According to Adobe Analytics, in 2017 Americans spent $19.62 billion online over the five-day period from November 23, 2017, through Cyber Monday — $2.6 billion and 15% more than the same timeframe last year. Approximately 58 million people shopped online — compared to 51 million who shopped at brick and mortar stores.
With more shoppers expected to get online during Black Friday through Cyber Monday 2018, data centers processing the online shopping workload can prevent disruptions by using a cognitive data center infrastructure management (DCIM) solution — because a dash of AI and a sprinkle of Machine Learning are the right ingredients to help prevent disruptions. Enhanced with Machine Learning, data center managers can easily capture, normalize, and analyze big data to optimize their facilities to gain visibility into the network events that may lead to shopping disruptions. Shoppers are fickle and will quickly move onto the next product discount if presented with a non-operable website and shopping cart.
Don’t Let Your Data Center be the ‘Fruitcake’ of Holiday Gifts
Using DCIM, data center managers have real-time visibility — from branch circuits all the way to the utility meters. However, DCIM with cognitive abilities can actually predict power needs and learn patterns to establish a power consumption baseline, then forecast fluctuations based on an intelligent system analysis. With this insight, managers can now be better prepared.
Preparing for the Cyber Monday workload is not only about prediction — it’s also about preparation. With DCIM’s ability to optimize power usage, facility operators can find and remove “zombie servers” drawing power, but not processing any workloads, in order to save on power while also creating more room in the rack for devices that will actually contribute to the data center’s operational value.
In addition to prediction and preparation, a DCIM solution will help keep the Dicken’s specter of “future data center faults to come” at bay via:
Operators with real-time visibility into temperature monitoring throughout their facility can minimize failure risk by uncovering hot spots and rearranging load or equipment to avoid overheating. With a cognitive DCIM’s ability to monitor racks, floor, and temperature mapping, equipment can be moved to optimal locations to control hotspots and raise ambient temperature. On average, for every degree ambient temperature increased, facilities can realize a 25% savings on energy costs. This can help leave extra power needed to maintain the hyper e-commerce activities.
Organizations bringing the processing closer to holiday shoppers can speed up transactions and decrease latency with DCIM’s real-time operational insights into the edge devices. This visibility helps operators see all the downstream devices to maintain performance for those digital buyers.
According to IBM’s 2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study by Ponemon Institute, the global average cost of a data breach has increased 6.4% over the previous year to $3.86 million. Security remains a critical consideration for data centers as repositories for personal consumer information as credit card details get exchanged online. Securing facilities against these cyber Grinches is imperative. A DCIM solution adds another level of insight to augment current network security measures, monitoring for malicious and unintentional changes to data center hardware and software assets. Managers can intelligently filter alarms and alerts while prioritizing significant events, either standalone or in complex chains that can affect uptime.
Human error accounts for almost one-quarter of unplanned data center outages—costing millions of dollars in brand-damaging incidents. Preparing for the busiest online shopping day of the year requires managers to test their facility for redundancy and disaster scenarios before millions of shoppers start clicking. DCIM comes equipped with the ability to run “what-if” scenarios to pinpoint the weakest link and single-point-of-failure that may cause the dreaded “lights out” situation, causing managers to miss out on that succulent holiday feast.
With online traffic to increase tenfold or more between Black Friday through Cyber Monday, data center scalability is critical for handling online transaction processing — while preventing downtime. With capacity a crucial component for bandwidth and transaction speeds, a DCIM solution can help determine which servers are operating at maximum capacity and which ones are capable of scaling.
For data center managers seeking a season of peace, using a DCIM solution can offer a guiding star to help navigate past those unfortunate circumstances that will raise unwanted “downtime specters” to ruin a season of joy and prosperity.