Tech 10: Software Blockbusters In The Data Center

Making Data Centers Run Efficiently

The heartbeat of all those racks full of servers, storage devices, networking gear, and power equipment in a data center is the software needed to keep everything running in an efficient manner and generating data to manage issues and understand costs.

That software, ranging from simple power shutdown applications to full-blown data center infrastructure management (DCIM), is the subject of this year's "Tech 10: Data Center" list.

The 10 solutions highlighted in this list show a variety of ways to manage different parts of the data center to help squeeze costs and respond quickly to problems, especially problems which have not yet occurred.

10. TSO Logic Delivers Energy Efficiency Dashboard

TSO Logic, a Vancouver, B.C.-based developer of data center energy efficiency software, in April unveiled its Data Center Efficiency Console (DEC), a dashboard with metrics for improving operational and energy efficiency. It provides executives and IT staff with efficiency insights via a shareable widget-style dashboard, including such items as application performance, power consumption and operating costs.

9. APC by Schneider Electric: Network Shutdown Support

APC by Schneider Electric in February released its PowerChute Network Shutdown v3.1, a network-based server shutdown solution that works with APC by Schneider Electric UPS network management cards to enable automatic virtual machine migration and virtual machine and host shutdown in VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V clusters. The goal, according to the West Kingston, R.I., company, is to ensure mission-critical equipment is protected during extended power failures.

8. Raritan Adds Interactive Data Center Map

Somerset, N.J.-based DCIM software developer Raritan in June added an interactive data center map and other automated capabilities to its offering. The new interactive data center map provides a single, easy-to-understand window into data center resources by using red, yellow and green indicators to show potential capacity and health issues, including the potential for exceeding power capacity thresholds, possible redundancy losses and hot spot formation.

7. Rackwise Enhances DCIM

R ackwise in March added single-line power diagram and other capabilities to its DCIM X software as a way to simplify the management of the entire power supply chain from the power utility to individual devices. Rackwise said access to interactive singleline power diagrams provides facilities engineers and managers with a browser-based single-pane-of-glass look at power use and management. It lets users select any data center location and toggle between its physical equipment floor plan and the single-line power diagrams to provide a view of measured power and circuit completeness all along the power chain.

6. Puppet Labs Adds Automated Networking, Storage

Portland, Ore.-based IT automation software developer Puppet Labs in June unveiled the Puppet Supported Program, which certifies networking and storage devices to work with its Puppet Enterprise automated server automation solution. Among the first to be certified for Puppet Enterprise are devices from Arista Networks, Brocade, Cisco Systems, Cumulus Networks, Dell, EMC, F5, Huawei and NetApp.

5. Panduit's DCIM Solution For Small Data Centers

The new SmartZone Rack Energy Kits, unveiled in May, is the Tinley Park, Ill.-based company’s way to help smaller data centers cost-effectively integrate DCIM. The kits include a combination of software, gateways, sensors, patch cords, rack PDUs and inline meters to help customers add intelligence to new or existing data centers, making it possible for smaller data centers to take advantage of DCIM.

4. Nlyte Connects DCIM With ITSM

Nlyte Software, San Mateo, Calif., in June released a new integration framework that ties its IT service management (ITSM) software to its DCIM solution as a way to better tie IT spending and business value to data center management. Nlyte said the integration framework enables easy connection of data sets and processes across systems to eliminate one-time integration approaches.

3. Kaseya Cloud-Based Management Software

Version 7 of Waltham, Mass.-based Kaseya’s cloud-based IT management software includes a new remote control module in the Kaseya Virtual System Administrator that provides near instantaneous reliable remote management connections over highlatency networks. Also new is integrated network monitoring with single-screen management of entire IT environments, simplified management and administration of Microsoft SharePoint Online, and enhanced mobile device application support for company-owned and personal devices.

2. Geist's New Environet DCIM Solution

Version 4 of the Environet DCIM solution from Lincoln, Neb.- based Geist includes new asset management tools for tracking rack equipment in the data center, letting it span across traditional IT and facilities DCIM solutions. Environet 4 lets users visualize and associate rack equipment with real-time power usage data to monitor energy consumption at the circuit and rack level, making it easier to load cabinets with the maximum capacity supported by the data center infrastructure, according to Geist.

1. AccelOps Enhances IT Network Security

AccelOps, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based developer of the AccelOps IT operations analytic platform for single-screen security, performance and compliance monitoring, in July released its fourth-generation version. Some of the new features include statistical anomaly detection, a machine-learning algorithm to profile traffic and metrics for all networked devices to trigger alerts if anomalies are detected; InTeleport to allow remote site managers, MSPs and MSSPs to tunnel into any server for management purposes; and the creation of watch lists of users, websites or applications, and more.