HelpSystems Blog

How to Assess Data Center Operations

We recently released the 2017 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. In this, our third year of conducting this annual survey, the results points to an ever increasing number of IBM i shops running their server unattended.

We at HelpSystems have been preaching the benefits of automation for many years, so it’s fantastic to see so many organizations moving toward lights out.

Don’t know how to assess data center operations? We can help.

That being said, there is still a portion of the market that has not fully embraced automation. They cite a variety of reasons including:

  • We prefer to have staff manage critical processes
  • Automation isn’t a priority for our management team
  • We’re too complicated to automate operations
  • We don’t have the resources or budget to invest in automation
  • We don’t have time to implement an automation solution
  • We’re too big to automate
  • We tried automation in the past and it didn’t work for us

We’ve heard a lot of excuses for not automating before, but the reality is that implementing automation solutions can help address many of the top concerns in your IT department:

Most notably, automation solutions address the desire for attractive, modern applications, reduce reliance on IBM i experts with specialist skills, and help reduce IT spending. Adding automation around IBM i security also offsets the especially acute skills shortage in this area, and automating document management and reporting streamlines processes and saves a ton of time.

Sounds like a no-brainer, right? So, how would you rate your readiness to run your IBM i servers unattended? If you’re not sure, it’s a smart idea to assess the situation before you get started on your automation journey.

To help get you get started, the experts at HelpSystems offer an operations assessment. We’ll work with your infrastructure or data center team remotely—or onsite if you would like a more in-depth service—to examine several aspects of your data center operations and determine potential areas of improvement. 

We usually start with your runbook to see which procedures, if any, your operations team might be doing manually. We review:

  • How jobs are initiated on the system
  • How backups are initiated and monitored
  • How operations team interacts with end users for automation opportunities
  • How business reporting is done
  • How performance is set up and reported on
  • How you monitor the system for critical events
  • How many incidents you have as a result of manual activity

Following the assessment, we provide an executive-level report that you can share. This report also becomes your list of action items to consider for automation. It identifies your strongest and weakest areas so you know where investing in automation solutions will make the biggest impact.

At HelpSystems, we understand why IBM i shops automate their systems these days—it improves total cost of ownership (TCO), eliminates risk, reduces errors, and helps combat skill loss as staff considers retirement. Assessing your data center operations is an easy way to get a feel for the big picture and improve the overall productivity of running IBM i as your core business server.

 

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Allow our automation experts to help you identify where automation will make the biggest impact and lead you toward lights-out automation.