Cloud systems and big data analytics certainly are the hot buying trends in IT in 2012, but they both play into an even more important overriding focus for IT managers: controlling all that data and using it in an efficient manner.
Complete control ofand real-time visibility intoa data center's daily workload production, both physical and virtual, is necessary for an enterprise to accomplish these three goals: a) manage the workloads with speed and efficiency; b) keep the content secure at all times; and c) do it all using less power from the walls.
With all the new, lower-power-but-more-powerful multicore processorsmostly supplied by Intel, AMD and LSIthat are flooding into IT manufacturing facilities, the new-generation servers, storage arrays and other appliances are, in fact, using far less electricity than their predecessors.
Emerson Network Power and its software division, Avocent, Trellis, a hardware and software package that one simply plugs in, connects to all the necessary nodes and puts to work.
Can it be as easy as that? Emerson is insistent that it is.
Runs on Oracle Servers and Middleware
Trellis, which runs on Oracle's fast and power-efficient new servers and Java-based Fusion middleware, is an open architecture-based data center infrastructure management (DCIM) package with real-time event-analysis capabilities across all physical and logical systems in the data center. It can be accessed by either an on-site application or remotely by a Web-based user interface.
That's right. With Trellis, one can check the I/O performance of any server, rack of servers, storage array or networking switch while at the same time monitoring temperatures in the hot and cold aisles, humidity readings and power intake. All this real-time information is converged into a single console view.
Trellis has been tested on a selected-customer basis for about two years by some heavy-duty users, including longtime customer Infosys, a bank and a telco. To its credit, Emerson Avocent took its time in development to make sure the platform had all the necessary features, reliability and scalability necessary to be a large enterprise appliance. During that review time, a lot of user-requested features were added, tweaks made and improvements incorporated.
Bridging a 'Critical Gap' in the Data Center
Fundamentally, Trellis is designed to bridge what Emerson calls a "critical gap" between a data center's IT equipment and facilities infrastructure.
Steve Hassell, president of Emerson's Avocent software business (pictured), told eWEEK that Trellis "manages the ebb and flow of the infrastructure holistically from a central control dashboard. This is aimed to help data center managers make smarter decisions about efficiency, availability and capacity utilization."
"Virtualization has brought greater flexibility and efficiency to data center management, but has introduced new complexities and pressures to the static physical infrastructure," Hassell said.
Trellis software applications in the package are:
- Trellis Inventory Manager: Provides data center management with the foundation for an accurate and complete model of its data centers globally, the knowledge of where devices and equipment are located, the relationship between these components, and what resources are being used by data center equipment.
- Trellis Site Manager: Reports the health of the infrastructure including environmental conditions to data center personnel, enabling them to recognize and resolve conditions that impact infrastructure availability and system performance.
- Trellis Change Planner: Works together with Trellis Inventory Manager to ensure that accurate and consistent information is utilized. Assures that installs, moves and decommissions of equipment are planned, tracked and communicated to team members in a consistent manner. This minimizes the impact of changes on the quality of services delivered and streamlines operations.
- Trellis Energy Insight: Calculates total data center energy consumption, electrical costs and power usage effectiveness (PUE)/data center infrastructure efficiency (DCiE) value. Having this information at their fingertips allows data center managers to understand how infrastructure changes impact energy efficiency and, subsequently, the bottom line.
"The Trellis platform is going to be a comprehensive and powerful system," said Andy Lawrence, research vice president for Datacenter Technology at 451 Research. "The system design and architecture, all based on real-time data, are unlike anything on the market today, and should be both flexible and highly scalable.
"One of the more impressive features of the Trellis platform is that it has been designed and engineered with ease of use and simplicity in mindthe designers have paid a lot of attention to how data center personnel work," Lawrence said. "The information required to manage the data center is presented in context of the operation, which should be intuitive and increase productivity."
Emerson's Trellis DCIM is available now, Hassell said. Pricing information is available upon consultation.
Chris Preimesberger is eWEEK Editor for Features and Analysis. Twitter: @editingwhiz