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The Service Portal as the data center manager's digital assistant

The Service Portal as the data center manager's digital assistant

The STULZ Service Portal assists data center managers and operators in their everyday work, and therefore increases data center efficiency.

A data center manager's principal responsibility is to make sure operation is as reliable and available as possible. However, he must also keep a close eye on cost efficiency. 

The central role played by the data center manager makes him a vital point of contact for IT departments, management, service providers and customers. Being constantly up to date and accurately in the know about all processes is an important part of his work.

A prerequisite for reliable operation with a highly available IT landscape is an on-site technical infrastructure that is tailor-made for the specific requirements and provides redundancy. This infrastructure includes key facilities such as the power supply, air conditioning, and safety equipment such as fire protection and access control systems.

A data center's technical infrastructure requires constant maintenance. Here, quality service providers are needed. A precise understanding of the special requirements of high availability data centers is indispensable, in order that the service provider can react appropriately to emergencies and make the right decisions on all aspects of technical facility management.

Often, in the data center every minute counts. The power supply and air conditioning are the most crucial elements here: in the event of system failure, a qualified service technician needs to be at the site very quickly, at any time, day or night. For this to happen, individual processes are required to guarantee a reliable alert mechanism.

One of the data center manager's main tasks is to coordinate and manage this network of service providers. At the same time, all statutory regulations for the operation of technical systems must be complied with, and sometimes specially documented. The law places the responsibility for complete documentation firmly on the shoulders of the technical plant operator, who is generally represented by the data center manager. 

The STULZ Service Portal was designed especially for these tasks, and is continually being updated in line with new requirements. The system is web-based and therefore extremely flexible. Up-to-the-minute information is available regardless of location.

The STULZ Service Portal features individually created process chains for system fault rectification, and ensures fast, error-free communication between the data center manager or security services and the appropriate technical service provider in an emergency. This considerably shortens reaction times, contributing to higher data center availability.

Thanks to the STULZ Service Portal, all documents are stored centrally in one place and can be retrieved from any location via a web browser. This facilitates administrative work and dispenses with time spent time archiving files. Data security is guaranteed at all times by a multi-level security system on the server side, and by an individually adaptable user group management system. Service reports, for example, are uploaded to the STULZ Service Portal directly via an interface, and are available as soon as a service call is completed.

All work that can be scheduled, such as maintenance, tests and site inspections, are recorded centrally in the scheduling module of the STULZ Service Portal, facilitating the coordination and management of the various service providers. Detailed status reports by service providers in real time provide the data center manager with a perfect overview of activities in the data center.

Repair and maintenance quotations from the various service providers are uploaded directly to the STULZ Service Portal, and can be contracted by the data center manager or responsible member of staff. There is no need for separate communication by e-mail. This saves time and makes every step transparent and traceable.

The STULZ Service Portal assists data center managers and operators in their everyday work, and therefore increases data center efficiency.


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About the author

Enrico Buntkowski-Reinsch is a Project Manager in the IT department at STULZ GmbH in Hamburg. He has over 10 years' experience in the technical facility management of data centers and data network operators. As the Team Manager in Central Service Germany at STULZ GmbH for several years, he was responsible for coordinating and organizing all maintenance work for operators of data centers and backbone networks.