The ability to conduct off-site monitoring of data centres has become ever-more critical given social distancing measures as a result of COVID-19.
Protecting data centres has never been more important at a time when digital infrastructure is the engine room of many businesses.
There is no doubt, too, that the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted management teams to rethink how they safeguard such systems. With a greater reliance on people working from home and social distancing limiting the contact between employees and contractors, old ways of dispatching teams to manage data centres are not always practicable. This is especially true in remote locations.
In such an environment, digital monitoring solutions have come to the fore. They use sophisticated technology to allow for the routine maintenance of such data centres at off-site facilities. The fact that such monitoring systems can improve the efficiency and safety of sites while reducing maintenance costs just adds to the business case for their use.
The most obvious advantage of digital monitoring of data centres is being able to check the status of equipment around the clock without the need for time-consuming visual inspections.
Rather than relying on old, hard-wired technology that connects alarms and controls, staff members can monitor a site from any location using an internet connection and a smartphone, laptop or tablet. If assets experience issues or come under threat from events such as storms and fires, a notification is automatically sent to alert head office about the potential threat.
This is beneficial for remote locations, in particular, because operators can track assets at all times and respond quickly to problems that may emerge. The software also facilitates complete reporting and management of all critical services equipment while eliminating human error. With digital monitoring, the ability of sensors to capture accurate data for predictive, scheduled and emergency maintenance also leads to cost efficiencies.
With the right data centre monitoring software in place, facilities can keep an eye on every aspect of their operations – from power consumption and server failures to fire safety and equipment malfunctions – without having to set foot inside the facility.
Even if, for example, servers go down, the technology can be used to issue alerts and work requests to external personnel and ensure that operations are up and running as soon as possible. An added advantage is that staff who are responsible for overseeing sites do not have to be stuck in a control room because monitoring can be done from home, an office or even in the field.
Perhaps most importantly, digital monitoring of data centres provides peace of mind – knowing that valuable IT assets are as safe as possible and just seconds away from being fixed in the event of an incident.
Automating key functions on hazardous sites also reduces the number of workers who could potentially be exposed to harm without reducing the efficiency of the site.
As with any advanced technology, it is important to seek guidance and installation support from experienced suppliers to implement digital monitoring solutions. Act quickly, however. In the wake of the pandemic, such monitoring systems have shifted from being a nice-to-have technology to an essential business tool.
Delta Integrated Systems is a division of Delta Fire Australasia, which specialises in the installation and servicing of fire-suppression solutions to commercial and industrial sites.