Moving, Moving, Moving, Keep that Data Center Moving!



The data center is the lifeblood of any large organization. Servers critical to your day-to-day operation sit on racks using power, generating heat, and causing application owners stress. A minor outage in a data center can represent millions of dollars an hour in lost revenue while a major outage can hugely impact the bottom line revenue of your company. Add to this the fact that the physical location of your data center can be a major factor in reliability and availability and the data center can be seen as a huge headache.

One of the scariest and most dangerous things an organization can undertake is moving a data center. Whether that move is around the corner or across the country, the dangers involved in moving your data center can be huge. Here are some questions you should think about prior to beginning your data center move:

  1. How can I know what applications are running in my data center?
  2. How can I make sure I know all the applications running on each server?
  3. Who is accessing what resources in my data center?
  4. What time do people access these resources most?
  5. From which of my locations are people accessing data center resources?
  6. Has my users’ experience changed as a result of the move?
  7. What resources does my application depend on?

When planning for your data center move how can you answer these questions in a way that is both easy and robust? How can you get lists of the applications running on which servers being accessed by what users during what times? With this information a data center move becomes a carefully controlled exercise as opposed to a free for all resulting in possible downtime, revenue loss, and major problems.

Riverbed SteelCentral NetProfiler provide the answer to all these questions and more. With a properly deployed NetProfiler solution you can get visibility into exactly what is happening in your data center.

  • Easily identify which resources in the data center are being accessed by which users
  • Quickly determine the location of users accessing the datacenter and the specific resources within the data center they are accessing
  • See what applications are running on the wire at the top layer

By leveraging NetProfiler’s ability to take flow data from multiple sources and combine that information with packet data gathered by NetShark and AppResponse you are able to get both a broad and deep view of what is happening in your data center and across your network. That information can be easily accessed via the built-in discovery, mapping and reporting in NetProfiler to provide detailed reports showing answers to your most critical questions:

What applications are running in my datacenter?Figure 1: What applications are running in my datac enter?

Figure 2: What clients are accessing the application?

Figure 3: What times do people access the application?

Once the server has been moved you need to make sure the end user’s experience is at least as good as it was and hopefully better. NetProfler allow you to view user experience information and compare that information to a previous time frame making it easy to see what the user is experiencing both before and after the move.

Figure 4: Traffic report showing end user experience compared
to a week ago (before and after a server move)

If your needs go beyond simple lists and tables NetProfiler has a solution for that. You can easily build out a service map graphically showing all the dependencies of a single application. This map can include performance information and can be used to pivot to drill in further on specific segments.

Figure 5: Service map showing application components

The process of moving a data center is never easy. The physical requirements of packing up dozens, hundreds or even thousands of servers and moving them from one location to another can be daunting. Ensuring those servers get safely to the new location and are properly racked and connected is a challenge. Identifying the people who need access to the resources, making sure they have that access, and that their experience is the same or better can make or break a datacenter move. It can be a huge undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be with SteelCentral NetProfiler.


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