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Where the Cloud Touches Down: Simplifying Data Center Infrastructure Management

Thursday, July 25, 2013
10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET

In most data centers, DCIM rests on a shaky foundation of manual record keeping and scattered documentation. OpManager replaces data center documentation with a single repository for data, QRCodes for asset tracking, accurate 3D mapping of asset locations, and a configuration management database (CMDB). In this webcast, sponsored by ManageEngine, you will see how a real-world datacenter mapping stored in racktables gets imported into OpManager, which then provides a 3D visualization of where assets actually are. You'll also see how the QR Code generator helps you make the link between real assets and the monitoring world, and how the layered CMDB provides a single point of view for all your configuration data.

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A Network Computing Webinar:
SDN First Steps

Thursday, August 8, 2013
11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET

This webinar will help attendees understand the overall concept of SDN and its benefits, describe the different conceptual approaches to SDN, and examine the various technologies, both proprietary and open source, that are emerging. It will also help users decide whether SDN makes sense in their environment, and outline the first steps IT can take for testing SDN technologies.

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Power Assure Optimizes Data Center Power

Power Assure has introduced Dynamic Power Optimization, software that allows  IT administrators to reduce data center power consumption by more than half without reducing service levels. This is achieved through balancing server capacity, performance and availability. Dynamic Power Optimization includes a virtualization manager for VMware, Citrix, Xen and PowerVM. In addition, the company announced Dynamic Power Management 3.5, which provides predictive analysis and includes product details for more than 10,000 items from more than 500 vendors. The software collects information in real time on both physical and virtual appliances, while a Power Assure analytic engine calculates energy demand.

The Office of Management and Budget and the White House have challenged all federal agencies to reduce power consumption by 30 percent in their data centers. NASA has about 100 in ten facilities. "You can't manage what you can't measure," says Chris Kemp, NASA's chief technology officer for IT. "I want to be on the list of agencies that can quantifiably demonstrate they've done that." But NASA needs to find out how much power it's using in the first place. "NASA operates every piece of infrastructure ever sold," he says. "If it exists, it's in one of our data centers. How do we collect all that data and do anything meaningful?"

The Power Assure products collect data feeds from his hardware--including writing an interface if there isn't one--and aggregate it on one dashboard. The agency will implement metering and monitoring in its data centers in the first half of 2011, and when that's complete, he will have visibility across all data centers on an agency level.

The software lets IT administrators dynamically adjust capacity through run books, which include automated adjustments as well as processes performed manually or via approval. After adjustments are made, the software verifies the new power levels and the whole process begins again.

This sort of power-aware workload orchestration is an essential step in producing an infrastructure that makes best use of resources and minimizes power consumption, says Nik Simpson, senior research analyst at The Burton Group. The Power Assure product could help users decrease their energy bill while simultaneously decreasing the likelihood of downtime, agrees Katie Broderick, senior research analyst for servers and data centers at IDC. It's smart of Power Assure not to reinvent the wheel in terms of monitoring data center equipment, instead using what data center managers already have in place, Broderick adds.

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