Unveiling the Invisible: A Closer Look at Data Center Risk Avoidance Strategies 

data center risk avoidance ekkosense

By Steve Lewis, EkkoSense VP of US Sales 

In any work environment, various types of risks are inherent and, in some cases, simply unavoidable. From power outages to equipment malfunctions, vulnerabilities, and beyond, the potential for disruptions exists across different operational landscapes.  

However, in the highly sensitive space of data centers, the identification and management of risks are not merely a matter of choice; they are an absolute necessity. The critical nature of data center operations requires a proactive move toward identifying and managing potential risks to ensure uninterrupted service delivery and operational continuity. The good news is that with the right strategies in place, data center operators can proactively avoid these risks and ensure uninterrupted service delivery.  

Common Risks Faced by Data Centers 

Before diving into risk avoidance strategies, it’s essential to understand the most common risks that data centers face today. These include: 

  1. Power Outages and Electrical Overloads: Sudden power outages and electrical overloads can disrupt data center operations, leading to downtime and potential data loss. 
  1. Equipment Overheating: Overheating of critical equipment such as servers and hardware components can result in malfunctions and performance degradation. 
  1. Water Leaks and Environmental Issues: Water leaks, humidity fluctuations, and other environmental issues pose a risk to the integrity of data center infrastructure and equipment. 
  1. Malfunctions in Cooling Systems: Issues like broken Air Conditioning Units (ACUs) and Air Handling Units (AHUs) can lead to improper cooling, potentially causing equipment failures and operational disruptions. 

Risk Avoidance vs Risk Mitigation 

While risk mitigation involves reducing risks to an acceptable level, risk avoidance aims to completely eliminate risks from the data center environment. It’s about taking proactive measures to prevent potential issues before they escalate. 

Risk Avoidance Strategies 

Data center operators can employ several proactive strategies to avoid potential risks: 

  1. Leveraging Monitoring Tools: Tools empowered by machine learning and artificial intelligence for predictive monitoring allow for the early detection of anomalies and potential risks.  
  1. Implementing Maintenance Schedules: Regular maintenance is essential for identifying and addressing potential issues before they escalate.  
  1. Establishing High Standards for SLAs: Setting high standards for service level agreements (SLAs) ensures that operational performance is consistently maintained at a level that minimizes the risk of disruptions. 
  1. Amassing Granular Data and Analyzing Patterns: Leveraging detailed data insights and pattern analysis helps to proactively identify and mitigate potential risks.  
  1. Ensuring High Visibility: High visibility into the data center environment allows for greater oversight and rapid response to potential risks.  

The Role of Predictive Analytics 

Predictive analytics plays a crucial role in identifying and mitigating risks in data center environments by: 

  • Notifying operators of potential challenges before they escalate 
  • Allowing operators to assess the total impact of failures and plan responses accordingly 
  • Enabling proactive planning for critical infrastructure failures 

Real-World Risk Avoidance  

Real-life examples clearly show how effective risk avoidance measures can prevent big problems and keep things running smoothly. For example, by using temperature monitoring and predictive analytics, data centers can spot and prevent overheating issues before they become serious. Predictive analytics also helps identify potential problems with important equipment, so it can be fixed or replaced before the issue escalates, keeping operations running without interruptions. 

Data Center Infrastructure Optimization 

Optimizing data center infrastructure creates headroom to handle critical events like equipment failures. By operating at optimal capacity, data centers can better manage risks and minimize the impact of potential failures. Emerging technologies like ML, AI, and real-world modeling tools are reshaping the landscape of risk avoidance in data centers. These tools offer insights into infrastructure anomalies, optimization strategies, and emergency response planning. Environmental factors like temperature fluctuations and power outages pose significant risks to data centers. Granular monitoring and trend analysis help correlate external conditions with internal operations, enabling effective risk mitigation strategies. 

Proactive Risk Avoidance 

Developing a comprehensive risk avoidance strategy requires understanding the data center’s purpose, redundancy strategy, future plans, and customer requirements. It’s about aligning operational goals with risk mitigation efforts to ensure seamless operations. 

At EkkoSense, we empower data center teams by offering real-time operational visibility through an intuitive software platform that doesn’t require intensive training to use. Unlike traditional BMS tools where no alerts are assumed to mean that things must be fine, we enable teams to live test their resilience so they can detect potential issues before they escalate into critical outages. 
Using techniques such as anomaly detection, 3D visualization, and data analytics, teams can identify problems early, diagnose cause, and resolve them. Crucially this also lets operations teams check back to evaluate the effectiveness of their intervention. And because the analytics software captures data power and cooling data at a granular level, it’s much easier to conduct true root cause analysis post any failure event. 
We’re also working to provide operations teams with innovations to help them maintain uptime, with developments including comprehensive power alerts, new ways of detecting cooling anomalies, and insights that help resolve the complexities of electrical three-phase balancing. As ever, the best option is to fix before failure. 

Contact us to learn more about how EkkoSense helps data center operators remove 100% of thermal risk

Watch our video “How to quickly identify data center thermal issues” Tech Tip here.  

Read data center management case study “Three secures cooling energy savings across four sites