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data center

The Message for Smart Data Centers Being Heard Loud and Clear

October 22, 2009

As the need to optimize the physical infrastructure through simplification, increased agility and operational efficiency comes into greater focus, it's clear the message for smart data centers and a unified physical infrastructure is resonating with enterprises.

I had the opportunity to speak recently with Panduit's Mike Pula, the company's analyst relations manager, and he explained how Panduit's relationship with industry leading advisor and research firm Gartner has formed a coalition to promote a reduction in risk for customers. Companies have the opportunity to ultimately turn today's improvements in IT infrastructure and process efficiency into business advantages in the near and far future.   "One of the key messages that both of us embrace is risk reduction for our clients," Pula said.

Panduit and Oracle: Unifying the Entire Enterprise Infrastructure

October 18, 2009

For those you who have been following the latest developments at Panduit, you'll know a key focus for the company is driving efficiency in data center environments through the concept of a unified physical infrastructure. The concept allows for more efficient resource utilization and management, resulting in increased operational and cost efficiencies as well a more reliable and sustainable infrastructure.   A key part of the initiative is to help drive eco-sustainability across entire enterprise infrastructures, which is something Panduit itself has made part of its corporate culture for more than 50 years, according to Anil Maheshwari, Director of Marketing at Panduit.   "Panduit embraces 'lean and green' as a core value, and we partner with companies to drive agility, sustainability, efficiency, and, in particular the green IT element, which we drive through savings in power, cooling, space, and energy," Maheshwari told TMC's Amy Tierney in a recent podcast interview.   Panduit's solutions drive unification in the physical layer of the data center, but its work in driving that extends beyond its own solutions, and even beyond the physical infrastructure, to helping businesses unify their logical infrastructures as well.   Even in its own facilities, Panduit leverages Oracle's solutions to streamline operations and drive eco-sustainability. By working in a paperless order processing environment, for instance, it has saved more than 2.2 million pages of paper. Using Oracle software, is also is able to ensure conformity to ISO and ROHS standards for more efficient operations across its global facilities.   "Our company's whole culture has been around resource savings and efficiencies, so we have been a good example of a socially responsible and resource-efficient company," says Maheshwari.   As a testament to its use of Oracle software to drive eco-friendliness, Panduit was named a winner of Oracle's "Enable the Eco-Enterprise Awards" recently. Through a combination of Oracle software and its own UPI-based solutions, Panduit has established itself as a model for eco-sustainable businesses worldwide.   Business that are already using Oracle to unify and consolidate operations at the logical layer can now extend similar efficiencies to their physical infrastructures leveraging Panduit technologies to build on the savings and process improvements they achieve with Oracle. Combing solutions from the two companies, businesses can achieve a completely integrated network infrastructure across the entire enterprise.   "This award validates our strategy," Maheshwari told Tierney. "People are recognizing the value of UPI-based solutions to drive agility, efficiency, flexibility, reliability, sustainability. This helps us a lot in getting the word out."   To hear more about how Panduit is leveraging Oracle solutions to benefit its customers, listen to the podcast here, and for more on how Panduit is helping enterprises create more efficient and sustainable data centers, visit the Smart Data Centers micro-site on TMCnet.

Panduit's Inlet Duct System for Optimized Cooling in Data Centers

October 18, 2009

Data centers are rapidly becoming a more critical - perhaps the most critical - part of enterprises' overall infrastructures. They house the information and applications that are required to maintain operations and, as such, must not only provide realizable access to their resources, but are also becoming a key target for ways to increase operational efficiencies and reduce overall operational costs. Today's smart businesses have realized that the key to their long-term sustainability is a smart data center.   Panduit's Net-Access line of data center cabinets are part of the company's greater initiative to drive operational efficiencies, reliability, and cost-effectiveness in data centers, along with supporting Green IT initiatives globally. The Net-Access line is designed to optimize the benefits data centers received when they subscribe to Panduit's unified physical infrastructure vision and is a key component for supporting long-term sustainability.   The Net-Access line includes passive cooling solutions - those that don't require additional power resources to create greater efficiency - like passive ducting, which create as much as a 25 percent increase in thermal efficiency.   Recently, Panduit announced it new inlet duct system designed to increase the amount of cool air to 1RU switches by providing a direct path to the air intakes on the sides of the switches. This increase cooling capability will help efficiently cool switches in the Net-Access cabinets, which now are designed to house 45RU (as opposed to the traditional 42RU). The inlet duct system has also been proven compatible with Cisco's Catalyst 4948, 4928, and 4924 switches, providing an instant benefit to Panduit customers deploying Cisco infrastructure - Cisco is one of Panduit's key strategic partners is driving sustainability, reliability, and efficiency in data centers.   The new cabinet features provide added incentive to data centers looking to cut costs while driving operational efficiencies, and are a critical part of data center design and deployment, because they typically have three times the lifespan of the switches and servers they house. At a time when cost savings are as crucial to business success, the ability to save on power through more efficient cooling makes more sense than ever.   For more, read Erin Harrison's article on the inlet duct system, and visit the Smart Data Centers community for more on how Panduit is driving data center efficiency and reliability.

UPI Strategies for Smart Data Centers: 100Gig is the Future

October 18, 2009

As today's date centers begin to reach their capacity, migrating to a unified physical infrastructure will bring significant cost-savings, efficiencies and more uptime for customers. In a recent webcast featuring market segment partners Panduit and Cisco, experts delved into the "hot" topic of data center availability and how it correlates with unified physical infrastructure.

 

In order to expand your data center's footprint, there are several different logical and physical elements that tie together to make such a deployment successful. The current trend in data center availability - as explained by Panduit's Marc Naese - is the evolution from 1Gig to 10Gig, and the company is even now starting to tackle requests for 40Gig and 100Gig systems. To echo Naese, understanding what these capacities look like is absolutely critical to understanding your physical infrastructure needs.

Achieving Sustainability, Longevity through Global Commitment

October 9, 2009

Whether or not they have implemented let alone realized it yet, enterprises today are in need of flexible, end-to-end solutions for their physical infrastructure in order to drive operational and financial advantages that allow companies to mitigate risk while heightening business agility. That may sound like a lot to swallow, but looking at long-term needs and implementing solutions now will allow companies to remain competitive in the next economy and beyond.

 

At first glance, one might think that Panduit is solely a huge manufacturer of the kind of hardware found in data centers and the network itself: cables, connectors, cabinets, racks, etc. In actuality, Panduit is also a developer and provider of industry-leading solutions that help customers optimize their physical infrastructure.  The company's UPI-based solutions can help customer's reduce the carbon footprint of their data centers and intelligent buildings and optimize energy use and maximize resource efficiency across all operations.

Smart Data Centers: Not a One-Size Fits All Solution

September 29, 2009

With convergence now a critical focal point for IT decision makers looking to increase business flexibility, data centers need to achieve unprecedented levels of uptime to keep pace with business demands. The amount of data in the world is doubling at an astounding rate of every 18 months, and there is no "one-size fits all" solution for companies to manage these precious assets.
Ensuring minimal interruptions, and thus designing and implementing the right data center solution, is vital for enterprises today - and every solution is not quite the same. That said, industry standards dictate that products must be of a certain quality, however given the rapid pace of growth in this area, the industry norm may in fact not be enough as it pertains to the heightened dependence on data centers.
According to a recent article written by Panduit's Tom Turner, there are certain standards and testing for products to ensure they are safe, but not necessarily for performance and reliability. The Tinley Park, Ill.-based company implicitly understands that ensuring consistent connectivity - which depends on a reliable grounding system - demands a higher benchmark.   Turner wrote: "Agencies such as UL and CSA create standards and perform testing to help ensure that products are safe.

Trends Shaping the Next Generation Data Center

September 28, 2009

As enterprises grow, their requirements for access to data center applications and services grows at least as quickly, which is driving many of businesses to build out new data centers or enhance the capabilities of their existing ones.   Underlying this general trend, which includes data center optimization, increased efficiency, and risk mitigation via a converged physical infrastructure such as that defined by Panduit, are several other factors that are resulting in data center executives to look closely at how they are developing their data centers.   During a recent videocast focusing on data center evolution, Garter research vice president Mark Fabbi outlined four trends that are helping drive next generation data center design: regulation and compliance, flexibility and agility, cost, and Green IT - all of which are pushing data centers toward a three-step process that includes consolidation, virtualization, and automation.   Regulation and Compliance In order to meet regulatory requirements, most data centers are looking to increase their control over data through centralization of storage and servers, which is driving many of the consolidation projects - which are an ideal opportunity to leverage Panduit's ideal of a converged, all-IP physical infrastructure.    Flexibility and Agility On its surface, the need for more real-time access to data and services from more places, including mobile and remote workers, seems to contradict the desire for increased control. However, the growing movement toward virtualization and automation is helping achieve both goals.   Cost Savings The down economy, which seemingly has flattened out somewhat, only heightened an existing movement to cut costs across businesses, and resulted in an increased need to justify investments, perhaps more than ever before. Consolidation, virtualization, and automation are well suited to helping lower data center CAPEX and OPEX.   Green IT There is a global movement towards eco-friendly technologies, partially as a function of cost saving initiatives, but it also involves other, global environmental issues that more and more businesses are considering as they make technology decisions. This also increases the focus on consolidation, virtualization, and automation.   Each of these trends is helping drive consolidation, virtualization, and automation. Consolidation allows for the sharing of assets between resources, so they can be repurposed for multiple uses. Then, virtualization and automation can be leveraged to allow faster, easier access to resources to increase operational efficiency across the enterprise, along with cost savings. They also play well into Green IT initiatives, as they help decrease the physical footprint of data center technology, and are designed to reduce power consumption and, consequently, cooling requirements.   These four trends, which represent the changing requirements placed on data centers, combine to increase the focus data center infrastructure components, particularly as the interact with one another. Specifically, with the ever-changing requirements being placed on data center assets, the infrastructure must be able to accommodate that evolution without having to be re-engineered each time.    That requires insight into the entire infrastructure, including not only the applications and other assets, but the servers and switches, cabling, security, power and cooling, and all other components that allow the data center to operate efficiently. In other words, the physical infrastructure becomes a moving part in the business process, rather than a static transport mechanism, which requires a holistic approach to designing, deploying, and managing the entire data center.   That's where Panduit, along with its partners is making a difference by adding intelligence into the data center to allow it to become more agile, more efficient, and more cost effective. According to Fabbi, infrastructure vendors must have a broad, comprehensive range of solutions to address the many data center systems that must be integrated into a single, united entity. Panduit and its partners bring those end-to-end solutions to the data center market, driving tighter integration between not only data center infrastructure systems, but also between the data center end the enterprise businesses they support.   Watch to full videocast to see more of how Gartner views data center evolution, and how Panduit and some of its partners are addressing data center pain points to help them become more agile, more cost effective, and more operationally efficient.   For more on Panduit's UPI vision, and its high-speed transport and green data center solutions, visit the Smart Data Centers community.   

Panduit and EMC Combine to Increase Data Center Efficiency

September 26, 2009

As the adoption of IP-based communications technologies continues to grow, the convergence of voice, video, and data traffic over a single media IP enables is creating a need for businesses to improve their system uptime and overall service levels across their networks. That necessarily includes their data centers, which, as more advanced and robust applications are developed, also increased bandwidth needs as they become mission critical elements of a successful enterprise.   Of course, with the increased focus data centers receive due to their critical nature, they also become a greater part of enterprise cost saving initiatives.   Combining the need to optimize data center performance and increase their security with the need to reduce operational expenses, Panduit has been focusing on methods to consolidate data center physical infrastructures in a way that will meet all of these needs, along with creating more energy efficient and eco-friendly "smart data centers."   The approach is embodied in its Unified Physical Infrastructure vision, or UPI, which, as TMC's Erin Harrison writes, "leverages intelligent physical infrastructures as the foundation to enable convergence across communication, computing, control, power, and security systems." Those five components, as Panduit's vice president of global marketing Vineeth Ram explains, are part of any data center operation, and can be tightly integrated under a single, unified management system to increase operation effectiveness and create a more energy efficient environment.   A key part of driving operational efficiency and minimizing risk lies in the ability to automate processes. Panduit has recently enabled integration of its PIM (Physical Infrastructure Manager) software with EMC's Ionix software to facilitate increased visibility and control of physical infrastructure components.    Panduit's software provides a Web-based utility for automating the documentation of network connectivity, change notification, asset management and reporting, and virtual server mapping. EMC's Ionix further enhances automation by enabling efficient and effective management of both physical and virtual layers, including networks, storage systems, servers, and applications.   By delivering real-time data on the connectivity status of network infrastructure to EMC Ionix, Panduit and EMC helps enable more efficient monitoring, management, and automation of network tasks. The combined solution helps network administrators react quickly to alarm situations, manage configuration changes, apply policy settings, ensure compliance, and generally adapt quickly to evolving connectivity requirements.   The collaboration helps drive the UPI vision, and allows businesses to improve their data center reliability, reduce operational expenses, become more agile and sustainable, and drive Green IT initiatives, especially as they continue to leverage virtualization and cloud computing strategies.   Read more about Panduit's UPI vision and the solutions it has developed to drive that vision to market on the Smart Data Centers community.  

CDW Report: Energy Efficient IT Yield Savings, Yet Millions Are Still Wasted (and Environment Harmed)

September 9, 2009

A new, and telling, report by CDW on energy efficient IT is at first glance is positive, that more firms are successfully doing more to boost energy efficiency, and those that do achieve savings that ultimately translate into fewer dangerous emissions from their operations. 

Yet the report also reveals that efficiency too often takes a back seat to other considerations like purchase price. A point that serves as a stark reminder that unless the costs and subsequent financial pain of pollution--and this blog has outlined them in spades--is felt by the users i.e. those who pollute directly and indirectly no real progress will be made to stabilize let alone clean up the environment.

Here are highlights:

Comparing (green) apples-to-apples

December 19, 2008

It would be very helpful for technology buyers interested in buying green and in doing so saving money if there could be a series of objectively researched-and-well publicized energy/environmental footprint data and costs for these solutions. If such documentation exists please forward that to me.

Yes, it is true, that the suppliers are providing case histories showing such data. A case in point is Netezza, which makes data warehousing appliances. The firm demonstrated that its product at 3 terabytes (TB) enabled a customer, the UK's Orange, to cut power demand by 2/3rds, from 25kW/hour to 7kW/hour and sliced cooling requirements by 72 percent compared with and from the incumbent Informix/Sun/EMC 1.5 TB configuration.

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