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How to implement Data Centre Operations Standard (DCOS®)- A practical approach for data centre operation improvement

Posted by Rishi Malhotra ,5th Oct 2022
How to implement Data Centre Operations Standard (DCOS®)- A practical approach for data centre operation improvement

A data center is the technological hub of modern enterprise operations. The data center provides the critical IT infrastructure needed to deliver resources and services to business employees, partners and customers around the world.

A small or midsize business can often implement a useful "data center" within the confines of a closet or other convenient room with few modifications, if any. However, the sheer scale involved in enterprise computing demands a large dedicated space that is carefully designed to support the space, power, cooling, management, reliability and security needs of the IT infrastructure.

As a result, a data center facility represents the single largest and most expensive asset that the business will possess -- both in terms of capital investment and recurring operational expenses. Business and IT leaders must pay close attention to the issues involved in data center design and construction to ensure that the resulting facility meets business needs throughout the facility's lifecycle and changing business circumstances.

Data centres seldom meet the operational and capacity requirements of their initial designs. The principal goals in data centre design are flexibility and scalability, which involve site location, building selection, floor layout, electrical system design, mechanical design and modularity.

In a data centre it is essential to manage multiple machines or nodes as if they were a single pool of resources and DCOS comes in handy. DCOS stands for Data Centre Operations Standard. Unlike traditional operating systems, DCOS spans multiple machines within a network, aggregating their resources to maximize utilization by distributed applications.

DCOS is the world’s first complete data centre operations standard. DCOS addresses 11 process domains and 5 maturity levels which at first sight can be overwhelming for some organisations who consider improving their data centre operations based on the DCOS. In practice however, it is not as difficult as it seems; the keyword is progressive process and maturity level improvement which is at the heart of any DCOS implementation.

Think of DC/OS as an Operating System like CentOS, RHEL or Ubuntu. But DC/OS goes beyond those OSes by using a unified API to manage multiple systems such as containers and distributed services, in the cloud or on-premises. It automates resource management, schedules process placement, facilitates inter-process communication, and simplifies the installation and management of distributed services. DC/OS has a web interface and a command-line interface (CLI) facilitating remote management and monitoring of the cluster and its services. There are two types of DC/OS, an enterprise version which includes advanced features for security, compliance, multitenancy, networking and storage, and is backed by 24×7, SLA-governed support. And there is an open source, distributed operating system based on the Apache Mesos distributed systems kernel. DC/OS manages multiple machines in the cloud or on-premises from a single interface. Open source DC/OS also adds service discovery, a Universe package for different frameworks, CLI and GUI support for management and volume support for persistent storage.

DCOS FOR OPERATIONS IMPROVEMENT

The DCOS is an excellent reference for data centres on operational process improvement. When implementing DCOS it is recommended to follow a progressive approach by focusing first on areas where a quick win can be achieved or a process domain which creates the best business value and identifying a maturity target level that is realistically achievable.

For example, if lately the service levels of service providers performing maintenance has fallen below expectations resulting in equipment failure which led to costly downtime, choose the ‘Facilities Maintenance’ domain as a starting point. Study the chapter and break it down to logical groups so that the subject matter experts can focus on the clauses to determine the current baseline/performance. Once the identification process is completed, an in-depth analysis takes place to identify potential shortcomings. The outcome of the gap analysis is then used to propose actions in line with the desired maturity level. With an action plan in place, improvements can be gradually implemented.

Once Facilities Maintenance improvements have been realised, the organization can pick another domain of interest, making further improvements to data centre operations and/or increasing maturity levels, as and when it feels doing so will deliver added value to the organization.

DCOS CERTIFICATION

An organization with the desire to adopt DCOS as a standard with the objective of certification, may also follow a progressive approach. The data centre organisation selects the domains that will add value to the organisation, including the associated desired maturity level which will determine the scope of the certification.

Contrary to self-declared conformity following DCOS, certification has many benefits; conducted by experienced auditors, its result is based on an independent review. The audit can assist the organisation in justifying investments to further improve operations which will deliver the following benefits:

- Reduction of risk
- Improved efficiency leading to cost reduction
- Support in compliance and/or regulations
- Increased customer trust and consistent service levels
- Competitive edge

NextTech learning’s CDFOS® (Certified Data Centre Facilities Operations Specialist) course enables participants to fully understand the requirements of running the day-to-day operations of a mission critical data centre and will gain all the required competences for running the daily operations, understand which processes should be in place, and the critical elements of those processes and how to execute them. The course is fully aligned with the DCOS® (Data Centre Operations Standard).

Furthermore, NextTech’s EPI® portfolio offers a wide range of globally accredited certified data centre professional training courses such as:

DCFC®: Data Centre Foundation Certificate

CDFOM®: Certified Data Centre Facilities Operations Manager

CDFOS®: Certified Data Centre Facilities Operations Specialist

CDMS®: Certified Data Centre Migration Specialist

CDCS®: Certified Data Centre Specialist

CDCP®: Certified Data Centre Professional

CNCDP®: Certified Network Cable Design Professional

Browse our wide range of EPI courses to see which one is right for you.

NextTech Learning is your comprehensive yet cost-effective Australian home grown and owned corporate training provider offering a wide spectrum of courses and certification which can be delivered through extremely flexible learning modalities.

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