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Follow the latest trends in dedicated servers, colocation services and data center industry with EasyDCIM.
EasyDCIM v1.5.1 Enters The Game!
After much blood, sweat and tears, we are only too ready to let this innovative beast out. Give a round of rapturous applause to the tide-turning EasyDCIM v1.5.1 which is about to add whole new layers of automated OS installation! Although we have already spilled the beans on what the centerpiece of this momentous release is, uttering those words even the second time will feel no less amazing - all the finishing touches are now complete to welcome the one and only Automatic Windows Server OS Installer! Since our previous Blog article covers pretty much everything there is to know about this keenly requested group of operating systems, we encourage you to engross yourself in this pleasurable reading straight away (if you have not done that already). Among the many useful pieces on information included in the latest publication, you will find an outline of major perks that unattended installation supplies data center admins with, list of supported Windows systems and a comprehensive guide through the entire installation process. After the long-awaited delivery of mass OS installation, it is time for the next load of big guns. Time for Windows, time for EasyDCIM v1.5.1! View The Changelog! Oh, and one more thing. Don't forget to check out our amazing EasyDCIM 3rd Anniversary offer where you will get a 30% discount for 3 months!
Aug 2, 2018
Windows Server OS Straight In Your EasyDCIM
As from the 1.5.0 version, EasyDCIM allows admins to install any of the supported operating systems on existing EasyDCIM servers in a totally automated manner – from the moment of selecting an installation template to running post-installation scripts. Yeah, saying that will never fail to give us a thrill. But that is not enough reason for us to slow down the tempo and just slob around while there is still so much to be done! Talking about progress – we are putting final touches to the 1.5.1 version which will extend the range of supported OS systems to include the long asked-for Windows Servers. Care for a little teaser? A brief outlook on automatic OS installation But let's go back to basics for a moment and focus on what 'unattended installation' actually means. Simply put, it is an automated technology used to install or upgrade an operating system with minimal user intervention. Unattended installation is usually employed while introducing a new system on a large scale, when the manual installation of an operating system on individual servers by administrators would be too money- and time-consuming. Just like with all other automatic installation technologies, unattended installation goes with a series of multiple advantages that standard interactive configuration does not provide. Here are some of those which we would like to highlight the most: Fewer installation errors. Since unattended installation makes use of a response file to install and configure operating systems, the interaction between administrators and technicians during the configuration process is reduced to minimum. Therefore, the likelihood that any erroneous data is entered during the configuration stage is proportionally smaller. Greater consistency during deployment. By using the same response file to install and configure every operating system, you gain the assurance that all servers in your data center are configured in the same exact way. Shorter installation time. During interactive configuration, the installation program demands from administrators or technicians to enter valid information at almost every step of the process. The unattended installation, in comparison, simply reads the configuration settings from the response file, saving you the whole hassle. And, of course, time. Lower maintenance costs. By minimizing errors during the configuration process, increasing server consistency and reducing the time required to configure the server, you can significantly diminish the overall cost related to technical support in the data center. Windows OS installation in practice The built-in operating system installer in EasyDCIM relies on installation templates. Each system has its own template which serves to automatically install the operating system on a dedicated server. All necessary installation files for the systems from the Windows family are usually compressed in ISO files on the basis of which EasyDCIM will automatically set up a system template for the selected Windows edition. Getting the Windows system template ready will be virtually unattended since the administrator's role will come down to merely placing the ISO file in the appropriate directory and then adding a new system task that will automatically perform the required operations including: Unpacking the installation files from the ISO image Injection of special parameters to the boot files Preparation of a response file responsible for the unattended installation of Windows Injection of the system key (if required) Placing the installation files on the SAMBA server All of the above steps will be taken by EasyDCIM automatically, thanks to which the administrator will be able to install Windows on multiple dedicated servers at the same time. During tests we used the following versions of Windows systems: Windows 10 April 2018 Windows Server 2016 Windows Server 2012 R2 Windows Server 2008 R2 For each of the Windows versions listed above, the installer performs the following actions: Creating an account named Administrator Setting a password for the Administrator account Setting the language Disk partitioning Setting a main IP address Setting additional IP addresses Setting a computer name Interested to see how this process looks like in practice? Here we go: [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3azlCUIPrI[/embed] Unattended OS installation of systems from the Windows family is exactly the kind of convenience that most frequently comes up on a wish list of every data center admin. And soon it will be also an integral part of the EasyDCIM system! Stay tuned for this momentous 1.5.1 release and be sure to swing by the changelog as soon as it arrives! And in the meantime, feel doubly welcome to get the best out of our Anniversary Promotion crowning 3 wonderful years of our nonstop advance. A 30% discount on every pricing plan for 3 months or a personalized deal suited to your wants are still within your grasp! See also: Automatic OS installation in EasyDCIM v1.5.0
Jul 12, 2018
Celebrate 3rd Anniversary with EasyDCIM!
The road so far... It was exactly on 25th June 2015 that a team of software geeks looked at their work with satisfaction and concluded: our all-embracing control panel is officially ready to launch and change the life of data center owners forever. And this is how the legend of EasyDCIM was born! It is to hard to believe that 3 years have passed since that very moment! We came a long way. Not always smooth and not always paved with spectacular victories, but definitely fruitful in the end. Was it worth it? Looking back at what we have achieved, I think we can all unanimously agree that EasyDCIM was the best thing that happened to us. And, hopefully, to all data centers using our software which is setting ever new trends in the market. EasyDCIM has been continuously evolving throughout these 3 years and will surely keep doing that for many, many more days to come. We are strongly driven to action when seeing how many businesses are already using our tool, and how massive feedback we receive from you. It means a whole world to us because with your help we do not have to wander in the dark. We listen, deliberate on each and every one of your suggestions, assess their feasibility, and when possible – we implement them. One of the most game-changing functionalities which settled in EasyDCIM for good as per your request was the Automatic OS Installer built in our recently released 1.5.0 version. To you, it is a great opportunity to set up a series of operating systems in one fell swoop and without the need to use any third-party software. To us – a wonderful tribute to our hard three-year work. Another noteworthy features added in response to your growing needs include Network Auto Discovering which lets you save considerable amounts of time by automatically detecting all devices within a given network through the SNMP protocol, and Revision History section storing all kinds of device-related information conveniently in one place. Some other prodigious additions comprise: Remote KVM console for HP iLO3 devices Remote KVM console for American Megatrends devices Power Control Settings - definining scope of remote control over the device status, choosing primary and secondary method of device restart (IPMI or PDU) PDU Drivers - support for Enlogic & Cyberpower ATS devices Added capability to export parts assigned to a device Possibility to upload files for each element from the inventory Means to export all items at once As you can see, we have done so much already with your support. And there is still a lot up our sleeve, so stay tuned – this second part of the year will be really exciting! Let's make a toast for future to come! An anniversary party without presents is no party at all so let′s see what we have got here! Are you our long-established customer seeking to upgrade your pricing plan? When in touch with us, use the "<3 EasyDCIM" slogan, and we will arrange some exclusive deal specially for you! Still not one of the EasyDCIM happy users? Contact us and use "<3 EasyDCIM" in your message's subject to pay 30% less for any pricing plan for the first three months! Our success is your success so join the celebration and make it one for the books! Let′s get this party started! Needless to say, we simply rejoice great parties. That is why our buoyant promotion is going to last not for a couple of days, but until 31st August inclusively! See also new EasyDCIM v1.5.1 with the Automatic Windows Server OS Installer!
Jun 25, 2018
In The Realm Of Automation – EasyDCIM v1.5.0
One of the reasons why you love EasyDCIM is probably the extent to which it automates all sorts of processes going on under the roof of your data center. But as you will see for yourself in a few moments, the milestone 1.5.0 version of you favorite control panel brings the subject of automation to a whole new level! When a hobby becomes a nuisance As a technological geek you certainly get a kick out of the whole ritual surrounding the installation of a new server. But will the thrill be equally as intense when installing not one or a few, but a hundred of operating systems? Highly doubtful. In such a situation you will be grateful for the tools which help to automate the system implementation process along with a complete configuration. Why else is automation so important for data centers? Let us stop on this subject for a moment. The more computer devices in the company's infrastructure, the higher the cost of their implementation, future maintenance and ultimate shutdown. But money is not the only problem. Apart from the fact that your employees are doomed to lose a lot of valuable time on routine tasks, there is also the issue of increased failure rates and worse transparency of complex systems. During installation of operating system, one must also cope with hundreds of drivers, technical specifics, and other additional tasks like installing occasional patches. That is quite a lot to digest, isn't it? Luckily for you, automation solves most of these concerns - guarantees the most economic resource usage, provides you with unlimited control over various processes, and reduces the need for manual routine tasks to the minimum. Automation of operating systems - benefits The profits of implementing a solution based on automatic operating system installer are both many and tangible. For starters, automation enables to add whole operating systems along with services, applications and all additional configuration by simply duplicating the administrator-defined installation templates. The results are immediate. Since automatic deployment is simply much faster than manual installation, you can spend the saved time on, for example, making another server ready for use. What is more, EasyDCIM allows you to run multiple network installations simultaneously. Being based on configuration files and scripts, these operations do not allow for any errors – something which cannot be said about an activity performed manually by human. EasyDCIM is also a great way to standardize your configuration. By installing many identical servers, it is much easier later on to navigate through their settings, diagnose failures, anticipate possible problems, and introduce comprehensive changes. Another crucial advantage of the implementation lies in the ease of use. Although the very preparation of a complete environment and configuration of its numerous tools can be both time-consuming and quite complicated, the installation of new servers after that is a smooth sailing and should cause no trouble to even the less experienced users. The technical perspective Servers operate basing on such services as DHCP, TFTP, HTTP and kickstart answer files. Each new dedicated server is launched from the network. While downloading settings from the DHCP server, our dedicated server also detects the EasyDCIM installation server and receives from it the list of available templates - possible to implement scenarios. In the very basic one, the profile includes a specific operating system distribution and a kickstart file containing the answers for the installer. By choosing a selected profile, you can then install the desired operating system without the need to supervise it personally. When it comes to a slightly more complex scenario, profiles are enriched with additional scripts that can not only install services and user accounts but also upload appropriate configuration files and perform a suite of other tasks in the newly added systems. EasyDCIM also allows to maximally optimize the implementation of operating systems understood as the automatic installation of a complete system containing all the required configuration. The more delegated tasks, the less manual work will be required with each new server. During the installation of an operating system installation, EasyDCIM performs a series of specific actions in a fully automatic manner: 1. Based on the MAC Address field of the device, EasyDCIM regenerates the configuration file of the DHCP server. 2. The device is restarted using IPMI, PDU or a manual method and entered into the PXE boot mode. 3. The device is launched in the PXE boot mode. 4. The device requests DHCP server to assign the IP address set in the IP Address field in EasyDCIM. 5. The DHCP server assigns the appropriate IP address. 6. The appropriate bootloader file is downloaded from the TFTP server and then uploaded to the device's memory. 7. Based on the correct bootloader file, the kickstart file containing the configuration of the selected operating system is requested from EasyDCIM. 8. The kickstart file is downloaded from the specified IP address of the EasyDCIM server. 9. Automatic installation of the operating system is commenced via the kickstart file: Downloading the required system files Running the pre-installation scripts Setting the time zone Setting the language Disk partitioning Creating a user account and setting the root password Setting the parent IP address Setting additional IP addresses and network interfaces Installing additional system packages Running post-installation scripts Finishing the installation 10. Once the installation has been completed successfully, a suitable notification is sent to EasyDCIM. This principle of operation is used for most installation templates. While some templates may vary in certain respects, the operating principle remains the same. Now, let us see how this theory works in practice! [embed]https://youtu.be/0SnCG7UF1cU[/embed] Manual installation of operating systems raises more problems than being just extremely laborious. More often than not it requires unwavering attention and excellent technical know-how, too. And there is always the risk that despite your best efforts, you may inadvertently mess up a few crucial steps in the process. With the new EasyDCIM v1.5.0 already on the loose, you may take the bother of manual OS installation off your mind entirely, and do something more interesting in the meantime. Like, for example, checking out some other principal functionalities of this ground-breaking novel version: IP Address Management v1.5.3 OS Installation For EasyDCIM v1.3.0 Greater functionality connected with PDU drivers More advanced power control settings Learn more about this most anticipated edition of EasyDCIM ever and bring a boon of automation to your data center! View The Changelog!
Jun 14, 2018
Device Monitoring – Your Portal To Easy Savings!
Comprehensive diagnostics and analysis of device parameters allows you to optimize the functioning of the entire data center. Because of this precious insight, you are able to avoid the dire consequences of potential failures, rationalize planning of device maintenance intervals, and significantly prolong the service life of devices. But not only that - proactive monitoring also helps to raise energy efficiency of the individual pieces of equipment, and consequently - the whole data center altogether. Whether you succeed in turning your data center into a role model of economic maintenance depends to a large extent on the technical condition of your devices. Surprised? Wondering how exactly these two aspects are connected? Let us explain this sequence of dependencies to you in the most explicit manner which will not give you a headache along the way! Keeping equipment shipshape is number one condition if you want your devices to be safe in exploitation, available for use at all times, durable and foolproof on top of that. Not to mention energy efficient which will translate into increased savings. And that is something you are striving for more than anything else, isn't it? As you can see for yourself, detailed diagnostics and round-the-clock monitoring are indispensable for preventing any sort of faults (and thus monstrous costs related to repairs). This, in practice, means observing the parameters and device properties during not only normal, everyday functioning but diagnostic processes as well. EasyDCIM v1.4.4 provides you with all the necessary tools to review the state of each individual device in your possession. But even that is not the most utilitarian and exciting part of this ultramodern control panel. A couple of entirely new reports which allow you to readily inspect every single parameter of your devices is! Have a closer look at these two powerful reports unlocked in your 'Reports' section! Devices Load From The Last 5 Minutes Pretty easy to figure out what this report type is responsible for, isn't it? That is right - it displays the total load of your devices from the last 5 minutes, automatically sorting the values from the highest to the lowest. In other words, it shows how many processes on average are running per CPU during a particular time. If, for example, your load equals 1.50, then it means that roughly one process is in the 'Active' state and 0.5 processes are in the 'Standby' state. A higher value always denotes the more overloaded state. The collection of values is carried out through the polling process which polls the devices once every 5 minutes. The device polling is based on the SNMP protocol from which every 5 minutes the UCD-SNMP-MIB::laLoad value is downloaded. The 'Report Configuration' section contains two fields: Types - choose the device types which are to be taken into account when generating a report. Number Of Devices - specify the number of devices which will be displayed in a report. Power Consumption This report type is just as straightforward and helpful as the previous one. What it does is show the power consumption of your devices from one of four selected time intervals: last hour, last day, last week, last month. Can you see the potential lying in such precious data? Here is a hint! Identify the devices that generate the most electricity consumption → work out the ways to reduce this high usage most effectively → grab an extra cup of coffee with your saved dollars! The special process responsible for the collection of values is run once an hour and retrieves data on power consumption for PDUs and colocation from the following time intervals: last hour, last day, last week, last month. The device polling is based on the SNMP protocol from which the power consumption value is downloaded. Although the SNMP protocol is a primary source of data, specific device brands allow you to collect the values in other ways as well. In APC brand devices, for instance, data is retrieved using branches in the MIB tree with the value: 184.108.40.206.4.1.3220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.2.1 (PowerNet-MIB). The 'Report Configuration' section contains five fields: Types - pick the device types which should be included when generating a report. Units - select counting units other than the default Amps. In addition, you can convert values into predefined kW for direct current at 230V or 120V. Custom Conversion - convert the values to the ones of your own choosing. The base value is Amps which can be freely recalculated using appropriate arithmetic operations. Traffic Interval - choose the time interval from which data will be collected. There are for at your disposal: last hour, last day, last week, last month. Number Of Devices - specify the number of devices which will be displayed in a report. Key Benefits Of Device Monitoring With Dynamic Reports By way of introduction, we outlined why device monitoring is such an important issue when looked at from the fundamental level as well as wider perspective. Devices which keep generating a large load over a long period of time can outlive their usefulness really quickly and simply fail. If that were not enough, increased device load generates greater demand for power thus leading to higher electricity bills. But having the two newly added reports at your disposal, you can react instantly to any arising threats stemming from either device overload or power consumption and prevent serious failures from ever taking place. There is no better time than now to see how tremendous impact data center analysis has on the condition of your entire data center and... your wallet as well! Learn More About EasyDCIM v1.4.4!
May 10, 2018
EasyDCIM v1.4.4 – The Era Of Reports Has Begun!
The sheer amount of sundry data stored and disseminated in server rooms every day, hour and minute is just staggering. And given the highly competitive nature of data center industry, it should not come as shock to anyone that effective data analysis is starting to play an increasingly important role for more and more business owners. Are you one of them? Did you ever realize how much potential lies dormant in these countless figures and numbers collected right under the roof of your data center? If not – be prepared to have your mind blown away by this game-changing revelation known to the circle of insiders as 'data mining'. Reports in EasyDCIM v1.4.4 New EasyDCIM v1.4.4 was designed and developed with one primary intent in mind – to help you discover your business anew with the aid of a wide assortment of whip-smart reports. The 15 novel report types are grouped into thematic categories to let you swiftly reach the relevant content you are currently interested in. Would you like to analyze which nationality constitutes the biggest percentage of your client base, and thus better personalize your offer? It will take you only a few minutes to study the statistics generated by the client-focused reports and draw valid conclusions. Measuring the resource usage and traffic generated by network devices does not have to serve billing purposes exclusively. Thanks to the multiple reports dedicated to devices you can easily sort the values from the highest to the lowest and preview, for example, if the transfer usage has increased or decreased compared to the previous month or any other time period. Monitoring the load of devices from the last 5 minutes, in turn, will allow you to quickly detect if there is a DDoS attack attempt being made on any of the ports. Are you adopting new strategies to branch out your business? Or maybe you want to simply keep your finger on the pulse and evaluate the profitability of your data center? Whatever your goals are, the next class of reports aimed at orders and services will grant you instant access to all sorts of details related to orders from any time interval of your own choosing. Deciding on a further course of action? Making quick adjustments to improve the quality of provided services? Not a problem any more! Keeping track of your inventory items can be quite a challenge when you own dozens of them (which you most certainly do). The last category of newly implemented reports designated for inventory organization will bring much alleviation to your daily tasks by allowing you to easily sort the possessed items by their type, status, model, and display the number of racks according to their location. We are positive that through careful interpretation of the data collected within these five areas you will be able to drive effective decision-making, predict customer trends, and boost the general productivity of your data center. Although we got totally engrossed in the business of new reports, this release has many more salient points to enjoy. Let us have a look at some of them: Password Management Module v1.1.0 Usage Collector Module v1.3.1 List with application jobs New configuration fields in the general settings Streamlined polling process Learn more about EasyDCIM v1.4.4 and be on the lookout for more stirring Blog posts devoted in their entirety to freshly applied reports! View The Changelog!
Apr 26, 2018
Get Hooked On New Billing Perspectives!
A quick word of introduction for those who have only recently joined our crash course on the addictive subject of colocation: the term refers to the end-to-end process of providing a technical environment in which the client's web server will run smoothly and at a reasonable cost. The most sizable percentage of all clients opting for colocation services in data centers is occupied by eCommerce companies seeking guaranteed server resources and a secure background for online transactions processed on their websites. The potential of colocation services is also highly appreciated by telecommunications companies which use the devices for traffic exchange with their partners and prospective firms via a high-speed connection. And finally, colocation proves useful to enterprises simply determined to protect their data from disasters as well as back up their data outside the company's headquarters. You might be wondering now what the common denominator in all of these organizations is. The answer is far from surprising: each of them wants to track their resource consumption - most important being outgoing and incoming transfer and power usage - in the current billing cycle. Colocation Management in the WHMCS system What exactly is WHMCS? The Web Host Manager Complete Solution is a powerful business automation platform, a single pane of glass for client management, recurring billing, and customer support. It is the software suite of choice for web hosters and service providers, but not only. The present-day software market abounds in extensions and add-ons aimed to provide advanced functionality to the WHMCS platform, and the perfect example of such a solution is EasyDCIM Colocation For WHMCS. EasyDCIM Colocation For WHMCS is a free module developed by ModulesGarden in order to allow EasyDCIM colocation providers offer and manage their services without the need to leave the confines of the WHMCS environment. As regards your customers, they are empowered to not only place new orders directly from the WHMCS client area, but gain a clear insight into statistics of their already active services as well. Integration between WHMCS and EasyDCIM To make sure you acquire full understanding of this practical fusion, let's starts from the very basics. Connection between WHMCS and EasyDCIM takes place via API, and a few simple steps have to be taken in order to establish it. Ready? Go to 'Setup' → 'Products/Services' → 'Servers' and pick the 'Add New Server' function. Then, select 'EasyDCIMColocation' from the 'Type' dropdown menu. Enter the essential data, including the server name, IP address, user name and the password (API Key) which can be readily found in the EasyDCIM administrator profile - just take a look on the following screen. Not really sure whether the connection is established correctly? No worries! You can always press the 'Test Connection' button to clear up any doubts in this regard. Product Configuration Once the compatibility between EasyDCIM and WHMCS is secured, you are free to add your first product. Move to 'Setup' → 'Products/Services' → 'Products/Services' and choose the 'Create New Product' option. Just see how quickly it can be done! As soon as your product is up and running, head to the 'Module Settings' section and select the desired module and the server group. All the ins and outs of the configuration procedure can be thoroughly explored here. Default Options (required): Location - the location where the colocation server will be placed Model - the colocation model Product Configuration: Auto Accept - each newly added order in EasyDCIM receives by default a pending status. Then it is the administrator's task to accept it manually, creating the appropriate service. Only after the service has been activated in the EasyDCIM panel will WHMCS cron immediately update its status. To accelerate this process, you can choose the 'Auto Accept′ option to make WHMCS automatically accept each new EasyDCIM order and match the most suiting colocation on the basis of the provided criteria (model, location, etc.). Service Access Level - allows to handle sets of prearranged permissions for end customers. In the configuration section of a given level in EasyDCIM you can choose elements to which your clients should have access from the client area in your EasyDCIM panel, and which ones will remain off limits to them. Service Actions: This is the exact place where you can determine if such actions as ′Suspend′, ′Unsuspend′, and ′Terminate′ are to be performed automatically both in the WHMCS system and the EasyDCIM panel. If you decide to disable these actions, they will be executed in WHMCS only and all authorized administrators will be sent an email with an appropriate notification. Options Visible in Client Area: Traffic Statistics - access to the section presenting transfer consumption Power Usage Statistics - access to the section presenting power consumption Power Outlets - access to the section presenting the list of available power outlets with the possibility to control them Order Synchronization Between WHMCS and EasyDCIM The synchronization process should start with creating a WHMCS service for the previously created product. The module empowers you to use a diverse array of actions including: Create - sets up a new order in the EasyDCIM panel and updates the ′Order ID′ field to which the ID of the EasyDCIM order will be added. If you have ticked the 'Auto Accept' option in the product configuration section, EasyDCIM will attempt to accept such an order automatically. Suspend - suspends an EasyDCIM service Unsuspend - unsuspends an EasyDCIM service Terminate - sets the service status in the EasyDCIM panel as 'Terminated'. During this action a colocation service is being unassigned from the client who previously owned it. The colocation status then changes to ′Available′, making the service ready to be ordered by another client. Update Order Information - this particular action works in the same way as CRON working in the background. Once it is launched, it initiates the process of searching for an order with the same exact ID as the one set in the ′Order ID′ field. If such an order is located and displays active status, a corresponding colocation identifier will be entered in the Server ID field. As you can see, the synchronization between WHMCS and EasyDCIM takes place via two fields: Order ID and Server ID. The former contains the order identifier from EasyDCIM and is used to carry out such actions as ′Suspend′, ′Unsuspend′, ′Terminate′ and ′Update Order Information′. The Server ID field, in turn, holds the colocation identifier which is managed by the end customer – the same colocation that had been assigned to the order in the EasyDCIM panel beforehand. Resource Billing Charging for transfer and power consumption is carried out by means of the Advanced Billing For WHMCS module. This powerful billing tool developed by ModulesGarden provides a whole variety of advanced functionalities including billing for the actual server resource usage and generation of fully customizable invoices. EasyDCIM Colocation For WHMCS is equipped with three billing submodules: bandwidth, 95th Percentile and power usage. Bandwidth - billing based on total inbound and outbound traffic accumulated from all devices assigned to the colocation. 95th Percentile - billing according to the 95th percentile method. The algorithm called the 95th percentile involves a cyclic registration of the link load for the interval of 5 minutes where 5% of samples with the highest value are being rejected. All of this to avoid charging end customers for temporary data flow spikes resulting from sudden, short events or registration errors. Power Usage - billing based on the power consumption measured in amps. Colocation Management You have made it! Your new colocation service has been successfully created, activated, and assigned to the customer who can now manage its key components freely from the WHMCS client area. To gain access to all basic information on colocation – from model and location to its label assigned in EasyDCIM - your clients will have to take just a few quick steps and head to the summary view of their colocation service. Here, they will also be able to monitor their present-day charges for the used resources. In the 'Traffic Statistics' section clients can control both current and past transfer usage for the entire colocation. Since traffic is accumulated from all devices within a colocation, customers have all the necessary information on aggregation gathered and presented in one place. The ′Power Usage Statistics′ section presents the accumulated power consumption from all PDU devices assigned to the colocation with values measured in amps. Additionally, by assigning specific power outlets to a given colocation, you automatically provide them for end customers who will be able to manage them remotely using the ′on′, ′off′ and ′restart′ options. The very same actions can be performed by the colocation owner from the ′Outlets′ section. EasyDCIM Colocation For WHMCS is one these software solutions that you use once and refuse to trade for anything else afterwards. Bill your clients using not one, but two ultramodern systems fit with all the right tools to deliver colocation services at a sky-high level, and you will see why! Redefine Your Colocation Billing! Did our insatiable curiosity about colocation already rub off on you? Then be sure to study our previous articles exploring the realms of: Colocation basics Traffic aggregation Power usage Colocation ordering
Apr 17, 2018
Take The Road Through Colocation Ordering
Equipped with sound knowledge of colocation, you already grasp the potential behind its capability of providing space, power supplies and cooling. Colocation also improves physical safety of servers, mass storage and network devices of third parties, and furthermore links them with different providers of telecommunication and network services – all this at a minimum cost and complexity. Most suppliers of colocation solutions market their products to a wide audience, the one that includes both large and small-scale enterprises. Nine times out of ten, a customer owns the IT equipment, but it is the external company that arranges the electricity, sufficient bandwidth and efficient room ventilation. By placing their servers in a data center, clients gain at least several instant advantages. Firstly, they make substantial savings on the expenses arising out of the servers management, cutting the often excruciating costs of the Internet connection, rack mounting, cables, the main and backup power supplies, etc. A greater level of network capacity secured by a data center is sure to find its reflection in more rapid access to the customers’ websites. Secondly, clients are offered the sought-after opportunity to save time – we all agree that every minute is worth its weight in gold in business – and focus closely on daily undertakings, while the staff of a data center keeps servers in peak condition 24/7. Customers can therefore maintain effective control over the complex designing process and use of their own infrastructure, whereas the daily operation of a data center is supervised by the colocation provider for multiple tenants. Colocation Services in EasyDCIM If you are up to speed with the latest series of colocation-exploring Blog articles, discussing the subject of fundamentals, traffic aggregation and power usage, you already know how to create a colocation in EasyDCIM, assign an unlimited number of servers to it, and also configure the PDU devices as a part of a colocation service. This product considered as a whole is appropriately arranged in the system so as to be easily ordered and later on handled by the end customer. EasyDCIM provides a simple means for managing orders and services in the administrator panel. To trace essential details on existing orders, enter the „Clients” section, and afterward proceed to the „Orders” subsection located in the left menu. The orders list view features all information you may find useful, including the number, type and status of an order, a client for whom the order has been placed, as well as the service that was created in the process of order acceptance. If you would like to create a new order, choose the „Add Order” option available in the upper menu named „Actions”. You will be then automatically redirected to further steps of order placing. The „Basic Details” stage requires you to choose the type of a service that you wish to obtain. Currently, EasyDCIM supports two service categories, i.e. Server and Colocation. Together with this, choose the customer who shall own the ordered colocation service. The next step, "Service Criteria" allows you to specify the model of the colocation you would like to order as well as its preferable location. Whenever you are ready, use the designated section in your EasyDCIM panel to create a new model and a new location. We are almost there! "Service Configuration" is the final step of your order. Here you can create a colocation label that will help you locate this colocation in the future quick and easy. This is the stage at which you also select the "Access Level", that is a set of prearranged permissions for end customers. Wait a moment, what levels? Where do I create them? Follow us! Go to the "Access Levels" section and simply pick the elements to which your clients should have access from the client area in your EasyDCIM panel, and which ones will remain off limits to them. So, it looks like your order is ready! Accept it, and then, from the "Service Actions" widget view select the "Activate" option. This will trigger the activation of your colocation service. Do not forget that the system automatically identifies the most suitable colocation, basing on the specifics provided during the ordering process. For instance: if you placed an order for the "COLO 2 Servers" model which is to be located in New York, the system will automatically try to find such a colocation according to the following criteria: model - COLO 2 Servers location - New York inventory status - available client - not assigned yet If the colocation matching all requirements is found in the system, you will see it in the order summary view (as shown on the "Order Preview" widget). Otherwise, you will receive an appropriate notification and the colocation will have to be selected and assigned to the order manually. Colocation Management in EasyDCIM Client Area And voilà – a new colocation has been created and assigned to the client successfully. Now they will be able to manage its essential components directly from the EasyDCIM client area. This includes controlling transfer consumption as well as power usage of the devices assigned to the colocation, and managing power outlets by end clients remotely via "on", "off" and "restart" options. The very same actions can be performed by the colocation owner from the "Outlets" section. Based on the collected data and using the appropriate billing system like WHMCS and EasyDCIM Colocation For WHMCS module, the administrator can then charge customers based on their total resource consumption. The integration with the WHMCS billing system will be described in greater detail in the next article devoted to colocation. It goes without saying that the major part of the whole colocation ordering process takes place automatically and your job boils down to, basically, making a few clicks. Effortless, time-effective, and fun – this is how colocation management in EasyDCIM v1.4.3 is bound to be! Master the Arcana of Colocation! Got to the end of the article, but still feeling slightly out of place? You must have somehow missed the introduction of colocation, basics of traffic aggregation and power usage tutorial!
Mar 15, 2018
Colocation – Let’s Talk About Power Usage!
It should not come as a surprise to anyone that deployment and maintenance of data centers is not exactly a money-friendly process. Not by a long shot. The purchase of the requisite equipment and software license alone is a long-term investment, not to mention the costs related to power usage. Yes, power usage - probably the most pricey recurring expense of all. Colocation is usually made up of numerous devices running 24/7 so as to provide the users with round-the-clock access. You do not need to be a Maths genius to figure out that the more devices assigned to the colocation → the higher the power consumption rate → the bigger the costs. But that is not all. When we take into account the fact that some larger metropolitan areas and remote places have considerably higher cost of electricity than other locations, we might end up with really cosmic numbers. Looks like power usage is quite a big deal when it comes to company's profitability, isn't it? So, how to reduce the power consumption of data center devices to the absolute minimum? One of the most common solutions used by modern data centers is replacing the standard power strips that possess few or no energy-saving features with Power Distribution Units. PDUs are far more advanced, enabling the measurement of electrical parameters, load switching, and monitoring of environmental factors such as temperature or humidity. And why is all of this so important anyway? Because, most of all, insight into the exact conditions inside a rack cabinet along with immediate reports of any encountered errors empower administrators as well as data center operators to address them and implement various measures increasing energy efficiency promptly. Although very much alike the ordinary power strips, the role of PDU devices does not end with distributing electric power only. As we already mentioned, PDUs first and foremost measure electrical parameters, but they can also be used to switch on and off the installed outlets and monitor them remotely via network interfaces. After all the good stuff you have heard about Power Distribution Units, you might think that hardly anyone will be able to afford such a space-age solution for their data center. But the truth is that PDU devices are actually becoming increasingly more widespread as the pressure from data center operators and server rooms to reduce energy consumption intensifies. PDUs of different manufacturers can collect various measurement data, but there are several common elements: frequency, voltage, current and their product – power. Depending on the class, PDU devices can also measure active and apparent power – two other key factors when using power supplies with capacitive and inductive load characteristics. Devices in EasyDCIM EasyDCIM v1.4.3 supports PDU devices of APC and Raritan brands. Data on the status of power outlets, power consumption and current PDU load are downloaded cyclically in five minute intervals, using the SNMP protocol. This protocol also allows a remote control over power devices, which makes it possible for you to start, shut down, or restart any outlet in a fully remote manner, simply sending corresponding commands from the EasyDCIM panel. Each colocation can be assigned an unlimited number of PDU outlets. You can see the list of all active power devices assigned to the given colocation by moving from the colocation summary view to the 'Power' subsection. When assigning a new device to the colocation, you are additionally offered the choice of available power outlets. You can select all, or just the preferred ones. Either way, all power devices you have picked will be listed in the 'Power Ports' section of the given colocation. Assigning an outlet to colocation will also empower end clients to manage this device remotely, using the 'switch-on', 'switch-off' and 'restart' options. The colocation owner can configure the whole process from a special section in the EasyDCIM client area. EasyDCIM aggregates power consumption based on all PDU devices belonging to the colocation. By way of example: having two assigned PDU outlets which generate different usage, the total consumption for the colocation will be the sum of power from these two devices. Using the appropriate billing system like WHMCS and EasyDCIM Colocation For WHMCS module, the administrator can then charge customers based on their total energy consumption measured in amps. It is also possible to preview past and current power usage for the entire colocation or each PDU device separately in the 'Power Usage' section. As you can see, adding PDU devices to colocation and managing their fundamental properties in EasyDCIM is as straightforward as it is beneficial to any data center provider. Put it to practice yourself, and stay tuned for more gripping news on colocation in EasyDCIM v1.4.3! Start Your Colocation Adventure! Are you a newcomer to EasyDCIM v1.4.3 and wondering what is going on with this whole colocation thing? Get clued in right away and read more on colocation basics & traffic aggregation as well!
Mar 5, 2018
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