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Who is Watching the Store?

The holiday season offered a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family. Your facility staff worked hard the entire year and many took well-deserved time off. While they were off, who was watching over your data center infrastructure?

There are many ways to monitor your data center infrastructure. A simple way is to schedule regular rounds of your facility. While doing these walkthroughs, one observes the operating status of the critical equipment. Does everything look normal? If not, you can immediately initiate procedures to mediate existing issues. While this is a common technique, if your trained staff is on vacation, who can do it? Do you have personnel from other departments performing the walkthrough? Are they trained adequately to recognize normal operating status of the critical equipment?

Another way to monitor your data center infrastructure is through a building management/monitoring system. With such a system, all of your critical equipment can be monitored from one user interface. You can have a terminal in your operations center. This terminal allows you to continuously watch the operating status of your equipment. With your trained facility staff off site, who is watching the terminal?

Your monitoring system can send out alarms in the form of emails and/or text messages to smartphones. Is your facility staff required to carry their smartphones while they are out of state? If there is an emergency, how will they respond? If your facility staff is not checking their smartphones, or is unable to respond even when they see alarms, who is responding to these alarm messages? Do you have your network operations team receive the alarms? Are they trained to know what to do in case of an emergency?

If you have any of these concerns, be aware that there are Third-Party resources available. Companies such as TechSite have trained specialists who can receive and monitor your infrastructure alarms. These specialists can ensure that the proper maintenance personnel are dispatched to the site and will often respond in person to manage any required repairs. They can be on call when you are shorthanded, or even be an ongoing resource for smaller facility departments. Utilizing Third-Party Alarm Monitoring and First Responder services that are specifically geared towards a mission critical facility can greatly enhance your peace of mind, during holidays or even on a daily basis.

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