techniques and technologies that marry availability with optimized efficiency. From an operational sense this translates to precise power, cooling and asset management systems that function on live, not aged, data. A data center built on this real-time framework can pre-empt environmental issues that would otherwise threaten availability, deliver asset-related savings and drive down the total cost of ownership of the data center.

Continuous asset visibility is the essential component in achieving the above outcomes, and that extends far beyond an asset being operational in a rack. An asset’s location must be visible throughout its entire lifecycle, whether it has just arrived in the loading dock, is awaiting configuration, is in storage or has been transferred to another data center.

An operator armed with this intelligence can then build a detailed understanding of the relationship between compute demand and power dynamics. This enables informed decision-making around how much power is needed to ensure processing capacity is always available. It eliminates the threat of “comatose servers” - equipment that draws power and cooling despite a lack of processing workload.

Automated asset lifecycle management ensures enterprises do not have to choose between availability and savings. They can have both. Instead of staff conducting manual inventory audits, real-time systems continually report on the location of every monitored asset across a facility.

This provides a verifiable, auditable trail of each asset’s location, cost, value, specification and interaction with personnel, from deployment to retirement. In turn, this facilitates clearer capacity planning and density management, reduces human error and increases accountability.

Predictive analytics further enhances the enterprise’s control capabilities and lets organizations move from reactive management to proactive strategies based on adaptive trend analysis.

Identifying the relationships among environmental conditions, work patterns and computing load ultimately derives rules and processes that assist in business and financial planning, as the true cost of providing a service becomes visible and quantifiable.

Armed with this powerful combination of data, location insight and advanced technology ensures an enterprise can exploit the true capabilities of its data center to drive business growth.