– Jim Tessier, product manager, Eaton Corporation, says:


As cloud computing gains momentum, a power loss taking the cloud out of service has a detrimental effect on an increasing number of users and applications. In the past year alone, we’ve seen some of the largest cloud computing companies in the world suffer outages that dramatically affected their bottom line and reputation.


Cloud infrastructures tend to be dynamic environments in which virtualized workloads migrate freely among physical hosts, but as these applications constantly move, energy demands shift at will, which can result in inefficient power balancing and overheated server racks, and threaten the integrity of data.


The responsibility of managing power used to fall solely upon the shoulders of facilities management, but with cloud computing and virtualization, application demands affect power consumption and vice versa. No matter how small or large the business, it is of increasing importance that IT managers have an amplified knowledge of power management and enhanced visibility into systems to see when abnormal conditions threaten the IT infrastructure — and what business services are at risk, so proactive measures can be taken to maintain business continuity and protect data.


Luckily, technology continues to evolve to meet challenges, and sophisticated solutions are available today that can ease the lives of IT managers everywhere by reducing exposure to downtime and data loss in cloud environments. Here’s a few of the most recent solutions:


Integrated Power Management Software


Clean, dependable power is as critical to the successful operation of cloud infrastructures as processing capacity and storage space. In order to keep a cloud data center running smoothly, administrators need complete, up-to-the-minute information about the status of both their IT resources and their power resources. Today, many cloud operators use separate management tools to monitor their server and power environments. However, integrated solutions are now available that allow administrators to manage physical servers, virtual servers, UPSs, PDUs and much more all though a single pane of glass.


Automated Replication Software


One of the most recent software developments allows virtual machines to be moved between sites (co-located sites, public clouds, hybrid clouds, etc.) based on early notification of power loss to the primary protected site. The software communicates with the UPS to identify the failure before sending an alarm to the virtualization management dashboard. As long as the data center manager provides sufficient battery run time to go through the steps of the recovery plan, the software can then initiate data synchronization and startup of a backup site without data loss.


Triggered Live Migration


Capitalizing on the live migration functionality built into many server virtualization solutions is another effective software-based reliability strategy. Live migration systems offered by leading software vendors enable administrators to move virtual servers almost instantaneously from one physical host to another in response to technical issues or maintenance requirements, but these systems have no built-in capabilities for responding to service outages. The latest power management solutions can simplify disaster recovery processes by recognizing failures before triggering the migration of virtual machines to another host machine until the problem is resolved.


Jim Tessier is a 25 year industry veteran and Eaton product manager, to ask him a question about enhancing the reliability of your power system, please visitwww.switchon.eaton.com/plug/ask-the-experts.