Communication is the Heart of Understanding

Make the right choices for a positive outcome by understanding the hidden signs and telemetry data points in your data center.

Hey…are you listening…I mean really listening? Shutting out the chatter of news feeds, hashtags, and political tweets – not to mention work from home distractions – is a constant challenge today. Setting aside time to have a real discussion about what is truly important is a muscle that has to be developed over time. A missed signal from a server data set could mean you will spend the next four hours combing through server logs to find the root cause of that dreaded amber light. Missing a signal from a loved one could cause emotional stress. The origin of both problems is similar: a missed data point or trend that could have been addressed before it becomes an issue.

The beating heart of any PowerEdge Server is the integrated Dell Remote Access Controller 9 (iDRAC9). Because iDRAC9 is integral and embedded into every PowerEdge server, there is no additional software to install to take advantage of the advanced agent-free architecture. iDRAC9 v4.x (introduced in 2019) with the Datacenter License has the option to enable comprehensive telemetry streaming.

Gartner estimates that by 2023 almost 30% of all enterprise deployments will utilize Artificial Intelligence operations to capture, analyze and predict problems. The dataset to deliver insight from a Dell PowerEdge server estate benefits from iDRAC9 Datacenter and telemetry streaming. It can provide a communication channel to provide highly granular DMTF Redfish out-of-band and agent-free data to determine their server infrastructure operational characteristics.

An average configured PowerEdge Server with iDRAC9 telemetry provides more than 2.9 million time-series data points a day. That figure multiplied by the number of servers in your estate can represent a massive amount of information about your data center.

iDRAC9 telemetry can use proactive insights to help you pinpoint and address time and cost challenges like bursty power usage, thermal hotspots, or the dreaded zombie servers in the data center. Capturing over 180+ metrics from each server in near real-time collection needs to be coupled with a visualization platform like Splunk. Watch a 2 minute video explanation below:

Server administrators can spot anomalies or negative trends before they occur. In your day-to-day relationships, your brain’s complex neurons act as the simultaneous collection and visualization and analysis tool. A recent study shows that the human brain can hold roughly one petabyte (or a quadrillion bytes) of information while requiring only 20 watts of power. That’s barely enough power to power a light bulb. This ability to collect, analyze and decipher emotional datasets is sometimes called emotional intelligence. We are nowhere near that level with AI operations to date. The challenge is to cut through the massive amounts of data to determine what is most important.

A custom telemetry report can help filter the most pertinent information your full server estate ensuring you are “truly listening.” Such configurations allow customers to present only the configured metrics and devices included in the telemetry stream determined most important. The custom configuration provides much more flexibility in selecting the metrics of interest and realizing aggregation (max, min, an average of the metric for some time) and aggregation use cases around these data points. Use cases include optimizing IT operations, decreasing downtime with predictive analytics, and even enhancing security and compliance.

While nowhere near as complex or insightful as a human relationship, the communication and data set acquired from iDRAC9 Datacenter and Telemetry Streaming represent a considerable step forward in helping our customers leverage the extensive data available in their PowerEdge servers. Customers can easily stream this telemetry into their analytics tools and leverage advanced AI techniques to automate their IT systems management and operations, ensuring that they can spend more time with the ones they love instead of solving data center issues.

Seamus Jones

About the Author: Seamus Jones

Seamus currently serves Dell Technologies as Director, Server Technical Marketing, seasoned with over 20 years of real world experience in both North America and EMEA. His unique perspective comes from experience consulting customers on data center initiatives and server virtualization strategies.