Robots coming soon to a data center near you

Data Center Maintenance


Parker August 29, 2013

Robotics technologies could soon play a prominent role in data centers as they emerge as a way to handle basic physical tasks that IT workers do not have the time to deal with, Data Center Knowledge reported.

Robotics is actually a rising movement across many industries, as the technology has become much more advanced in recent years and the growing internet of things movement has positioned robot makers to develop software that gives devices the intelligence they need to contribute to various operations. The movement toward robots could prove emblematic of many changes happening in the data center sector.

Considering robots in the data center

According to the news source, cloud computing has contributed to an environment in which organizations can move many of their IT assets into third-party data centers. However, this does not usually mean that they can get away without an internal data center. Instead, the mission-critical systems that must be maintained internally often create power and cooling demands that can stretch the efficiency capabilities of many facilities. The end result is a data center architecture that is incredibly difficult to keep under control and operate with sustainability goals in mind.

This is where robots can pay dividends. The report explained that with the rise of barcodes, RFID codes and more advanced robotics solutions, there is no reason why robots will not be able to execute different forms of automation to support various data center operations, particularly physical tasks, like energy monitoring and management.

What to make of the rise of robots

The key issue that IT managers may want to consider here is not necessarily about robots. Instead, it may be more important to think about what the use of robotics in data centers entails – major changes in how IT departments get the job done.

Discussions surrounding cloud computing and other emerging technologies have often led to points being made that IT managers are increasingly asked to take on a more strategic role in operations instead of spending as much time deal with day-to-day management. The rise of robotics technology is another indication of this trend. However, moving IT managers into a more strategic role, though a valuable option, can be costly.

The problem with data center efficiency efforts, whether they are based on operational or energy-related goals, is that they often carry initial costs that can be difficult for organizations to handle. As a result, businesses attempting to improve the data center end up stagnating in many areas because they are unable to find the funding necessary to pursue new projects.

Generally speaking, IT managers are not likely to see major budget increases in the near future, as many experts agree that economic pressure is forcing companies to keep costs under control and use money more strategically than usual. As a result, the best way to invest in data center efficiency programs, whether through robots or some other means, is to cut costs in other areas. There are not always many places where organizations can easily reduce spending, but hardware maintenance and system support is one of them.

Using hardware maintenance to reduce data center costs

OEM support plans are ideal while equipment is covered by its initial warranty, but the costs of extended warranties can escalate quickly, leaving IT managers paying heavy fees to hang on to legacy hardware or having to refresh hardware, whether they need to or not. Third-party hardware maintenance plans can ease this burden by reducing extended coverage expenses by as much as 50 percent, freeing space in the budget that IT managers can use to support efficiency plans.

About the Author

Parker, Park Place Assistant