Lights Out: Software Automates Data-Center Tasks - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Hardware & Infrastructure
News
2/18/2005
09:31 AM
50%
50%

Lights Out: Software Automates Data-Center Tasks

'We cut three hours off our nighttime run and eliminated one of our biggest problems: operator error,' CIO Evans says.

For many IT departments, a sizable amount of technology costs comes in the form of personnel, and the only way to cut costs is to cut staff.

Michael Evans, CIO for the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, which handles unemployment claims and benefits, faced that problem. He and his staff of 55 depend on grants and state funds for new IT projects. The bulk of his department's IT budget goes for network support, IT operations, and programming for a Bull mainframe that handles 85% of the department's work. "We're pretty much standardized" in terms of technology, Evans says. "So we needed to automate functions in order to reduce staff." Much of the IT department is funded through federal grants for specific projects; annual personnel costs run around $500,000, Evans says.

His goal was to move from a fully staffed data center, with personnel working around the clock, to a "lights-out" operation with minimal staff. He chose an operations-management application from a startup, Optinuity Inc. The software, also called Optinuity, is a workflow-automation system tailored for IT operations. The programming environment includes a library of predefined processes customers can use as building blocks to develop automated systems that scan logs, shut down servers, handle patches, and do many other data-center tasks. "They're like Lego blocks that can be combined for each unique environment," Optinuity CEO Scott Stouffer says.

Evans wanted a product that could schedule and run jobs, handle file transfers, and work with the Bull mainframe, IBM AS/400s, and Microsoft SQL Server databases. He was able to automate many of the mainframe's manual tasks, letting him cut four employees and redeploy others. "We cut three hours off our nighttime run and eliminated one of our biggest problems: operator error," Evans says. "It has saved me a whole lot of headaches each morning."

Return to main story, Stand And Deliver

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Commentary
What Becomes of CFOs During Digital Transformation?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  2/4/2020
News
Fighting the Coronavirus with Analytics and GIS
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/3/2020
Slideshows
IT Careers: 10 Job Skills in High Demand This Year
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  2/3/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT 2020: A Look Ahead
Are you ready for the critical changes that will occur in 2020? We've compiled editor insights from the best of our network (Dark Reading, Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, ITPro Today and Network Computing) to deliver to you a look at the trends, technologies, and threats that are emerging in the coming year. Download it today!
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll