The evolving data center market is moving toward smarter products that are hyper-connected (hint: internet of things), yield more performance data, and are likely to be in edge and module-based data centers. Concurrently, many data center personnel are nearing retirement age, leading to an industry "knowledge-thinning," and high demand for data center management skills. So how does that lead to data center-as-a-service? Steve Lalla, Executive Vice President of Global Services at Vertiv, discusses these topics with Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions in Dana’s “Briefings Direct” podcast on the new era of data center-as-a-service.
Organizations that adopt higher-level solutions by modernizing their data centers, embracing connectivity, and becoming more data-driven will be much better suited to adapt to the future, especially when it comes to edge computing. Steve outlines the method Vertiv uses to help customers ensure uptime and move to a predictive maintenance mentality, rather than break/fix.
- By ensuring all products connect into an as-a-service or a self-service ecosystem, data can be liberated to feed the Vertiv data lake, yielding more data points for more precise predictive service information. Connectivity also allows Vertiv to do more remotely than in person, reducing interruption to customers.
- By managing service as a continuum of self-service to as-a-service, Vertiv can provide a customized level of support to each customer situation.
- By managing and building a data lake combining all connected ecosystems and containing billions of rows of data, Vertiv is continually refining the level of predictive maintenance information. Continuous analysis of this data provides customers with better uptime, better ongoing performance, and, over time, allows tuning of their equipment.
“Connectivity is a super important trend. It will allow us to do more things remotely versus always having to do things in person, which will reduce the amount of interference we, as a provider of services, have on our customers. It will allow them to have better uptime, better ongoing performance, and even over time, allow tuning of their equipment.”
– Steve Lalla
Steve went on to use Vertiv LIFE™ Services as an example of data center-as-a-service benefits. LIFE Services allows customers to use Vertiv for remote monitoring, remote management and analytics, and preventative care of their networks. LIFE Services, with the right data flowing from the connected products, allows Vertiv personnel to take the workload away from the customer and deliver a solution. When customers work with Vertiv to bring their data into the data lake, Vertiv can help them better predict how various elements of their ecosystem will perform. Ongoing data analytics by Vertiv helps them better understand when they need just-in-time service and maintenance versus break/fix service and support.
When discussing the total cost of ownership (TCO) impact of data center-as-a-service, Steve outlined the following:
- By using a predictive form of maintenance, customers can have a much higher first-time fix rate, which means the service tech doesn't have to take the system out of commission more than once, leading to better uptime.
- Through data analytics, Vertiv has a better understanding of the time needed to repair the network. Through performing the service precisely as required the first time, the customer has minimal disruption.
- Finally, and most importantly, Vertiv is beginning to measure service avoidance or service simplification, which is the ability to predict issues and fix them before they escalate, requiring more extensive service or support.
These are all benefits of having a smarter data center that is more connected, and of liberating, consuming, and using data to make better decisions.
Furthermore, not all customers need the complete support of data center-as-a-service. Some customers do most service themselves but value the data that Vertiv can provide to help them maintain and optimize their infrastructure. Data center-as-a-service is highly customizable to whatever organization you are and wherever you are on the continuum of complexity, maturity, and competency.
Dana and Steve close the podcast by discussing the future of smarter, connected products that provide more analyzable data, which will allow us to develop more intelligent, more resilient data center infrastructure.
In closing, Steve predicts:
“As an industry, and certainly at Vertiv, first-time fix, service avoidance, and time for repair are all going to get much better, which means one simple thing for our customers. They are going to have more efficient and well-tuned data centers. They are going to be able to operate with higher rates of uptime. All of those things are going to result in goodness for them — and for us.”
To listen to the entire conversation, visit Dana Gardner’s podcast at BriefingsDirect.com.