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Automation Gets The Data Center Under Control

With ever increasing workloads, users, and data, the data center must be built around efficiency and the ability to scale. For that reason, administrators are now deploying some impressive technologies that help with the data center control process.

These technologies have progressed to a point where technological layers are abstracted for easier management and control. To break it down, let’s take a look at what layers of automation and orchestration are available now -- and what might be available in the future.

  • Server layer.It’s no longer about 1-to-1 application server mapping. With high-density computing and the need for greater levels of multi-tenancy, servers are hosting more users and more workloads. Data center administrators don’t have the time to configure individual blades. Now, hardware and server profiles are built in seconds. Admins only need to insert a new blade and allow the server layer automation to take over.
  • Software/application layer. New technologies are able to look at applications running within the datacenter or within the cloud and help automate and control them. A NetScaler for example, sees that a certain type of application is receiving too many connections. From there, an automated process will allow the administrator to provision another instance of the application or a new server that will host the app.
  • Virtual layer. New ways to quickly deliver virtual servers have allowed the data center to become even more virtualized. In using solutions like Citrix Systems Provisioning Server or Unidesk's layering software technologies, administrators are able to take workload provisioning to a whole new level. Furthermore, provisioning services allow for better utilization of storage and resources.
  • Cloud layer. Although still emerging, there are already very large organizations deploying technologies like CloudStack, OpenStack, and OpenNebula. Furthermore, they’re tying these platforms in with big data management solutions like MapR and Hadoop. These layers of integration are creating both big data and cloud-based automation.
  • Data center layer. Imagine a data center that is fully automated with robotics. These robotics are then integrated with server, cloud, and virtualization automation platforms. Seem far-fetched? Fully "lights out" data centers are already exploring these possibilities.

We know that with the rapid changes within the IT world, technologies surrounding datacenter efficiency and automation will continue to evolve. It’s great to be in the data center business right now.