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Thursday, January 19, 2006

NCPI, tangible opportunity -– Kleynhans

Country General Manager for Africa at the American Power Conversion (APC) Mr. Carl Kleynhans, has said that the firm’s Network-Critical Physical Infrastructure (NCPI) represents a tangible opportunities for chief information officers (CIOs) and Information Technology (IT) managers in elimination of business costs of unnecessary downtime, human error, lack of agility and data centre oversizing.

Speaking recently, Mr. Kleynhans, said this is especially valid in the mission-critical data centres and disaster recovery sites.

Noting that IT infrastructure could be split into two parts, IT computing and communication equipment such as servers, routers, storage, laptops and desktops as well as the NCPI that this hardware supports.

NCPI, he said, includes power, power distribution, cooling, cooling distribution, service and the physical infrastructure management systems that support the hardware and software platforms of mission-critical data centres and facilities.

He also said that experience had shown that one-time engineering of an entire NCPI results in a distinctive system, with specific problems that require precise diagnosis and repair.

These processes are not only expensive and time-consuming, but also provide little intelligence that could be applied to future problems or problems at other data centres in the organisation.

Standardisation, according to him, eliminates the need for one-time engineering and eradicates the overhead of dealing with specific problems in the infrastructure, thereby freeing up resources for developing the data processing functionality of the IT layer supported by the infrastructure - the real mission of the data centre.

He further said that the goals of NCPI standardization are to drive out the inefficiencies and error-prone complexity of one-time engineering, to transparently manage the routine business of IT physical infrastructure and create the same signature quality expected of any infrastructure.

The country GM pointed out the impacts availability in several ways, namely the major factors affecting availability are the reliability of equipment, Mean Time To Recover (MTTR) and human error.

In terms of the reliability of equipment, he explained that standardised modular components could be mass-produced in greater volume than non-modularised systems, reducing production defects.

Modular components, he said, could be returned to the manufacturer for factory service, which greatly improves the quality of repairs. In addition, modular systems with standardised hook-ups could be configured at the factory in the same way they would be configured on site, allowing for factory pre-testing for defects.

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