Data Center
November 7, 2016

Tips for Monitoring a Data Center


Performing the correct procedure of monitoring a data center is as important as keeping it running perfectly. The major problem occurred on data center is mostly related to security aspect and performance. If you are one of the administrator team that manage data center, you need to know what part of the data center needs to be monitored. Both server and mainframe deserve monitoring and maintenance above the rest. However, it does not necessarily mean that you can ignore other components on the data center. Here are few tips that you can do to help you monitor your data center.

Monitoring a Data Center for Administrator

  1. Monitoring Strategy

As the administrator, the first thing you need to do is choosing the monitoring strategy. Do not take this strategy lightly since it will determine the next procedure on monitoring a data center. In order to maintain the server and mainframe of your data center perform optimally, you need to move proactively. It means that you need to anticipate any problems related to your data center instead of waiting it from happening and trying to find solution for the problem. You might feel confident that you can handle operational issues that potentially occur on the data center. By preventing it from happening in the first place, you will be able to make sure that you do not have to be troubled by it.

Being proactive when monitoring a data center is surely not an easy task. In order to perform this difficult part, you need to make a list of anything you need to monitor. By gathering the information, you will have sufficient data to analyze. It is not only allows you to prevent the problem, but also make your monitoring procedure more focused. Pay attention to the data storage and server performance. Take the networking in your account since it is also a vulnerable component on data center.

  1. Choosing Tools

In monitoring a data center, tools are required to take care of the mainframe. As administrator, you will notice that mainframe is house for detailed data. Unfortunately, those data come in a great amount. For the same reason, monitoring mainframe is proven to be challenging. Most experts on mainframe also mention the same thing about it. The procedure is not only involving precision, but also patient. In this case, proper tools to monitor the mainframe will come in handy. If you are not choosing the tools wisely, the tools might end up backfire the monitoring process.

Generally, the tools used on monitoring a data center are categorized into three types according to their functions. The first is called as real time monitors. As the name suggests, it gives live view on the mainframe. You will be able to see the progress of your mainframe as it runs. The second tool is near-time monitor. It is specially designed to debug the problem on the mainframe. The post-processor is the last tool for mainframe monitoring. This tool is mostly used to track the trends. It can also be used to help you make summarize about the mainframe performance. Selecting tools wisely should help you monitoring the mainframe easier.

  1. Remote Monitoring

Monitoring a data center should be performed continuously. Unfortunately, as human being, you cannot attend the data center all the time. Rotating system might be applied on the administration team to take part on the monitoring process alternately. Aside from shifting your monitoring task, you can also take advantage of remote server monitoring. By monitoring the server remotely, you will be able to see if there is a problem happening without having to be physically on the location of the data center. At this rate, you might ask why remote monitoring is necessary. Remote monitoring allows you to respond the problem as soon as possible. This will spare you the time to repair greater damage caused by it.

Several tools are available for monitoring a data center remotely. Those tools come with different features. The tools allow you to get insight of what is currently happening on the data center. Information from temperature of the system up to the data storage is able to be monitored from afar. Some advance tools brings the remote monitoring into higher level. They provide access to maintenance the server remotely as well. Despite able to monitor the data center without actually being there, it does not necessarily mean that you can casually leaving your duty on data center. Coming to data center is obligatory even if you have remote monitoring tools on your disposal.

  1. Server Tracking

Tracking the server is crucial aspect when you are monitoring a data center. The best way to do this tracking is by taking advantage of daily logging. Information on log files is valuable. Each daily log corresponds to particular server. If the data center accommodate more than one server, going through the log files will be a daunting task.

In this case, you will need tools to monitor the log file from any servers on your data center. As it goes with most tools you need on monitoring a data center, the tools for this purpose are offered along with several features. Ordinary tools features basic function such as viewing the log files. However, some advance tools for checking the log files comes in better features. They include search function to pin point particular log suitable with search entry. Such tools will speed up the server tracking process.

  1. Linux Tools Benefit

In order to perform the monitoring a data center properly, most experts recommend Linux tools. Tools by Linux are equipped with several beneficial functions. Those tools are mostly good for monitoring and operational procedure. One of the functions offered by Linux tools is able to monitor the system periodically. The information from this monitoring is already in form of viewable graph. The best thing about the graph is it does not take an expert to understand what happened to the data center by reading the graph. Such open source tool is called as Cacti.

Aside from Cacti, Nagios is also recommended tool that can be obtained for free. It is highly recommended for those of you who are monitoring a data center of a complex structure. Along with temperature of the system, this tool is also able to give information related to traffic of the networking. Unfortunately, before able to do their function properly, you will need to configure the tools first. This configuration might need a while to be completed but at the end it will well worth it. Alternatively, you can also use any other tools that can be customized to do particular task of your specific needs as administrator.

Monitoring a data center is your main duty as administrator. However, taking care of the data center itself is not only your job. Other employees from IT department have role to make sure that the data server run properly. Aside from the management, users are also important part on it. The IT management is mostly dealing with approving or rejecting changes applied on the data center. Meanwhile, the users are responsible to reports any problems related to the performance. Follow up will be performed to tackle those problems.