For most data center and network administrators, life has not been easy over the last several years. Work demands that stem from supporting 24/7 mission critical data center environments have made maintaining a sensible work/life balance nearly impossible. As data centers keep growing in size and capability (without a corresponding increase in staff in many cases), that pressure will continue to mount.
According to a 2014 IT Admin Stress Survey conducted by Opinion Matters, mission critical environments impact the work/life balance for data center managers and administrators in several ways:
- 38% of survey participants admit to missing social functions due to demands at work
- 35% report missing time with families due to work demands on their personal time
- 25% have reported suffering from stress-related illness
- 24% attribute a relationship damage or failure due to their job
Fortunately, since this survey was administered, new breakthroughs in technology have emerged that help data center managers and their staffs to regain their lost free time. These tools are designed to address the challenge of managing mission critical environments where large quantities of devices need monitoring.
A Software Architecture That Identifies Problems Before They Happen
When we launched EcoStruxure IT, our IOT-enabled vendor agnostic solution which connects disparate data center and IT systems, we knew there was great value in the visibility and insights it would provide operators and data center teams. We also knew that it would enable remote, rapid and secure monitoring of data center ecosystems accessible from a smart phone, with predictive and proactive resolution of incidents, all strong value propositions. But, the degree of relief we’ve heard from our first customers told us we had something more….an actual tool that gives data center managers a piece of their life back.
One EcoStruxure IT user, Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA), manages a 44,000 square foot data center. Uptime and visibility to data center assets have emerged as top priorities for their data center support team. Facing the challenge of having to perform 24/7 monitoring of over 800 devices, the team needed a tool that could help them anticipate any threats to systems availability.
“With a tool like EcoStruxure IT, it’s good to know that your data center is in a safe spot,” says critical facility manager for Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA), Jeff Gardner. “Being able to monitor the data center and look at it as a whole, brings in an entirely new level of stress relief. I no longer have to stop my car and hotspot VPN, taking 15 minutes before I can access the information I need. I can now just pick up the cell phone, visualize the current status of what’s going on, and quickly assess activity and equipment behavior over the last 24 hours. Such capabilities allow our staff response time to drop down to practically zero minutes.”
EcoStruxure IT provides the staff up-to-the-minute performance analytics, any time of the day or night. They can access the information they require remotely, from a simple smart phone. For the team, this has been a life-changer.
“Technologies such as EcoStruxure IT have actually affected the quality of my life away from the office. Where in the past, I may have had to leave a ball game or leave my family at home in the middle of the night during off hours, and then generate a pile of paperwork, now I just pick up my phone and perform a quick appraisal and assessment. Then I turn off the light…my wife likes that,” said Gardner.
Watch the video of RSA to hear more from Jeff Gardner
I am happy to share this video with Jeff Gardner, which shows how EcoStruxure IT offers maximum protection of critical equipment through smart alarming, remote troubleshooting and data-driven insights. And, even more, how it enables the RSA data center staff to improve their work/life balance.