When you think about a data center, you might think about servers, switches, cooling, cabling, connectivity, access control and the like. What about audio/visual (AV) solutions? While it might not be top of mind, AV within a data center is a key issue. The appropriate data center AV solutions help provide the physical security and access to core information you want and need.
To dig a bit deeper on this, let’s start off with a couple of key questions:
- Is your data center network operations team getting the real-time visual information they need to keep the data center up and running at peak efficiency?
- Is your operational information slowing down your decisions?
Here are some core areas for focus:
- Real-time data access
- Enhanced visualization
- Seamless integration
We would probably all agree that information assurance and data security are paramount in today’s operation control centers (OCCs) for mission-critical data centers. Network architects should ensure management networks are isolated and secure to minimize the exposure to external attacks.
Your OCC needs to scale with your data center footprint locally, across the country and around the globe. This includes remote monitoring, redundancy, and providing back up for continuity of operation for disaster recovery support.
Real-Time Data Access
Live and accurate information must be presented to maintain an accurate visual dashboard of the current operating status. Internal metrics, combined with external updates, can quickly show correlations between outages, surges, weather, accidents and other events.
Information can be aggregated to create a digital war room for distributed knowledge sharing, collaboration and decision making. Live concurrent streams should be viewable locally and with other OCCs, maximizing available resources for analysis and decisions.
Seamless Integration & Smart Devices
Agile analytics can link data sources and provide a unified common operating picture, making a powerful operational impact. This should also scale to support secure and seamless information sharing between OCCs and remote users on smart devices.
Let’s now broaden our discussion to talk more about data center AV and the environmental factors that can improve the customer and employee experience.
Where are you going, and what do you need to know before entering the mantrap doors? Timely information keeps your clients and team up to date on the latest news as they navigate the data center. Late-breaking news and weather, COVID-19 reminders, schedules of events and wayfinding can get your message out to everyone while they are in the building.
Paging, Background Music & Sound Masking
Tired of noise and hearing other people in the background? Improve the quality of your employee and visitor data center experience with the strategic placement of sound masking and background music systems; paging systems may also be required in large operational areas for safety notifications and coordination of personnel activities.
Executive Briefing Centers (EBC)
Your first impression with a prospective client who is meeting you at the data center can help make or break a deal. The right EBC experience can deliver a solid easy-to-operate system that supports BYOD wireless presentation and collaboration that works seamlessly with any of the major collaboration platforms (MS Teams, Zoom, Cisco WebEx, etc.). Touchless control features should also be a consideration and, when possible, incorporated into the EBC for lighting, HVAC and high-performance audio speakers to support local social-distancing requirements.
What does your background look like when you are at your desk on a video call? Additional huddle rooms will be needed to support the increased demand for collaboration and video calls while in the office. Huddle rooms provide a higher quality audio and video experience, eliminating the personal workspace background clutter that is often seen on Zoom, Teams and other calls.
Room Occupancy, Availability & Scheduling
Nothing is more stressful than an unexpected client meeting when you need to find an open conference room for six people at 1 p.m. to close a deal. Room scheduling and availability signage can make this as simple as an Outlook calendar invite to get resources booked. For ad-hoc, last-minute internal meetings, room availability flags can give a quick, at-a-glance visual indication for which rooms are in use or available, minimizing delays in finding available resources.
Touchless Presentation & Automated System Wake Up
Never look for the “on button” again. Using occupancy sensors, the monitor automatically wakes up and shows the on-screen wireless presentation login message enabling a BYOD connection. Starting a wireless presentation has never been easier or as contactless as it can be today using EBC occupancy sensors.
The data center is core to more organizations than ever before. Beyond datacom infrastructure like cabling, connectivity, cooling, servers and the like, the need for AV application deployment is also growing exponentially.
We’ve covered a lot of ground, ranging from security, scalability, real-time data access, visualization, smart device integration, digital signage and sound masking to huddle rooms, executive briefing centers, occupancy sensors, touchless presentation rooms and more.
When it’s time to create or modify any data center, be sure the data communications/Security/AV partner you choose has the depth and breadth of services you need, along with the requisite experience and insight to deliver the data center solutions required for today and tomorrow.