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The reference guide to data centre automation

Our weekly white paper trawl

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Intelligent flash storage arrays

This week's trawl through the Reg Library results in three of our most popular whitepapers about data centre-y things. Let's kick off:

The reference guide to data centre automation

This monster of a book is sponsored by HP - the table of contents alone runs to 10 pages. Co-author Don Jones, of Realtime.com says in his foreword ,that the title is by no means a "paid advertisement or white paper". And he's right, there. More than 800 people have downloaded this paper and feedback has been very good.

There is an exhaustive checklist to plough through, but underpinning everything is the notion that the guide will "help IT departments to perform more tasks with fewer resources. The importance and value of automating standard IT operations can be significant in data centers of any size. The goal is to significantly lower IT operational expenses while at the same time improving the end-user experience. Whether you’re a CIO or IT manager looking for ways to improve efficiency or a member of the down-in-the-trenches IT staff, you’ll find valuables concepts, methods".

Thinking beyond Tape

This paper from Double Take Software examines the "high cost, complexity and potentially dangerous shortcomings of a recovery strategy based on traditional tape backup. That's fighting talk, in some parts.

So what's the alternative? According to Double Take, what you need is "continuous data replication to a remote recovery sites over existing WAN connections".So where does that get you?

"Exponentially better remote disaster protection" at no extra cost or complexity and access to new data acceleration technologies that speed up remote recovery performance over the WAN, says Double Take.

You can guess what this company does for a living. The paper contains an overt pitch for Double Take technology and a case study. But there is also a solid exposition of what's wrong with tape backup - And the case for continuous data replication is interesting enough.

Avoiding costs from oversizing data center and network room infrastructure

According to this APC paper, oversizing is the single biggest avoidable cost associated with typical data centres and network rooms. The paper examines the huge impact this has on lifecycle capital costs and on operating costs.

The author acknowledges that the current method of planning data centers and network rooms is logical - given the constraints of design and the unpredictability of the future power requirements. But help is at hand: an architecture and method for avoiding oversizing is sketched out here.

APC's whitepapers should be a model for other vendors to follow - full of facts, strong on thought leadership, and zero on self-serving sales pitches. ®

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