Single white space dashboard: COMS

Rented white space

Imagine, you are a cloud provider and you lease datacenter capacity in multiple datacenters. This implies that you have several SLA agreements in place that you need to monitor. Your rented whitespace facilitates your hardware on which your services run. It is of utmost importance that these services are uninterrupted, at all times. So you need a single dashboard that shows you the status of your various DCs at a blink of an eye. Reality however shows that you are probably struggling to get all the information that you require in a useable form.

Your first challenge will be to obtain data from the datacenters that house your hardware. They usually are very reluctant to let others peek on their infrastructural measurements. They often provide a ‘customer portal’ where you can log in and get some information on temperature, power consumption and humidity. If you want more information, like information on redundancy or autonomy time it will be a challenge to get it, even if it is part of your SLA.

The second challenge is to get this information unified in a single dashboard. As you probably use many different colocation providers it will be difficult to line them all up in a single interface. You probably end up keeping an eye on multiple customer portals, each with their very UI.

A conflict of interests

We have seen this ‘conflict of interest’ too many times:

Datacenters are (for good reasons) reluctant to open up their infrastructural network to share information with customers as it might jeopardise their security (see our blogs on security)
Cloud providers need to have this information to secure the availability of their services.
That’s why we have been working on a solution, which we are proud to introduce to you today:

Perf-iT COMS

Perf-iT COMS

Perf-iT COMS is a unified dashboard that allows you to monitor many different sites, owned or leased. It provides a single view on all your assets with an easy ‘drill-down’ interface to quickly get into the details of a specific issue.

Perf-iT COMS gets its information from a combination of IoT devices that assure the highest possible security. In the datacenter’s infrastructure a ‘ColoBox’ is placed. The ColoBox collects all the data from all infrastructural devices such as temperature/humidity sensors and all others sensors that monitor the premises. But also data from UPSs, CRACs, fuel tanks and batteries can be fed into the ColoBox. The ColoBox resides on the datacenter’s network and is protected by their network standards. A second box, called ‘SafeBox’ is than placed in the cloud provider’s premises and connected to their network. Then, a serial one-way connection is made between the ColoBox and the SafeBox. The datacenter decides what information is mirrored from the ColoBox to the SafeBox. There is no (physical) link back from the SafeBox to the ColoBox as it is a one-way serial cable. This is a 100% safe set-up that allows datacenters to share information without opening their network to possible attacks from the outside. The type and amount of information that is mirrored from ColoBox to SafeBox is determined by the datacenter. They are in control. The cloud provider can add their own measurements, like sensors inside their cabinets to the SafeBox. This set-up can be copied over multiple DCs and the information is then combined in a single dashboard: COMS.

COMS allows for an easy overview of all your IT environments, be it in owned or leased DCs.

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