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GDS International - 2012 Confidential Documents at Risk Study


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Today’s data center is changing rapidly. Many enterprises …

Today’s data center is changing rapidly. Many enterprises
are integrating new technology solutions to modernize and
evolve their organizations. Most are pursuing a path to ensure
appropriate levels of IT service delivery and cost efficiency
and alignment to business goals. For some data centers this
means providing state of the art levels of availability, flexibility,
and scalability, while for others the goal may be to provide
“sufficient” levels of services while keeping new capital
expenditures to a minimum.
Either way, data centers can be placed on a spectrum of
efficiency and flexibility. IBM and IDC have developed a
data center operational efficiency model for assessing the
capability levels of today’s data center and describing the ways
IT organizations can progress along the path of data center
transformation. There are four key stages that describe the
typical evolution of a data center as it relates to efficiency:
Basic, Consolidated, Available and Strategic.

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  • 1. IBM Global Technology Services IBM Global Data Center Study iResearch ReportData center operational efficiencybest practicesEnabling increased new project spending by improving data center efficiencyFindings from the IBM Global Data Center Study
  • 2. ii Data center operational efficiency best practices Data center operational efficiency best practices: Enabling increased new project spending by improving data center efficiency is an IBM study that developed a data center operational efficiency model for assessing the capability levels of today’s data center and describes the ways IT organizations can progress along the path of data center transformation. The report was written by IDC, which also executed the survey and interviews on behalf of IBM. The authors would like to give special thanks to the following individuals for their assistance and support in developing this report: ● Dr. Ian Stewart, Director of Advanced Computing, University of Bristol ● Antonio Buratti, CIO, ABI (Associazione Bancaria Italiana) ● Pierre Debagnard, General Manager of Albiant-IT, BPCE Group ● Xiao Xiao Bin, IT Manager, INESA Information Solution Group Co. Ltd ● Martin Constant, Corporate Director of Information Technology, NORAMPAC
  • 3. IBM Global Data Center Study iiiExecutive Summary Basic data centersToday’s data center is changing rapidly. Many enterprisesare integrating new technology solutions to modernize and New projects Maintaining existing 35% infrastructureevolve their organizations. Most are pursuing a path to ensure 65%appropriate levels of IT service delivery and cost efficiencyand alignment to business goals. For some data centers thismeans providing state of the art levels of availability, flexibility,and scalability, while for others the goal may be to provide“sufficient” levels of services while keeping new capitalexpenditures to a minimum.Either way, data centers can be placed on a spectrum of Strategic data centersefficiency and flexibility. IBM and IDC have developed adata center operational efficiency model for assessing thecapability levels of today’s data center and describing the ways New projects Maintaining existing 53% infrastructureIT organizations can progress along the path of data center 47%transformation. There are four key stages that describe thetypical evolution of a data center as it relates to efficiency:Basic, Consolidated, Available and Strategic. Figure 1: Data centers that operate at the highest level of efficiency allocateData centers that are operating at the 50 percent more of their IT budgets to new projects than those operating at the lowest efficiency level.highest level of efficiency allocate 50 percent Applying the results of a January 2012 global study of CIOsmore of their IT resources to new projects. and IT managers to the efficiency model, 21 percent of today’s data centers—about one in five—have reached the peak of efficiency and are operating at the highest level.
  • 4. iv Data center operational efficiency best practicesImproving data center efficiency can yield tangible benefits to While the “right” solution cannot be dictated by a single,the organization. This study found that Strategic data centers standardized blueprint, and reaching the Strategic efficiencywere able to deliver: level may not align with the goals of all organizations, many IT professionals are looking for something analogous to● Greater investment on strategic initiatives. Staff spend more a playbook that provides context for designing an than half of their time on new projects versus maintaining appropriate strategy. the infrastructure, compared to only 35 percent for Basic data centers (Figure 1). Further, 39 percent are planning transformational projects to reengineer their IT service About this study delivery as compared to 23 percent. The information for this paper came from a global survey of 308● Greater efficiency. They enjoy more than 2.5 times the IT executives in seven countries to understand the current state staffing efficiency, averaging 27 servers per administrator of their data center operational efficiency—processes, tools, compared to 10 for Basic data centers. and technologies—across eight separate areas: data center● Greater flexibility. More than half of the companies support operations, facilities management, servers, storage, network, a high rate of organizational change compared to just 6 applications and tools, governance and staffing. The survey percent for Basic data centers. was supplemented by in-depth interviews with IT managers and CIOs from North America, Europe and Asia. For additional study details, see Study Methodology.There were four distinguishing characteristics of companiesthat have moved toward a more strategic approach:● Optimize the server, storage, network and facilities assets to maximize capacity and availability● Design for flexibility to support changing business needs● Use automation tools to improve service levels and availability● Have a plan that aligns with the business goals and keep it current.
  • 5. IBM Global Data Center Study 1Contents Emerging from the survey responses were four distinctive stages that differentiate data centers from one another as 1 Defining the state of the data center IT organizations move toward business alignment (Figure 2). Each stage characterizes the data center based on a 3 Distinguishing characteristics of a Strategic combination of efficiency, availability and flexibility. data center 8 Recommended investments to improve your data ● Basic: The environment is relatively stable and is center operational efficiency maintained based on short-term objectives, with standalone infrastructure as the norm. Companies gain the advantages 11 Moving up the efficiency ladder: Case studies of server consolidation but have not implemented tools 14 Moving toward a Strategic data center to improve availability levels, which vary widely from application to application and site to site. 14 How IBM can help ● Consolidated: Server virtualization and site consolidation are used to take out sizeable numbers of systems and 15 Study methodology facilities and thereby lower capital costs. Server and storage technologies are well utilized and the possibilities for improving availability through virtual machine (VM) Defining the state of the data center mobility are beginning to be realized.There are two critical concepts to keep in mind when ● Available: IT infrastructure is treated as a general esource revaluating the state of data center efficiency and alignment “pool” that can be allocated and scaled freely to meet thewith the needs of the business. First, there is no single “magic changing demands of workloads and to ensure uptime and bullet” indicator of movement from one efficiency stage to the performance while providing high rates of utilization. Thenext. The data center environment is a compilation of servers, focus is on measuring and improving service levels whilestorage, network systems, mechanical/electrical systems, building out governance procedures that capture applications and tools, governance procedures and staff. The business requirements.only effective means to measure the efficiency of data center ● Strategic: Widespread adoption of policy-based operations is to take a holistic approach that considers multiple automation tools lowers the manual complexity of the data measures across all elements. Second, the evolution of the data center and ensures availability requirements and dynamiccenter is a journey, one in which the destination may change as movement of applications and data. Instrumentation and the business needs change. This framework should therefore metrics are consistently used to validate compliance with not be considered a recipe that should be followed blindly, but governance polices.rather a playbook that should be flexibly applied based on theindividual needs of the organization.
  • 6. 0/44/100/00/44/100/0 0/9/80/0 0/9/80/02 Data center operational efficiency best practices 0/44/100/00/44/100/0 0/9/80/0 0/9/80/0 0/9/80/0 0/44/100/00/44/100/0 0/44/100/0 0/9/80/0 0/9/80/0 0/44/100/00/44/100/0 0/9/80/0 0/9/80/0 0/44/100/00/44/100/0 0/9/80/0 0/9/80/0 0/9/80/0 0/9/80/0 0/9/80/0 0/9/80/0 0/44/100/00/44/100/0 0/9/80/0 0/44/100/0 0/44/100/0 0/44/100/0 0/44/100/0 0/44/100/0 0/9/80/0 0/9/80/0 0/44/100/00/44/100/0 0/9/80/0 0/9/80/0 0/44/100/00/44/100/0 0/9/80/0 0/9/80/0 0/44/100/00/44/100/0 0/9/80/0 Basic Consolidated Available Strategic 0/9/80/0 0/9/80/0 0/44/100/0 0/44/100/00/44/100/0 11+ years Data center age < 3 years Operations 2.5+ Power usage effectiveness 0/9/80/0 0/9/80/0 < 1.5 0/44/100/0 0/44/100/0 None Mechanical/electrical redundancy Full 0/9/80/0 Facilities Not at0/44/100/0 0/9/80/0 0/9/80/0 0/44/100/00/44/100/0 High Mechanical/electrical upgrade disruptiveness all 0/9/80/0 0/9/80/0 0/44/100/0 0/44/100/0 <10% Percent virtualized 60%+ Servers 0-4 Virtual machines per physical server 8+ 10-20% Storage virtualization 80-90% Storage Backup eDiscovery Archiving as archive data mapping Network Days Disaster recovery time Seconds Applications Managed by Centralized Application portfolio decisions and tools individuals approach Slow Governance Ease of decision making Quick and easy and difficult 0-10 Physical servers per FTE Over 100 Staffing < 30% Staff time on new projects 60%+ Not efficient Highly efficientFigure 2: The four distinctive stages of data center maturity are based on a combination of efficiency, availability and f lexibility.
  • 7. IBM Global Data Center Study 3When taking a more strategic approach to data center Distinguishing characteristics of aoperations, IT organizations put the needs of the end user Strategic data centerat the center of their strategy. As data centers move up the With almost 60 percent of the respondents indicating plansefficiency scale, many have already taken out a significant to upgrade their data centers in the next two years and 68portion of hard cost via consolidation and virtualization, and percent indicating rapid technology adoption, it is useful tothe real focus is on providing business benefits. understand the key differences that characterize Strategic data centers. Not all organizations have environments thatThese include not only application availability and require data centers built to support high rates of change,performance but, even more important, the ability to respond and some may never require the near-real time flexibilityrapidly to business changes. This focus on business outcomes and “always on” availability typified by the Strategic level.can result in huge payoff for organizations where revenue However, for those that do require these capabilities, thisgeneration, innovation or competitive advantage is the goal; framework provides a roadmap for thinking about the futurein comparison, efficiency and cost containment are typically data center and underscores how companies can build anfoundational elements. infrastructure that prioritizes availability and flexibility as well as cost containment.Globally, the distribution of data centers follows a bell curvewith 21 percent, or about 1 in 5 data centers, operating at Companies that operate a Strategic data center consistently:the highest Strategic level of optimization, with more thanhalf moving into differing stages of Consolidated and ● Optimize the server, storage, network and facilities assetsAvailable environments. to maximize capacity and availability ● Design for flexibility to support changing business needs ● Use automation tools to improve service levels and availability ● Have a plan that aligns with the business goals and keep it current.
  • 8. 4 Data center operational efficiency best practicesMoving beyond consolidation to high levels 93% 92%of optimizationConsolidation through virtualization is a necessary firststep in the path to achieving data center efficiency. Most ITorganizations initially introduce consolidation into the datacenter at the server level to cut costs by reducing redundancyin physical servers. This is often followed by virtualizationin storage and networking environments, usually driven 48%by a similar goal of consolidation to streamline and reduceexpenditures on physical infrastructure. 27%Virtualization is table stakes for data center capability, and in 21%fact by the time data centers reach the Strategic phase they 14%have high levels of virtualization across their servers, storage,and network environments and are advanced in the use ofsoftware and automation tools. Leaders achieve significantlyhigher staff productivity by managing 8.2 virtual machines Percent of servers Use storage Use data virtualized virtualization deduplication(VMs) per server, compared to 4.5 VMs per server forBasic data centers. Key asset optimization characteristics ofStrategic data centers compared to Basic data centers include Strategic Basic(Figure 3):● 48 percent of all their servers are virtualized, compared to Figure 3: Strategic data centers are characterized by virtualization across all 27 percent components of the physical infrastructure.● 93 percent use virtualized storage, versus 21 percent● 92 percent use deduplication technologies, compared to 14 percent.
  • 9. IBM Global Data Center Study 5Designing for flexibility to meet changingbusiness needs 90%Change is accelerating, putting pressure on infrastructures tokeep pace. Almost 90 percent of executives operating Strategicdata centers indicate they are the first to adopt or among thefirst to adopt new technology. Having a plan that is designedto be flexible to respond to the ever changing needs of thebusiness and technology is critical. 47% 46% 45%Flexibility also means having the right level of availability andredundancy to ensure meeting the service-level agreements 31%(SLAs). Availability and redundancy characteristics of Strategic 21%data centers as compared to Basic data centers include(Figure 4): 9% 8%● 47 percent can upgrade mechanical and electrical equipment without disruption to operations, compared to Upgrade Primary data Replication Network design mechanical/ center replicated used for storage flexibly supports 9 percent electrical equipment with active-active backup new services● 90 percent have active-active configurations for their without disruption primary data center, versus 21 percent● 100 percent have a backup or secondary site for disaster Strategic Basic recovery—over half of which are hot sites—compared to 15 percent Figure 4: Strategic data centers are designed with the right level of availability● 46 percent take a sophisticated approach to storage and redundancy for meeting business needs. backup including synchronous replication, geo-replication or consistency groups for multiple snapshots, compared to 8 percent● 45 percent have a network design that flexibly supports new services, compared to 31 percent.
  • 10. 6 Data center operational efficiency best practicesEmploying automation tools to improve service levelsand availability 87%Automation is typically the next step in the data center journey.Introducing higher levels of automation enables greater levelsof flexibility and helps support even higher levels of availability.Greater reliance on automation tools and technologies offloads 58%manually intensive tasks for system administrators, reduceserror rates and ensures the performance of applications againsttheir SLAs. Management characteristics of Strategic datacenters compared to Basic data centers include (Figure 5): 30% 31%For server management:● 81 percent move VMs across physical hardware, compared to 27 percent, enabling much higher levels of flexibility 3% 3% 1% 0% and availability● 100 percent use automation tools to manage their virtual Move VMs Implemented a Network services Monitor server environment—and 58 percent use automation to meet storage service automatically thermal SLAs catalog provisioned conditions tools to move VMs automatically based on service level agreements (SLAs), without the need of manual Strategic Basic intervention—versus 1 percent● 32 percent offer a self-service portal that enables cloud-like capabilities, versus 4 percent, and another 48 percent plan Figure 5: Extensive use of automation across server, storage and network to offer one in the next 12 months—meaning 80 percent management enables the high level of availability and service levels that characterize Strategic data centers. expect to offer one by 2013.For storage management: For facilities management:● 85 percent have automated tiered storage, versus 12 percent ● 31 percent use software tools to monitor thermal conditions ● 87 percent use a service catalog approach for storage, versus 0 percent, providing insight to adjust to real-time leading to higher levels of availability and automation, operating conditions. versus only 3 percent.For network management:● 60 percent use automated network management, compared to 20 percent● 30 percent versus 3 percent use policy management processes to automatically provision network services, which drives faster response to service as well as network recovery times in minutes and seconds instead of hours and days.
  • 11. IBM Global Data Center Study 7Having a plan that aligns with business goals andkeeping it currentOrganizations with Strategic data centers are far better 77%prepared to take advantage of market opportunities as the 68%economy rebounds. They have heavily utilized consolidationprojects to optimize the number of data center sites theymaintain. Moreover, we find they are significantly more likely 53%to continually evaluate the target number of data centers theyshould have in a continual focus on strategy and execution. 33%For example, IT organizations with Strategic data centers 25%were much more likely to have expanded and modernizedtheir capabilities during the recent economic downturn. Over 14%60 percent of Basic data center operations made no strategic 0% 2%changes or investments over the past two years, and more than70 percent don’t expect to do so over the next two. In contrast, Build capacity Forecast space Forecast power Implement high- andnearly all Strategic data centers experienced some form of in smaller (10 to 20 years) demand low-density zones incrementsexpansion or growth over the past two years, and more than 80percent of them expect to do so over the next two. Strategic BasicAdditionally, IT organizations operating Strategic data centerswere more likely to regularly engage in formal planning Figure 6: Managers of Strategic data centers enable alignment with businessexercises. Characteristics of Strategic data center planning objectives by engaging in regular forecasting and employing expansion strategies that ensure f lexibility.that increase flexibility compared to Basic data centers include(Figure 6): Strategic data centers are in a better position and are nearly● 68 percent plan to build in smaller increments of capacity twice as likely to pursue transformational projects. Fully 39 rather than build out all at once, compared with 53 percent percent of Strategic data center managers are planning projects● 25 percent forecast the space needed to support the 10–20 over the next five years to significantly change the way they year useful life of a data center, compared to 0 percent deliver IT services to their organization, compared with only● 77 percent forecast power demands, versus 14 percent 23 percent of Basic data center managers.● 33 percent plan to implement low- and high-density zones to support the varying power demands of new technology, versus 2 percent.
  • 12. 8 Data center operational efficiency best practices from one stage to the next, getting to the Strategic level requires a succession of steps. Leveraging the distinguishing85 percent of Strategic data center managers characteristics of leaders applied to each discipline area canplanning major projects, and 77 percent of help determine how to get started, including:those planning projects overall, say they will ● Data center operations and facilities managementturn to outside help. ● Servers ● Storage ● Network ● Business resilience ● Governance, including applications, tools and staffing.Data center managers across the board understand that thiswill require investment in outside tools, technologies and Data center operations and facilities managementassistance. Of those planning a major project, over three in Strategic data centers pay careful attention to their facilityfour said they will turn to outside help, with an even greater design and understand the need for a holistic view that treatspercentage (85 percent) among Strategic data centers. What’s the data center as a single system. They plan to meet themore, Strategic data centers are significantly more likely to business needs over the useful life of a facility by forecastingleverage more off-premises capabilities—including hosting, power, space, capacity and availability—which leads to bettercollocation and alternative sites for disaster recovery—while predictability and lower disruption during changes and build-still having 64 percent of their capacity on-premises. outs. Insights from leaders include:Recommended investments to improve ● Right size capacity and availability. Forecast capacity your data center operational efficiency and availability to meet the business needs of primary and While cost containment is certainly a critical benefit of data backup centers. Then continue to manage for efficiency center efficiency, probably the most important benefit comes using real-time monitoring and management the ability to better serve the needs of the core business and ● Design for flexibility. Ensure that investments provide therespond to shifts in market demand. Evidence shows that the scalability required to support rapid changes in demand journey toward greater levels of data center efficiency requires and technology by, for example, building new capacity insignificant changes to the organization’s tools, technologies smaller increments over time and designing mechanical/ and processes. electrical systems so that equipment changes can be made without disrupting operations.Once companies understand what stage they are at and ● Optimize total costs over the long term. Ensure trade-where they want to go on the efficiency spectrum, they offs between capital and operating costs are included inwill need to consider appropriate investments in time and facilities design, and measure energy efficiency and powerresources. Because there are dependencies required to move consumption on a real-time basis.
  • 13. IBM Global Data Center Study 9 Storage Strategic data centers are dealing with all aspects of storage“Building a new data center has provided optimization and management. They realize the need tous with more space, more efficient and green get ahead of the explosion in storage by using software and policy-based management systems to reduce the hands-oncooling and power, and more robust service labor required to provision and manage storage. Insights fromdelivery. Incorporating greater levels of leaders include:redundancy was a key component of that.” ● Increase storage optimization. Leaders implement—Martin Constant, Corporate Director of Information Technology, NORAMPAC four to six times more storage optimization techniques,Paper and Packaging industry, Canada including virtualization, deduplication, thin provisioning and others. ● Reduce the time spent by storage architects. Implement storage management technologies, especially storageServers service catalog, to drive self-service and policy-basedStrategic data center operators have consolidated their server management.infrastructure to achieve the fundamental efficiencies from ● Don’t overlook storage backup and archive. With all theserver management. They understand the need to tackle the focus on the volume of storage, leaders realize they need“harder” projects to leverage automation and software tools to manage the full lifecycle of data. Consider using moreto drive higher levels of availability and improved quality of sophisticated approaches to storage backup—includingservice. Specific insights to leverage include: geo-replication or consistency groups for multiple snapshots. For archiving, consider using eDiscovery data● Move beyond consolidation to virtualization. Improve mapping or defined processes for audits. SLA performance by using software tools and automation to move virtual images between physical servers and data centers based on policies.● Prepare for cloud computing. Plan to use a self-service portal that allows VMs to be automatically ordered online, “We are already using automated with a choice of size, operating system and service level. hierarchical storage, storage virtualization● Take advantage of the latest technology. Knowing how and deduplication as well as dynamic to optimize systems and move workloads will allow you to take advantage of converged infrastructures (server, resource allocation (on demand).” storage and networking systems that are sold together with —Pierre Debagnard, General Manager of Albiant-IT, BPCE Group, France management software in a pre-integrated package).
  • 14. 10 Data center operational efficiency best practicesNetwork ● Review your business continuity plan. Avoid relianceThere are many external pressures on the network today, such on tape alone for data backup and recovery, whether atas the explosion of smartphones and how they have greatly the data center or a remote location. Combine onsite andaccelerated the demand for access to applications and data; remote disk storage for backup.the growing use of video; and the adoption of cloud ● Understand the impact of systems not being availablecomputing. Leaders realize the need to have a data center to specific business processes or applications. Leadersnetworking strategy in place. They are also moving beyond provide the optimal level of availability to meet businesstraditional network optimization techniques to approaches needs by using an active-active configuration, which allowsthat include network management and automation in order for rapid failover of systems in the event of improve overall IT efficiency and flexibility. Insights from ● Examine business and regulatory complianceleaders include: requirements. Gain an understanding of your potential long-term data archiving needs, including how search● Develop and execute a network strategy. Take a holistic, capabilities affect your ability to meet compliance long-term view that considers the network, servers, storage requirements. Have a defined process for audits and have and applications and end-to-end manageability balanced archive eDiscovery capabilities. against business and financial goals.● Implement network management and automation. Governance, applications, tools and staffing Use tools and processes that enable continuous network Strategic data center executives establish an environment that adjustments to meet policy-based application requirements, is supportive of using a number of management best practices, and use predictive tools to avoid unscheduled outages. including:● Design for flexibility. Incorporate into the architecture the ability to automatically provision network services based ● Use a centralized portfolio approach to application on policies, with minimal human intervention. management. Leaders will also apply different service and support levels to individual applications if the applicationBusiness resilience owner is prepared to pay.The ability to manage IT risk is essential for enabling growth, ● Focus on both hard, upfront capital costs and ongoingdealing with changing business conditions and addressing operational costs when deciding on data centernew regulations, security threats and service outages. Leaders investments. Leaders use monitoring and managementdistinguish themselves in their approaches and their ability software to ensure a total-cost focus in ongoing operationsto mitigate negative risks while enhancing their ability to as well as when making point-in-time investment decisions.optimize potential opportunities. Insights from the strategies ● Implement decision-making procedures and policies.of leaders include: Leaders employ documented procedures and policies to ease decision making regarding ongoing data center operations.
  • 15. IBM Global Data Center Study 11 modifications. Nevertheless, ABI identified a suitable space, an 860 square foot high-ceilinged hall located within the palace, and“We currently manage applications via began renovating the site.individual tools, but we are planning to After determining it could not completely retrofit the site (forimplement a single management platform in example, it couldn’t introduce raised-floor cooling), ABI optedthe future.” to equip the hall with an innovative cooling system based on APC in-rack water cooling blocks connected to chillers above the rack cabinets. By transforming its data center this way, ABI—Xiao Xiao Bin , IT Manager, INESA Information IT Services industry, China believes it has reduced the average power consumption of the IT infrastructure by about 35 percent, or 25 kW.Moving up the efficiency ladder: “Our system provides cooling directly toCase studies the IT equipment, alleviating the need to provide room-wide air conditioning.Associazione Bancaria Italiana (ABI): Moving from Basic By transforming our data center we haveto Consolidated reduced the average power consumption ofABI, the Italian Bank Association, is a nonprofit organization thatrepresents the interests of Italian financial institutions both at the IT infrastructure by about 35 percent orhome and abroad. Headquartered in Rome, the association’s 25 kW.”offices are located within the Palazzo Altieri, a national historicalmonument filled with significant works of art. — Antonio Buratti, CIO, ABIIn 2010, ABI’s IT infrastructure consisted of 110 servers and50 switches and routers hosted in 6 separate server roomsdispersed throughout the building and managed by a staff of Now that ABI has modernized its facilities, with a focus on6 IT administrators and a total of 19 IT department staff. These mechanical/electrical and power and cooling, it has opened thesystems supported 600 internal connections and several door to completing its transition to a Consolidated data center.thousand external connections through a web portal. There was It is planning to further consolidate servers from rack-mountedno virtualization, the server rooms were not properly equipped units to blades, whose higher server densities can now beor cooled, and the need to maintain each one separately led to supported by the more efficient cooling system and, in tandem,staffing inefficiencies. Looking to take its infrastructure to the next to introduce greater levels of server virtualization. In addition, itlevel, ABI decided to push forward with consolidation, beginning is planning to incorporate advanced management tools that willwith centralizing its data center into a single facility. further increase the efficiency of the data center by enabling the operation of the entire facility, from monitoring racks to operatingOne of ABI’s unique challenges was the requirement to locate the facilities security systems all from a single data center in its existing headquarters—which, as a culturalheritage, is under significant restrictions that limit structural
  • 16. 12 Data center operational efficiency best practices computing needs grow. The modular approach lets the University support future scalability while saving on upfront capital costsUniversity of Bristol: Investing for a Strategic data center and avoiding overbuilding. Currently specified at 20 kW per rack,The University of Bristol is a leading UK research university with the facility is designed to and can support higher densities ina broad portfolio of High Performance Computing (HPC)-based the future.studies, including climatology, aerospace, gene sequencing,social medicine, economics and computational chemistry. Itsdedicated HPC data centers support the computationally-intensive research and teaching needs of over 600 researchersand students. “We have developed lights-out administration tools that let us manage bothIn addition to its main corporate data center, the University hastwo separate data centers that are exclusively used to house its the data center and the HPC and researchHPC and research data storage systems, which are operated at data storage systems with a staff of fourthe Available efficiency level. The data center infrastructures offer FTEs. This alleviates the need for staffhigh levels of virtualization and redundancy through clustered anddistributed system configuration. The larger data center has 38 members to enter the data center for routineracks within an APC hot aisle enclosed solution, and the smaller maintenance and monitoring tasks.”one has 12 APC racks in a similar hot aisle configuration. Theyhouse a total of over 600 server nodes and 1.3 petabytes —Dr. Ian Stewart, Director of Advanced Computing, University of Bristolof storage.In 2006, the University devised a ten-year data center plan,which called for a major upgrade to its infrastructure with the Further characterizing a Strategic level of efficiency, the dataaddition of new data center capabilities to further increase its center now supports a number of state-of-the-art automationlevels of optimization. Unfortunately, the campus is tight on capabilities, including lights-out administration which alleviatesavailable space, so the University came up with the solution of the need for HPC staff members to enter the data center fortransforming an old water storage facility into a new data center. routine maintenance and monitoring tasks and allows both theThe unique space presented some unusual challenges, including data center and all the computer equipment to be managed bythe need to move equipment up five stories as the water storage a staff of four HPC system administrators. Automated scriptsfacility was on the roof of the Physics building, and to ensure communicate with APC sensor equipment to monitor thethat no electromagnetic interference affected the University’s machine room environment and take appropriate actions, allresearch radio telescope that was housed on top of the same the way up to being capable of shutting down the compute andstructure. Fortunately, it also offered advantages—such as some storage systems if something goes drastically air cooling since the Physics building is on one of the highestpoints in Bristol. Looking to the future, the University is already planning to expand its current 38 rack units to 48, targeting a completion by lateIn the end, the new facility provided over 190 square meters spring 2012. It is also aggressively pursuing green initiatives,of floor space with a number of state-of-the-art capabilities considering both the use of more power-efficient processorsrepresentative of a Strategic data center. These include a and making more efficient use of that processing power throughmodular design with two enclosed hot-aisle pods that act like more intelligent software. Not only will this further reduceseparate data centers. These APC Infrastructure hot-aisle water- operating costs, but it could also extend the life of the datacooled enclosures can be easily scaled when the University’s center.
  • 17. IBM Global Data Center Study 13 There is widespread deployment of virtualization, with overall server virtualization levels over 60 percent. VM movement isAlbiant-IT, Group BPCE: Operating at the Strategic level supported in an automated capacity (for example, in case ofAlbiant-IT is the services provider dedicated to hosting and server failure). Virtualization is also incorporated into the storagemanaging the data centers of the banking Group BPCE, a environment, with deduplication and dynamic resource allocationFrench company offering a comprehensive range of banking and on demand. Backup is performed onsite via tape and on disksfinancial services to a wide range of corporate and consumer with geo-replication. The network is architected to recovercustomers. The group has 36 million customers served by 117,000 from an outage in real-time. Governance is provided through aemployees and 8,000 branches. To support these operations change committee representing each of the client organizationsAlbiant-IT operates a total of four datacenters across two sites, within the bank, and the core decision making criteria are alwaysone in the Paris metropolitan area and one in the south of France. ensuring the ability to deliver high availability and minimizeThe four datacenters combined have a capacity of 80,800 square operating costs.feet extendable to 97,000 square feet and currently host 18,000servers. 80 percent of the servers are x86, with the remainderconsisting of Unix servers and seven mainframes.Albiant-IT has made strategic investments in its datacenter that “We operate at a 99.999 percent SLA andenable it to operate optimally. It operates at a five nine availability have had 100 percent measured availabilitySLA (99.999 percent uptime) and in fact has a measured 100percent uptime since it put its current facilities in place more than since our current facility was deployed twotwo years ago. It currently has a ten-year capacity plan in place to years ago.”account for its internal IT and hosting services infrastructure. —Pierre Debagnard, General Manager of Albiant-IT, BPCE GroupThe datacenters operate in a hot-hot (active-active) mode witha 2(N+1) architecture. Each datacenter replicates into the otherand workloads can be moved as necessary. Capacity can beadded in a modular fashion, both by increasing energy capacity Even though the datacenter is operating in most respects atand by equipping new “rooms” within the existing physical the Strategic level, this is not to say there are not future areasfacilities. Energy consumption is measured at the facility level of further optimization that Albiant-IT is considering. One of theaccording to the energy capacity plan in place. A great deal of areas is the introduction of a converged infrastructure. Albiant-focus is placed on optimizing power usage effectiveness (PUE); IT, with its BPCE clients, is considering implementing such anthe facility is currently operating at a PUE ratio of 2, with the goal infrastructure providing it helps reduce costs and enables a quickof achieving 1.7 in the very near future. There is an entire system in return on investment (ROI).place to optimize energy consumption that relies on a number ofvariables, including a room’s population, air flow, hygrometry andtemperature optimization.
  • 18. 14 Data center operational efficiency best practicesMoving toward a Strategic data center How IBM can helpData centers are under constant pressure to scale and evolve IBM helps enterprises around the world plan, optimizeto meet the changing needs of the underlying business. To and automate their data centers in order to support theiradapt to these challenges, each data center takes a slightly business growth and objectives. IBM has a broad portfoliodifferent approach. of data center facilities planning and design, cloud, IT virtualization, network modernization, business resilienceToday, about one in five data centers operate at the Strategic, and automation services that can help you meet your dataor highest efficiency, level. Companies not yet operating at center efficiency objectives.this level can achieve greater efficiency by emulating thefour key behaviors of IT organizations that operate Strategic You can get started on your data center efficiency journeydata centers: by taking the Data Center Efficiency Self-Assessment. This no-cost online tool will give you a quick snapshot of your● Optimize the server, storage, network and facilities assets to efficiency status across facilities management, servers, storage maximize capacity and availability and networks.● Design for flexibility to support changing business needs● Use automation tools to improve service levels For more information and availability To learn more about how IBM can help you progress on your● Have a plan that aligns with the business goals and keep journey to greater data center efficiency, you can contact your it current. IBM representative or visit the following websites:For most companies, getting there will not happen overnight. typically takes organizations several years of planning andstrategic investments in each area of the data center to achieve status. While North American organizations andcompanies with more than 500 employees had the highestproportion of Strategic data centers, this level of efficiency isachievable for any company. Strategic data centers were foundin all regions of the world and in smaller companies.Most companies, whatever their size, plan on using outsidehelp with the projects that advance efficiency, a realizationespecially shared by Strategic data centers. To achieve thehighest levels of efficiency, data centers must continuallyre-evaluate their performance, reviewing their investments intools, technologies and governance, and must have the rightlevel of skills and assistance. Doing so can yield benefits ingreater staffing efficiencies, greater levels of flexibility and theability to spend more time on strategic IT initiative to supportthe business.
  • 19. IBM Global Data Center Study 15 and outsourcing). Respondents were recruited by phone to complete the survey over the Internet. Both phone and web Study methodology portions of the survey were administered in the local language. The information for this white paper came from a global survey of 308 IT executives, conducted in January 2012, and was The surveys asked respondents to provide information about supplemented by in-depth interviews with data center managers their data center, tools, technologies and processes across eight representing each stage of data center efficiency. The survey separate areas: data center operations, facilities management, population consisted of IT executives who have responsibility servers, storage, network, applications and tools, governance for or influence over their organization’s data center strategy, and staffing. The questions were designed to unearth the data from organizations of over $50 million in revenue with at least center’s efficiency level in each of these areas. The data from one enterprise-class data center. Respondents were randomly the survey was imported into an IDC model designed to assess recruited and screened from international panels and came from and categorize efficiency in each of these areas and to roll it seven different countries: the United States, Brazil, Canada, up into an overall data center efficiency rating (Figure 7). The China, Germany, France, and India. Global data was derived by model examines the levers by which data centers can improve weighting IT spending on server systems, storage, enterprise their infrastructure and identified a number of areas, including networks, packaged software and services (excluding telecom availability/resilience, cost-effectiveness and the flexibility to provide the capacity needed by the business. The demographics of the respondents were: 32% 30% • 60 percent from mature countries and 40 percent in growth markets • 63 percent from large enterprise and 37 percent from small and mid-sized businesses% of survey respondents 21% • 83 percent were IT managers and 17 percent were chief information officers 17% • 25 industries covering finance, communications, industrial, distribution, public sector and others. The information from the survey was supplemented with five in-depth interviews with executives responsible for data centers 1 standard 1 standard in North America, Europe and Asia. The respondents had deviation deviation responsibility for full data center operations and represented the full spectrum of data center efficiency stages. Basic Consolidated Available Strategic Efficiency level Figure 7. The study identified four stages of efficiency worldwide for data centers.
  • 20. 16 Data center operational efficiency best practices © Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation IBM Global Technology Services Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America April 2012 IBM, the IBM logo and are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON- INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. Please Recycle RLW03007-USEN-01