PTS: Blog

‘Lights Out’ Data Center Management

In a recent post at The Data Center Journal, titled “Save some money – work with outsiders,” Rakesh Dogra discusses the new trend to minimize power bills using Lights-Out data center and remote management. [As a side note, way back in 2006 we blogged about how “dim” data center designs are a realistic goal for most companies. You can read that post here.]

Dogra explains that the use of these tactics can lead to major cost savings. He suggests that, looking at your IT, security and facilities staff, it is unwise to cut back on security personnel but it may be prudent to use remote management to replace portions of the IT staff. Additional benefits may include:

  • A lesser possibility of accidents and security breaches since fewer people will have physical access to a computer room.
  • Response time is boosted with remote bios level access to a data center’s servers.
  • Geographical independence can also be achieved through this system.

A potential downside of this system is that a “data center will need people within its premises too to fire fight something going wrong like outages. Also, a data center manager may not find someone with the required amount of experience and expertise to fend off crisis when it happens.”

It is surely a best practice to consider operating as ‘lights out’ a data center as possible, as the author suggests.

For PTS, the real secret to realizing operational costs savings from reduced energy consumption has less to do with facility based solutions than it does with IT. Our position is that there is far more operational cost savings potential coming from virtualizing servers and storage.

To prove the point, in 2010, PTS will perform a network re-design effort of our own operations and provide detailed documentation and analysis of the before and after conditions of our data center energy usage. So, stay tuned…