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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Intel Talks State of Data Center Health Management Strategy 2017

interview intel 2017 survey 

A new report was launched today titled, "The State of Data Center Health Management Strategy 2017," which was commissioned by Intel and Siemens.  It illustrates the challenges and opportunities in data center health management adoption - a proactive approach which encourages periodical "health checks" that empower DCMs/IT to stay on the pulse of their facilities in order to maintain business continuity.  The data reflects the experiences of 200 IT decision makers involved in data center management including CIOs, CTOs, senior managers, VP of IT roles in both the US and UK.

When conservative estimates say data center outages cost more than three-quarters of a million dollars, companies that fail to prevent outages and mitigate downtime leave money on the table - according to the study, 1 in 10 business still take the risk.  To learn more, I spoke with Jeff Klaus, GM of Data Center Management Solutions at Intel.

VMblog:  What surprised you the most about the findings in this report?  Beyond the surprises, what were some of the other key findings that came out of the survey that are important or interesting?

Jeff Klaus:  In an era where widespread outages are gaining mainstream media attention and subsequently cause major brand and financial damage, what is still shocking is that most companies who implemented a health management strategy did so reactively. Typically integrating a health management plan occurred following a big event, like an outage or being forced by the C-suite.

The other piece that is interesting to note is that of those who do have a health management check in place, 20 percent are doing this manually - either walking the floor or leveraging a spreadsheet of sorts. Considering that a DCIM solution is typically in place to perform health management checks, this could infer that 20 percent of data center managers aren't necessarily utilizing their current solution to the best of its ability.

VMblog:  It seems obvious that a health management strategy should be in place, but why isn't this the case for several organizations?

Klaus:  As the data reveals, a health management strategy just isn't at the top of the priority list, making it a reactive function noted by 37 percent of respondents who only perform health checks if something has gone wrong. Additionally, another 30 percent cited they lacked the appropriate resources or time to get the job done. The data showcases that unless a company has been burned - experiencing some type of downtime that truly impacted business continuity - health management checks are a "nice to have" but not something that has become part of data center manager's core job function or routine.

VMblog:  What do you see as the biggest barriers to widespread adoption?

Klaus:  Based on day to day conversations with data center managers, which largely echoes the sentiment of the data, the biggest barriers are a lack of education on the benefits of implementing a proactive heath management strategy. With the average data center outage costing even the most sophisticated enterprises three-quarters of a million dollars, it seems obvious that regularly checking in on the performance, temperature and physical shape of your data center environment would become second nature. The fact that we aren't there yet shows that more education on how to leverage existing DCIM solutions to perform these health checks is needed. What's more, as with any new program the only way to successfully implement a health management strategy is getting the buy in from everyone on the team - from data center manager up to the C-suite - where each member of the team understands the value and benefit of adding the additional program to their already busy workload.

VMblog:  What are some tips and best practices for implementing a data center health management strategy in 2018?

Klaus:  For one, those that are considering a health management strategy in the new year need to start having the conversations with their teams. Why does this matter to our particular organization? How can we make this work with our current solutions and team? Who will own the health checks? How will we report on our findings and implement any necessary changes? From here teams should feel much more empowered to implement a strategy that works well within their organization as it's not a one size fits all approach. An organization has the flexibility to make this strategy custom tailored - maybe the health check is performed monthly, quarterly or bi-yearly, the DCM could own performing the check and reporting but IT could handle any updates/repairs based on the findings. The idea being that the most successful programs are going to be those that are attainable and realistic within each individual enterprise. 


About Jeff Klaus, GM of Data Center Solutions, Intel

As General Manager of Intel® Data Center Management Solutions, Jeff Klaus leads a global team that designs, builds, sells and supports Data Center software products through an extensive distribution network. Since joining Intel in 2000, Klaus built and maintains the largest global distribution ecosystem of middleware solutions through Server Hardware OEMs, Software Infrastructure Management Providers and Cloud Service Providers.

As a leader in the Data Center infrastructure industry, his group currently sells Intel® Virtual Gateway access management and Intel® Data Center Manager (DCM), the only software that provides real-time, server-level telemetry data and power management across a wide range of data center servers and IT devices.

An active member within the Software Defined Solutions space, Klaus serves on the Board of Directors for the Green IT Council and has presented multiple keynotes at leading industry conferences, including Gartner Data Center, AFCOM's Data Center World, the Green IT Symposium, and the Green Gov Conference. As a thought leader within the DCIM community Klaus regularly contributes articles on key data center topics and trends in Forbes, DataCenter Dynamics, Mission Critical, Data Center Post, IT Business Edge, Data Center Knowledge, Information Management and Data Centre Management. 

Klaus earned his BS in Finance at Boston College and his MBA in Marketing at Boston University.

Published Tuesday, October 17, 2017 8:29 AM by David Marshall
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