Keeping a Critical Eye on Critical Infrastructure

by Robert Leake on 5/20/20 4:50 PM

Reluctantly, today’s workforce is getting more accustomed to working from home, and data center operators are not immune to this shift in operational flexibility. This along with the impacts of Critical Infrastructure becoming more tangible, has made the need for a Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) systems more apparent. This is not groundbreaking news for those of us in Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) who have always tended to on-prem conditions in a 24x7 environment. While this has historically had flavors of “managing from afar”, the extent of insight and control have been steadily increasing with the abilities enabled by today’s DCIM solutions.

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Critical Infrastructure has typically been a world of hardware; physical equipment that is your last line of defense in keeping your facility operational. When problems arose, a tech would address the alarm through a physical inspection - or you’d call a Hardware Hotshot (like DVL) offering expertise in that particular problem. But organizations today expect much more than simply staying operational from their I&O Teams. Leadership Teams expect:

  • Risk reduction
  • Improving capacity management/forecasting
  • Increasing agile decision making
  • Compliance to federal regulations and corporate responsibility requirements

These expectations are made a reality thanks to the continual advancements in the DCIM landscape. From native solutions developed by manufacturers like Vertiv, to the after-market solutions supplementing information to management teams across everything from generator, to ATS, to UPS, to CRAC, DCIM enables users a greater sense of control created by granular specifics across the entire critical infrastructure equation. Availability of data is not only providing better insight into the overall performance of the data center, but in some instances it’s actually able to predict the problem before it arises. This data is improving threat management, response times, and paving the way for positive financial impacts to the business.

Most professionals (especially those in the world of operations) have asked themselves, “How can I do more with less?” Well, the old adage of “you can’t manage what you can’t measure” puts into perspective what is needed in order to get more positive results with less… dollars, efforts, and assets. Efficiency of a data center revolves around reducing waste and unnecessary overprovisioning of power, cooling, space, and IT resources. DCIM solutions allow you to tap into the data behind how your infrastructure is performing today, and helps you understand how you can better manage impacts of those variables tomorrow, resulting in improved financials.

While DCIM offers many paths to greener pastures, unfortunately, there have been plenty of DCIM projects that had to be cancelled due to damaging mistakes in solution selection and deployment. This challenge is indicative of why only 42% of data center operators are using a solution today, and emphasizes why DCIM should be a collaborative process across the entire organization. When an organization takes a collective look at the available data, connecting one dot to the next, decision making teams are able to recognize more opportunities for improvement and create a shared perspective on where the organization stands on:

  • Required Analytics
  • Must-Have Features
  • Agreed upon objectives
  • Security Policies (i.e. platform resiliency, data integrity)
  • Reporting and Mobility

These are only a few points to consider when looking at DCIM as more than just a technology. Technologies are tools to enhance the management philosophy of how you run the business, and how to maximize not just the equipment – but the people providing tangible results in the forms of efficiency and financial improvements. We discussed a few more of these considerations on a recent webinar, Keeping a Critical Eye on Critical Infrastructure; and covered how DCIM has exponentially improved throughout the years with our friends at Critical Labs and Packet Power. The panel discussion ended up being a great overview of the DCIM landscape, and the value-added impacts that are behind today’s data centers.

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We invite you to listen to last week’s webinar to learn much more about DCIM and monitoring systems and how they can, in most cases, be easily integrated into your existing infrastructure.

ACCESS THE WEBINAR RECORDING

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Topics: monitoring, beyond the product, packet power, critical labs

Understanding the Critical Infrastructure Behind Healthcare Facilities

by Jodi Holland on 4/23/20 3:22 PM

In recent years, the IT world has been seeing a movement to the Edge across most industries, especially in the realms of Finance, Legal, and Healthcare. Now, the Coronavirus pandemic has added a new variable to the Edge equation for Healthcare, as facilities across the country are constructing additions to their hospitals in support of testing and providing care. A recent DVL webinar addressed this rising concern, with many of the products and solutions discussed (and here below) being applicable to Edge environments in any industry.

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Unfortunately, there is no playbook for building these temporary facilities. While they do require the same types of critical infrastructure as facilities we’re used to creating, they demand an even greater sense of confidence in their operability. The aspects of building out temporary facilities are not terribly different than what is typically driving the demands of Healthcare IT: Electronic Records Management, Artificial Intelligence, and communications amongst staff and with patients and staff. The critical infrastructure supporting these applications must take into account an additional set of considerations for these temporary facilities:

  • Footprint Size
  • Power Requirements
  • Environmental Conditions
  • Procurement & Installation
  • Deployment Timeframe
  • Infrastructure Monitoring

If a Playbook were to exist on this topic, it would include chapters like:

  • Defining your specific applications
  • What do those applications require to operate
  • How do those requirements translate into critical infrastructure, and
  • How to build your infrastructure for efficient operations.

This is where DVL can be helpful to your project. Our commitment to going “Beyond the Product” means we don’t just sell you equipment and move to the next customer. Rather, we are here to help you connect the dots and present you with solutions to meet your objectives. Each project is its own unique venture as we work with you to define and understand everything from power and cooling requirements driven by your specific IT applications, to what type of rack is best suited for your peace of mind.

Temporary-Healthcare-Facilities-Buying-Guide-1No matter your industry, if you weren’t able to join us for the one-hour webinar, we invite you and your colleagues to watch the recording here. Or, you can download our Buyer's Guide for a better understanding of the aforementioned critical infrastructure considerations.   

Get the Guide by filling out the form below:

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Topics: server room, healthcare, hospitals, beyond the product

DVL's Employee Ownership Culture

by Robert Leake on 3/16/20 11:47 AM

“There is no more profitable investment than investing in yourself.” - Roy T. Bennett

Our customers often mention the dedication of DVL associates as one of the many reasons they continually turn to us for their critical infrastructure needs. From our Sales Engineers’ ability to find unique ways to cost-effectively solve project challenges, to each DVL Technician’s diligence to quality for maintenance and emergency calls; the most significant ingredient in the DVL Secret Sauce may be that we are a 100% employee owned company.

DVL became partially employee owned in 2006, and eventually 100% employee owned in 2012. We are an organization that is driven by employee owners—subsequently, our Mission and Vision aren’t just arbitrary concepts, but are brought to life by an entire group of people inspired to achieve a shared success.

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In 1974, Congress passed The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which formally established a legal framework for ESOPs (employee owned companies). Since then, according to the National Center for Employee Ownership, the practice of employee ownership has proven to motivate employees, increase productivity, improve worker retention, and contribute to business longevity. If you directly benefit from the success of your company, you’ll be all-the-more motivated to succeed, and more importantly, encourage your co-owners to succeed as well. If their success is your success, teamwork is inherently engrained in everything you do!

To ensure we garner the very best from each and every one of our associates, from day one, we go all-in with investing in their development as a professional, and as a valued member of our team. So, just like many of the 6,400+ ESOPs in the country, we empower our people by educating, sharing, and involving. This includes the following measures:

  • Friend-tor Program: New associates are assigned a Friend-tor, another associate, by their manager, so they can have a colleague for one-on-one conversations if they have questions about the company or employee ownership.
  • ESOP 101: This course is held quarterly so new associates can take part in an in-depth lesson on ESOPs, and also how our business works. What effects the stock value? How does the performance of your department positively or negatively effect the bottom line? These questions and many more are addressed.
  • Finance 101: This course is held twice a year, and provides a foundation for associates to understand the performance figures that are shared with the company . This way, there are no surprises with the financials, and everyone understands what contributes to the stock price, which is determined once a year.
  • Lastly, we have the DVL ESOP Communications Committee, which bears the responsibility and mission of educating (and ultimately engaging) the employee owners of DVL Group. We strive to assure the committee is an accurate cross-organizational representation of the company so that all departments and offices have a voice.

From our own experiences as an ESOP, we can whole-heartedly agree with the NCEO’s findings. Afterall, as CEO Gary Hill likes to say, “we have careers here at DVL, not jobs.” Which is why going #BeyondTheProduct will always be our modus operandi.

 

Want a career at DVL?

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Topics: beyond the product, employee owned, ESOP Association, National Center for Employee Ownership

Our Customers Explain "Beyond the Product" in This Short Video

by Jodi Holland on 11/25/19 4:12 PM

DVL is your product sales and solution expert for your critical environment in the Greater Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Denver, Albuquerque, and Salt Lake City markets. We work beyond just selling great products—we evaluate your need, create the solution, apply the right product, and service it for the entire life cycle.

Watch the video below to hear from CEO Gary Hill and several of our customers how DVL goes beyond the product on a daily basis.

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Topics: mission-critical, beyond the product

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