No Limits Software: Rack Management Platform (RaMP)

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RaMP-Data-Center-Management-Solution
RaMP Data Center Management Solution

No Limits Software solutions eliminate the need for manual audits by automating manual and unreliable processes. The Rack Management Platform (RaMP) solution allows you to understand where the device is located, what power is consumed at the device and rack level, when any physical or logical changes are made, how the device configured and why servers may not be operating in an efficient manner.

  • 100% data accuracy through automated discovery of detailed device information
  • Track device location down to the rack unit
  • Real-time data center auditing for IT asset accounting compliance (SOX, CFR-11)
  • Automated change control to reduce mean time to repair and increase availability
  • Power and environmental monitoring down to the device level
  • Enhanced capacity planning to reduce stranded power and shutdown risks
  • Server monitoring to identify servers which should be retired or consolidated
  • Handheld applications (Blackberry, iPad, iPhone and Android)

RaMP Overview

RaMP-Data-Center-Management
RaMP Data Center Management
No Limits Software solutions eliminate the need for manual audits by automating manual and unreliable processes. The Rack Management Platform (RaMP) solution allows you to understand where the device is located, what power is consumed at the device and rack level, when any physical or logical changes are made, how the device configured and why servers may not be operating in an efficient manner.

Where

  • Where is it? Patent-pending technology locates device down to the rack unit
  • Where do I have capacity for more equipment? Capacity planning based on real values reduces stranded power and shutdown risks

What

  • What is in the rack? Retrieves detailed device information using multiple protocols
  • What are the environmental conditions in the rack? Collects readings from server sensors and rack environmental monitoring systems

When

  • When was that equipment change made? Automated comprehensive log of all hardware and software configuration changes, even unauthorized and undocumented equipment changes
  • When is a hardware and software inventory compliance audit required? RaMP will do this automatically on an ongoing basis

How

  • How much power is it using? Collects power usage from rack PDUs, individual devices and other power meters
  • How much does it cost to run a server?
  • How much rack power and cooling capacity do I have left and when will it run out?

Why

  • Why might this server be a good candidate for decommissioning or virtualization? Identifies “ghost” servers and other servers with low CPU utilization

Automated IT Asset Management

Asset management is only as accurate as the data which is entered into the system. In a survey of the International Association of IT Asset Managers (IAITAM) members, respondents said that 85% accuracy rate for tracking IT assets was above average and that a 90-95% rate was exceptional. With a 10% error rate a data center with 5,000 servers will have inaccurate data for as many as 500 of the servers.

The RaMP solution provides 100% accurate data by eliminating the manual data entry of IT assets. It can be leveraged as a standalone solution or the published web services API can be used to integrate the data with popular service desk, asset management or Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solutions.

  • 100% data accuracy
  • Enhance your current asset management solution with automated discovery of detailed device information including physical location to the rack unit
  • Combine real-time data with detailed asset information to reduce shutdown risk and stranded power
  • Analyze server CPU usage versus power usage to determine which servers should be retired, consolidated or migrated
  • Actively search for “ghost servers” and servers which are not using power management
  • Web services API allows integration with leading asset management (e.g. Emerson (Aperture/Avocent), nlyte, Rackwise) to provide increased data accuracy and real-time data

Eliminating Physical Audits and Inventory

RaMP Eliminating Data Center Audits
RaMP Eliminating Data Center Audits

Whether mandated as part of Sarbanes-Oxley, CFR-11 or internal accounting, every data center requires periodic physical audits to be performed. These audits can be very time consuming and expensive. Historically, there has never been an automated way of connecting physical location to device to configuration. The process usually requires a team of people to inspect each IT device and record the information on a clipboard, a handheld device or computer. The accuracy of the audit is highly dependent on the people who perform the audit, but rarely exceeds 90% accuracy in practice. A simple audit can last anywhere from a few days to weeks or even months.

The RaMP solution ensures that IT devices, including their exact location and configuration, are tracked automatically. This eliminates the need for manual audits and supports the requirement to ensure compliancy, security and financial accountability.

  • Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) audits
  • Comprehensive hardware and software inventory analysis
  • CFR-11 audits

Automating the Data Center Change Management Process

In an ideal world, everyone would follow procedures when changes are to be made to an IT or facilities asset. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Changes are frequently made without the proper authorization and without following the proper process. An asset management system will be unaware of these changes because they were never entered into the system. Studies have found that 80% of outages are due to a change, and that 80% of the mean time to repair is trying to find out what changed. By reviewing a log of changes, problem managers can recommend a fix to the problem over 80% of the time, with a first fix rate of over 90%. Organizations which implemented automated change auditing are usually surprised and alarmed to see how many changes are being made ‘under the radar’. The ability to track both authorized changes and detected changes – changes made but not necessarily authorized – is key functionality needed to reduce MTTR and increase overall system availability.

  • 80% of system outages are due to changes made in the data center and 80% of mean time to repair is determining what changed
  • By reviewing the RaMP change log, problem managers could recommend a fix to the problem over 80% of the time, with a first fix rate of over 90%
  • Automated change auditing allows you to see how many changes are being made without authorization

Managing the Power Down to the Device Level

IT asset management systems often use either nameplate values – the manufacturer’s value to indicate the equipment’s maximum power draw – or an arbitrary percentage of the nameplate value (known as the de-rated, budgeted or design value) to “measure” a device’s power usage. This information is used for capacity planning purposes and to determine optimum placement of new equipment in a rack.

Inaccurate rack power data can result in stranded power or system downtime.

If the rack power usage is estimated on the high side, there is the potential for stranded power. Under this scenario the data center manager opts to not add any additional equipment to the rack because it appears to be at its capacity for power. In actuality, there may be plenty of available power, resulting in a waste of valuable rack space, PDU breaker capability and overall PDU power. Estimating rack power usage on the low side has the even more serious potential consequence of system downtime. Under this scenario the data center manager, believing there to be adequate available power, continues to add equipment to the rack. When the power usage exceeds the available capacity, breakers trip, servers go down, and system availability is impacted.

  • RaMP monitors rack power devices to determine true power usage at the rack level
  • RaMP monitors servers to determine true power usage at the device level
  • Proprietary algorithms allow RaMP to provide accurate power estimations for devices even if they don’t return a power reading themselves

Alerts & Notifications

One of the most common issues in a data center is the failover of a power device having a cascading effect on other downstream devices. RaMP will alert you to potential redundancy problems by continually monitoring power and calculating the impact of failed devices. In addition, RaMP will alert you of unauthorized changes in the data center by comparing discovered changes with those which have been previously authorized.

RaMP is designed to integrate with leading service desk vendors (e.g. BMC/Remedy, IBM Maximo, HP OpenView/Peregrine) to connect to standard processes, generate support tickets and systems

  • Real-time monitoring of power and environmental conditions
  • Real-time failover analysis down to the rack PDU level
  • Web services API allows integration with leading service desk vendors (e.g. BMC Remedy, IBM Maximo and HP OpenView Peregrine) to connect to standard processes already in place

To learn more about RaMP, contact us or visit:

Learn more about PTS Data Center Solutions available to support your Data Center Infrastructure Management and Monitoring needs:

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