Data center power and environmental monitoring can be a daunting project, but it shouldn’t be! It should be a simple and low risk proposition, quickly providing tangible benefits. Many of our customers have done it. We distilled their experiences into eight simple rules and present them below. Whatever solution you choose, we hope you will find them helpful.
#1: Go step-by-step -- be incremental
Whatever your monitoring needs are, it is unlikely that you know exactly what and where you need to monitor. Make sure you can do it in steps and have the freedom to change your plans based on what you’ve learned at each stage. Avoid having to commit to an all-or-nothing proposition.
#2: The 80 / 20 rule
80% of the value will come from paying close attention to 20% of your systems. You just need to figure out which 20% (see rule #1).
#3: The 10% rule
Most things can be improved 10% by just paying attention. If nobody pays attention, even the best monitoring will be worthless (see rule #2). Pick a solution that is easy to pay attention to.
#4: Avoid analysis paralysis
If you knew everything you need to monitor, you probably wouldn't need monitoring at all. Just do it. Many of our customers told us that simply deploying monitoring (and following rule #1) cost less than the RFP in search of the "ultimate" solution.
#5: Monitor what matters when it matters
Things change. Make sure you have a solution that lets you easily focus on what you need to know, when you need to know.
#6: Gadgets do not save money, information does
A monitoring system is not about hardware or software. It is there to give you valuable information. Everything else is just a distraction and you should avoid it. Your system should make it easy to get the relevant information quickly and to share it -- with your staff and your customers.
#7: Show me the money!
A monitoring system needs to show you the "so what", where the money is -- preferably literally, in the currency of your choice.
#8: Keep it simple
No matter how sophisticated and magical the technology, the monitoring system should be simple. We made ours as simple as plugging in a cable.
The new year is a perfect time to start fresh. Consider these rules as you resolve to improve how you manage your data center operations.