When you're upgrading your datacenter, it's hard to know where to begin, or whether you even need to upgrade at all. Ericsson's Datacenter Automation Platform (DAP) will help you decide, and then help you justify the acquisitions with ongoing performance metrics.

It's hard to know how to improve

Don't be embarrassed if you don't know the answer to the question in the headline. Truth be told, most traditional datacenters manage their resources with an Excel spreadsheet. (In fact, across all industries, the main use for Excel is to act as a stand-in for some other piece of software that isn't yet in the budget.)

No human being, not even one born in a wiring closet and swaddled in fiber-optic cable, is capable of accurately determining, on their own, what additional equipment a datacenter needs in order to be most efficient. Sure, you know when there's a problem: a server crashes, or a process takes too long. But even then, how can you be sure that the problem was a lack of equipment, and not just an inefficient use of the equipment you already have?

The inevitability of heterogeneity

There are so many factors to take into consideration. Capital expenses (capex). Operating expenses (opex). On what basis do you choose the brand of servers and software? In theory, a homogenous environment is easier to manage, but sooner or later, all datacenters end up being more diverse. This broadens the range of services you can provide, but it also makes managing for efficiency more complex. You need a tool to help you determine how to use your resources more efficiently, and to tell you when you need more resources.

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The first vital investment: datacenter automation

Ericsson's Datacenter Automation Platform (DAP) is like a brain for your datacenter. It observes everything that happens, and it gives you your resource utilization rate.

Let's say hypothetically that the rate is 10 percent. But for the same workload, with the same clients, you might have an opportunity to provide better service by spreading the workload out a bit, so that you are using 20 percent of your resources. The DAP will help you see that opportunity.

The DAP tells you how. Some of its recommendations for upgrades may include:

Of course, after you implement DAP's suggestions, it will continue to monitor your datacenter to show you improvements in capex, opex, TCO, and ROI, so you can track the results of your investment.

Then there's the simulator, which functions as a sort of virtual DevOps for your datacenter. It downloads updates and lets you test them in a sandbox environment.

Performance silos

Virtualization is great for flexibility and scalability but sometimes there is a sacrifice in performance. Certain processes are always going to run better in a native, bare metal environment that is right for them. In the interest of making each process run at top performance, silos can develop inside the datacenter. DAP can help avoid this, allowing you to choose whether to optimize a given process for performance, flexibility, or scalability.

Platform-agnostic

DAP will help you optimize your datacenter, even if it's the only Ericsson product that you use.

To explore DAP in more depth, watch DAP Product Manager Jesse Chao explain the benefits of DAP.

We are talking about DAP at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando this week.  Please also check out our new e-book on mastering the digital economy:

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Cloud Infrastructure

Michael Bennett Cohn

Michael Bennett Cohn was head of digital product and revenue operations at Condé Nast, where he created the company's first dynamic system for digital audience cross-pollination. At a traditional boutique ad agency, he founded and ran the digital media buying team, during which time he planned and executed the digital ad campaign that launched the first Amazon Kindle. At Federated Media, where he was the first head of east coast operations, he developed and managed conversational marketing campaigns for top clients including Dell, American Express, and Kraft. He also has a master's degree in cinema-television from the University of Southern California. He lives in Brooklyn.

Michael Bennett Cohn

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