Monthly Archives: August 2014

What if Guardians of the Galaxy Ran Your Data Center?

canstockphoto1633351by TechRack Systems

Come on admit it. You not only saw Marvel Studios flick Guardians of the Galaxy, but you too became a fast fan of heroine Peter Quill (Chris Pratt). Well, join the crowd. Most of the ladies dig bad-boy-turned-likeable leader Quill aka Star Lord, and the guys? Well, we just want to emulate him. So how would Quill run a data center? Very carefully. That is, of course, after he realized that like the power of the orb being essential to the existence of universe, the data center is the life-force of every company it supports. Take away the data center (or the cloud that powers it) and poof, the company turns blue and audibly chokes until it gets CPR.

So what lessons can you glean from this summer blockbuster and apply to your data center? Plenty. For starters, most of us have to work with and even train some disparate misfits that we’d rather not deal with. Just about everyone we’ve talked to has had to office with, service or partner with their fair share of gun-toting raccoons (Bradley Cooper), tree-like humanoids (Vin Diesel), master assassins (Zoa Saldana), and revenge-driven destroyers (Dave Bautista). And how many times have you counted yourself escaping from ruthless, persistent bounty hunter-like bosses or career climbing colleagues? It’s enough to keep you awake at night but we can all relate to these classic archetypes at one time or another in our careers. Appealing to the strengths of your adversaries and tossing them a lifeline when they need it most will surely win even the hardest hearts over as Quill did triumphantly with deadly Gamora.

And what about the bad seeds and villains you reluctantly come in contact with from time to time? Well we all have to grin and bear it when we deal with unsavory characters like Ronan (Lee Pace), Korath (Djimon Hounsou), Nebula (Karen Gillian), Yondu (Michael Rooker) and even the Collector (Benicio Del Toro). Negotiation skills, quick thinking and unrelenting humor often save the day when you’re forced to deal with sub-par or hard-to-please knuckleheads to keep the network up and running. Turning hard-to-deal-with co-workers who want to see you fail into a cohesive, supportive team is not only rewarding but it makes anything possible. And a great soundtrack never hurts.

If you are a Data Center Manager looking to become a Guardian of your Galaxy, visit our website: www.techrack.com, or contact us at sales@techrack.com or 888-266-3577

Are Your #Data #Center #Servers in Tip Top Shape?

canstockphoto12893445by TechRack Systems

At most data centers, servers get the least amount of attention—not because they aren’t important, of course—but because they are the most “stable” elements compared to other IT priorities. Taking the time to address potential pitfalls that can occur with servers can avoid future problems.

Ditch the Dust

One of the biggest issues for electronic equipment is that it attracts dust and other particles. Because of the airflow patterns in data centers, it doesn’t take long to cause equipment issues. Take these precautions:

  • Use air filters and sealed doors on server racks and cabinets to help eliminate dust getting into servers and peripherals.
  • Limit who has access to the server area to avoid opportunities for touching equipment.
  • When opening cardboard boxes or other materials, avoid doing so near the server cabinets since particles can become airborne quickly.
  • If there is construction near the servers, clean up residual sheet rock or other materials that can corrode equipment components.

Let Equipment Breathe

One of the most common problems with server equipment is that the electronics inside can cause it to run hot. If the air doesn’t have the opportunity to expel, computers and peripherals can overheat, fail, or become a fire hazard if not ventilated properly. Here are some tips for upkeep:

  • Use perforated metal doors and side panels and fans for better air flow into and through the cabinet.
  • Vented shelves to allow fixed air space between pieces of equipment; it is discouraged to stack components on top of each other as it can cause overheating.

Check Aging Equipment

Electronic equipment and its software have a limited life even when it seems to be in good working order. For instance, CPUs, adapters, and other hardware can be used for years, but the applications and software that run on computing equipment can degrade the overall performance over time.

  • Evaluate all components to ensure good wear-leveling and endurance; factor these into your software purchasing and maintenance cycles.
  • Work closely with equipment vendor(s) to ensure you understand lifespan, managing and protecting the equipment, and warranty details.
  • Compare your current equipment with the latest version(s) to determine if it’s more cost-effective to retire it and purchase new models.

Do a “Once-Over” on Equipment

Periodically, it’s recommended to do a hands-on evaluation of the physical appearance of servers and peripherals to make sure they’re in good working order:

  • Check hardware for error indicators or lights and any hardware termination or interoperability issues.
  • Test the functionality of all peripheral equipment to make sure it’s operating properly.
  • Check all plugs and cabling; look for wear and tear and any incorrect cabling; investigate disconnected cables and adjust or remove them.

Taking these steps can help extend working life of your server equipment, reduce the chance of service calls, and allow the IT team to focus on other priorities (and save those urgent requests for other departments).

For any questions or a personal evaluation of your server rack needs, visit our website, www.techrack.com, or contact TechRack Systems at sales@techrack.com or 888-266-3577.

9 Signs You Might Be a Data Center Manager

cablesimage2Or… Can your pet penguin write his name in Base 16?

by TechRack Systems

Data center managers have the hardest job on the planet. They have to keep data secure and running 24×7 while handling IT mishaps along with a gazillion mind-numbing requests. So here’s some food for thought. We know there are a number of characteristics that super star data center managers have in common.

See if any of these describe you:

You might be a Data Center Manager if…

1. You use an old server as a pizza warmer and a CD drive as a cup holder. Sure, it’s tempting, not to mention creative, yet one drink spill can mean sudden death to your equipment without any way to resuscitate it. Instead, eat and drink elsewhere and enforce a strict no food or drink mantra. (Or, consider keeping your equipment safe in a server rack!)

2. Your CEO responds WOW to your budget request and you think it’s an invite to play World of Warcraft. I know. It doesn’t get much cooler than inviting all your pals to a LAN party. But your CEO is responding to the cost of your request, not the game. While playing WoW, CoD, LoL or even Halo is tempting; it’s not worth jeopardizing your network with a virus or worse.

3. When you hear ‘spaghetti’, you think of your network cables.
Cable chaos? Mangled mayhem? Let’s hope not. Unless you’re aiming to create a pigpen instead of a data center, you’ll want your cables neatly in cabinets. No one wants to see cables hanging from drop ceilings, looped over desks or lining the floor. Senior management frowns on any hazard that could dovetail into an accident, lawsuit or data loss. So measure your cables accordingly, use zip ties and reserve the word spaghetti for Italian fare.

4. People think you’re a vampire because they never see you in daylight.
It’s easy to fit into this workaholic category if you work well over a 40-hour week. Pulling all-nighters to rebuild networks or breathe life into downed networks is part and parcel with your job. But working excessive overtime means you may not have enough coverage if there’s an emergency. Staffing needs to correspond to your risk profile and budget. Consider emergency response, equipment maintenance and vendor management when creating your staffing schedule. And by all means, stay clear of anything that sucks blood.

5. Your favorite animal is a penguin. Lot’s of people love penguins, and movies like Happy Feet and Mr. Popper’s Penguins are great examples of the public’s collective fondness for this tuxedo-clad bird. Yet your affinity for penguins has less to do with the former and more to do with that darn cute logo of Linux. But shhh, we’ll keep your secret to ourselves.

6. Your second favorite animal is Red Bull.
Caffeine. Rules. Period.

7. You can write your name in hex. Admit it. You can write in Base 16 and you can understand Base 2. So even if English is your one and only language you can easily tout that you’re multilingual. 52 6f 63 6b 20 4f 6e 21

8. You think there are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.
I know, old joke, but true! And it shows your commitment to thinking through things with an open mind. Keeping your mind open allows you to come up with creative solutions when you need them most. And don’t we always?

9. You know there’s no place like 192.168.2.1
Sure, you make the most of your workplace, you enjoy your coworkers and you’re committed to ensuring that nothing EVER goes wrong with your network – at least not for long. But when the day is done, it’s still nice to return to that familiar place you call su casa.

If you are a Data Center Manager looking for a nice (server) rack, visit our website, www.techrack.com, or contact us at sales@techrack.com
or 888-266-3577