Monitoring availability and energy efficiency in data centers

Monitoring availability and energy efficiency in data centers

This article is about energy efficiency of large data centers as well as ensuring availability and how Paessler PRTG Enterprise Monitor can support you with both.

What is energy efficiency?

Basically, this means using less energy for the same task or the same result. For data centers, this implies lower power consumption with the same computing power. Improving energy efficiency in data centers can also reduce energy costs and improve environmental sustainability.

How does energy efficiency relate to data centers?

Data centers are known to require large amounts of energy. The high energy consumption is not only due to the operation of IT equipment, but also for air conditioning and all other environmental parameters that ensure stable operation. Especially in today’s world, sustainability through efficiency plays an increasingly important role for many companies. Many IT professionals do not even know how much power is consumed in their data center and are looking for a solution that measures it.

This is where Paessler PRTG Enterprise Monitor comes in! Our monitoring software paves the way to high availability and can also help you to reduce energy consumption.

Optimization of energy efficiency

Power supply and power consumption efficiency are among the most important issues in data center operation, especially in larger companies. First and foremost, the power supply for IT and equipment must be guaranteed at all times. However, in times of rising energy prices, operating costs are also increasing and therefore represent a major part of a company’s total expenses.

Nevertheless, there are also various potentials for optimizing resource consumption. The main focus here is to have a holistic view of the corresponding infrastructure of the data center(s) as well as the IT systems. PRTG Enterprise Monitor creates the necessary transparency and enables a comprehensive analysis. In this way, current IT workloads, excessive reserves, redundancies or backups that may not even be required can be identified and optimized to help to save energy.

How to ensure data center availability?

Large data centers are divided into zones to ensure that they are operating in an efficient and secure manner. Zoning within a data center is typically driven by the needs of the IT infrastructure and the physical constraints of the building. Some common zones in a data canters are:

When talking about availability in data centers, availability tiers cannot be ignored. The tier system is widely used in the industry to classify data centers based on availability and was developed by the Uptime Institute, a leading data center research and consulting organization.

Every IT administrator or IT responsible person has the goal of avoiding downtime at all costs. Not only does downtime mean annoyed users, it can also quickly lead to financial losses for a company. Today, the availability of business services goes hand in hand with the availability of IT services.

Also readQuit playing games with the heart of your IT

Especially for MSPs, customer satisfaction is critical, so there is no room for unavailable or non-functioning business environments. For this reason, any interruption of services needs to be a thing of the past!

What availability of IT services means

In the same way that an IP packet travels from the physical to the application layer, network monitoring needs to cover all aspects from the Ethernet connection to the residing service.

This means that if you want to monitor the availability of an IT service like a web shop that is hosted on a virtualization host, for example, you also need to monitor all underlying layers including the physical machine, the virtualization platform, the operating system, and the application.

Ensuring availability of monitoring systems in data centers

But this is just one example. The larger a company is, the larger and more complex its IT infrastructure and its data centers (which are typically distributed across a city, a country or even the world) are. Paessler PRTG Enterprise Monitor includes all the sensors you need to monitor the availability of all systems and services. These are especially:

  • Email availability
  • Server availability
  • Bandwidth availability
  • Network availability
  • and much more

99% availability is not enough

99% availability means a downtime of 87.7 hours per year, which is equivalent to 3.65 days. When it comes to the availability of your website, servers, and databases, only one figure matters: 99.999%, which means downtime of just 5 minutes per year. This number is the indicator for the high availability of your data center and PRTG helps you to achieve this ambitious goal. Reduce downtime and enjoy a significantly more reliable data center.

This overview shows the various availability classes:                                            

Class 2: 99% = 87.7 hours of downtime per year

Class 3: 99.9% = 8.45 hours of downtime per year

Class 4: 99.99% = 52 minutes of downtime per year

Class 5: 99.999% = 5 minutes of downtime per year

(figures are rounded)

This is a contribution by Paessler.