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Issue of November 2005 

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Fast Track

Network uptime in data centres

Gene Hayden

The need for power conditioning at a data centre is a basic necessity these days. Says Gene Hayden, Vice-president, Sales and Marketing, Emerson Network Power, Asia Pacific, “If you have to ensure that the data centre is up and running all the time, you have to ensure that the entire associated infrastructure such as routers, servers, switches, and air-conditioning is drawing power.”

The solution should provide clean and uninterrupted power free of spikes, and harmonises with the mirror images of the complete power system. This allows for online maintenance, since even planned shutdowns for maintenance purposes cannot be considered a part of the uptime process. A configuration feature called Load Bus Synchronisation (LBS) allows redundancy in the form of a mirror image of the complete power system on the lines of internationally-accepted practices. “This can ensure a consistent flow and kept the facility up 24x7,” says Hayden.

Conventionally, redundancy is limited to the source point, which is till the UPS output. So if the UPS crashes, the network is bound to be down. Hayden advises that to avoid such mishaps, the solution should incorporate LBS capabilities so that there is redundancy right at the server level.

CIOs are confronted with another issue—that of space in a data centre. “When servers are used for mission-critical applications and businesses depend on them, maximum uptime becomes an imperative,” remarks Hayden. Self-healing and self-monitoring systems look for signs of breakdown and immediately take corrective action. All this happens in the background without affecting system performance.

Hayden, “One of the primary benefits of DSP is that it can do floating point calculations quickly, thereby permitting equipment to work at a higher frequency. It does multiple functions such as calculation, measurement and monitoring simultaneously.” CIOs who are constantly confronted with issues such as power fluctuations can also look at this technology.

—Venkatesh Ganesh

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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