Creating the basis for an efficient
and reliable data center
Whether cloud, hybrid cloud or "on premise": In the end, IT takes place on physical computers
located in a building – the data center. Availability and reliability of the
infrastructure and building services engineering are essential for everyday operability.
Avoid downtimes and control your environmental factors
IT takes place on physical computers located in a building – the data center. The availability and reliability of the applications operated here therefore depend on two factors that usually do not have much in common: classic IT, i.e. hardware and software, network and infrastructure on the one hand and building services engineering on the other.
In order to ensure the trouble-free operation of a data center, it is essential to keep a constant eye on a whole range of different components, both in IT and in building services engineering, in order to detect faults as early as possible and thus avoid problems, damage and breakdowns. This is where PRTG creates the basis for an efficient and reliably functioning data center keeping an eye on it all:
- IT network and infrastructure
Hardware from server racks, computers and storage systems to switches and routers must be monitored as well as data traffic and applications.
- Building services engineering
Power and cooling are essential to data center operations. Disturbances or even failures cause massive damage, continuous monitoring is essential.
The data center is doubly at risk: On the IT level, DDos attacks, viruses, Trojans and similar threats, on the physical level fire, water and unauthorized intrusion.
PRTG – the right monitoring solution
for your data center
A monitoring solution for your data center must also meet all standard requirements like:
Feature set, usability, price performance ratio, licensing, implementation effort, technical support.
But, in this case you should pay special attention to the following aspects:
Monitoring as a basis for optimization
Monitoring generates data on condition and availability. This data can form the basis for long-term optimization. This can affect many areas in the data center: From classic IT and security measures to climate management and power consumption. The monitoring data provides information on trends and consumption peaks, but also on unused resources or overcapacity.
While most monitoring solutions need to aggregate the collected data for performance reasons, PRTG can store monitoring data at the original interval thanks to its integrated database. This provides a precise basis for long-term data analysis and optimization.
Overview and deepdive in one
Network, IT infrastructure, security, building services: comprehensive monitoring of a data center quickly brings together a great many details. It becomes difficult to maintain an overview and to correctly interpret and prioritize the mass of notifications and alarms.
PRTG can be used to define processes: Numerous individual components can be combined as business process or IT service and prioritized accordingly.
Processes, as well as details, can be mapped in individual maps and dashboards using the web interface or the desktop client. Whether it is a central interface in the NOC or customized dashboards for specialists - PRTG provides the optimal overview for everyone.
Data center security
Security for classic IT risks as well as building automation technology and environmental factors is a central aspect: Overheating or even cable fire, leaks in air conditioning systems as well as unauthorized intrusion can cause massive damage.
A monitoring is required to detect air humidity and room temperature, smoke and other environmental influences as well as unauthorized intrusion and IT security components such as firewalls, virus scanners or intrusion detection systems.
PRTG is able to monitor all these sensors and systems 24/7 with regard to availability and function and at the same time collect the surveillance data, display it within dashboards and integrate it into a central alarm system.
PRTG: One solution for the
entire data center
Whether IT, building services or security systems: PRTG Network Monitor is able to comprehensively monitor all components of a data center. PRTG can summarize details in processes and map them for the responsible employees or teams. This way the software creates an overview and delivers the necessary detailed information as needed. PRTG alerts on all common channels if necessary, but at the same time reduces unwanted "alert noise" by sending only relevant alerts to the responsible employees. In the long run PRTG helps to optimize the data center on all levels and thus permanently reduce resource consumption as well as operating costs.
All data at a glance with PRTG
Paessler named Gartner Peer Insights Customers' Choice in the category IT Infrastructure Monitoring Tools.
“Excellent tool for detailed monitoring. Alarms and notifications work greatly. Equipment addition is straight forward and server initial setup is very easy. ...feel safe to purchase it if you intend to monitor a large networking landscape.”
Infrastructure and Operations Engineer in the Communications Industry, firm size 10B - 30B USD
PRTG: perfect for monitoring data centers
With PRTG, Paessler offers a comprehensive monitoring solution including all features
required for monitoring data centers.
Monitoring of the IT environment
PRTG monitors the whole IT environment – from network and traffic monitoring via flow, sniffing or SNMP to the complete infrastructure as well as security tools. PRTG provides all functionalities with each license:
- Monitoring virtually all IT components using sensors, i.e. predefined measuring points for device aspects
- Over 250 "ready-made" sensor types as well as customization options using templates, custom sensors and a flexible APIs
- Largely automatable definition of individual threshold values and escalation paths
- Integrated database for alarms and long-term analyses
- Simple publication of monitoring results in dashboards, maps and reports
- Support of all common alerting methods
- Mobile Apps for IOS and Android
Monitoring of building services engineering
Thanks to its comprehensive monitoring functionality, PRTG offers a suitable basis for processing monitoring data for building services engineering. PRTG offers three main options for data collection:
- Query via SNMP or API
Many devices in building services engineering support SNMP or the possibility of query via defined interfaces.
- Direct data acquisition via Modbus TCP and OPC UA
PRTG offers the possibility to directly query numerous devices from the field of building services engineering integrating them into a central monitoring system
- Integration with communication solutions
PRTG integrates seamlessly with gateways such as INSYS icom or Orchestra from soffico. These solutions can receive data in virtually any industrial format and translate it into IT formats that PRTG receives and processes.
Furthermore, with the free PRTG Node-RED Connector, Paessler offers an additional option to read and process data from building services engineering via other protocols such as BACnet.
Save costs thanks to integration
The integration of third-party communication solutions offers large potential for cost saving: Many, above all older components in the building services engineering communicate still over serial interfaces. The upgrade of these devices with parallel network interfaces is complex and expensive. Gateways like INSYS icom receive and translate serial data and forward it directly to PRTG.
Power in the data center
Power supply and consumption are among the key issues in data center operations. The power supply must be guaranteed at all times. Power failures lead to massive outrages, SLAs are violated, enormous costs are incurred. To compensate for power outages, data centers usually have two emergency systems:
The uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is usually provided by battery-powered devices that can bridge short local power failures or compensate for local voltage fluctuations. In case of failure of the general power supply, UPS devices bridge the start-up time of the generator of an AEV system. It is important to monitor the battery charge and bridging time.
General Electricity Supply (AEV) systems often consist of generators. They take over the power supply if the general power supply fails. Depending on the technology used, tank levels have to be monitored, but the operating temperature can also play an important role.
PRTG ensures the power supply monitoring all relevant parameters of UPS devices and AEV systems via SNMP, Modbus TCP, OPC UA or via API.
Additionally, PRTG helps reducing data center operating costs as it constantly monitors the power consumption ensuring adequate power supply as well as the basis for power consumption optimization.
Heat in the data center
Computers generate heat and suffer from it. The consequences are possible breakdowns due to overheating and increased wear on IT components. The service life is reduced and operating costs increase. Cooling provides a remedy and is one of the most important aspects of data center operation. But cooling is also resource- and cost-intensive, so cooling in the data center always means a compromise between necessary temperature reduction and reasonable effort. Temperatures that are too low can be a sign of excessive cooling and thus too much effort.
There are three main factors that determine the room temperature:
- Air conditioner inlet and outlet temperature
- The "temperature network", i.e. the temperature at a number of strategically important measuring points
- Hot spots – places where critical temperature deviations occur
The temperature of IT equipment as well as many devices for temperature moniroting can usually be integrated relatively easily via SNMP or an API. But PRTG can also monitor more complicated cases like air conditioning systems, as they are often only accessible via protocols such as Modbus TCP or OPC UA. Irregularities are detected immediately and the cause can be clearly identified. Thus, measures can be taken in time and damage can be avoided.
In addition, PRTG provides the data basis to uncover and minimize unnecessary resource consumption, especially in climate regulation. This saves money and protects the environment.
Different teams, different languages
Both IT and building technology play a decisive role in the operation of the data center. We are talking about two more or less separate worlds that hardly understand each other and are often operated and maintained by different teams. While protocols such as NetFlow, FTP, WMI or HTTP are used in the IT world, communication in building services engineering is usually based on Modbus TCP or OPC UA, sometimes even as serial communication. Only SNMP appears in both worlds, whereby the network protocol plays a much more central role in IT than in building services engineering.
This makes it difficult to get a comprehensive overview of the state of the entire data center, which combines IT and building services engineering in one dashboard. Even if the teams work closely together or even if the entire responsibility lies with one team: Hardly any software on the market can monitor both IT environments and building technology.
PRTG offers a centralized overview to ensure that irregularities, malfunctions or failures can be detected, localized and rectified in time before they grow into serious problems.
The right monitoring solution provides IT teams of data centers with a central overview
of the entire infrastructure and building services engineering. In addition, it has to have three essential characteristics:
Alerting in the event of
specific errors or failures
Data basis for medium-term
and long-term IT optimization
Get more deep-dive information here!
Would you like to discover more about data center monitoring?
Then be sure to check out our inspirational blog posts and case studies.