Data Center Operation Services: Datalink’s Version of Mission Control

By Phil O'Konski
4/6/2017

Many who know me know I am a space history buff. If you have ever watched Apollo 13, you see the movie revolves around a damaged moon-bound space capsule and the Mission Control center. Those scenes from Mission Control remind me of most IT Network Operation Centers I see - a room full of people watching screens, waiting for something unexpected to happen, and then triaging and escalating any issues to people who can fix them.    

In some ways, our Data Center Operation Services (DCOS) is like NASA Mission Control. We have a 24x7 team of talented engineers who respond to complex system issues. We process thousands of events every day. We have a deep knowledge base of procedures to quickly remedy client and general technical challenges that we face every day. Our clients rely on our operations to maintain the health and performance of their systems. Whether to support patient health, process grocery orders, handle healthcare claims, execute daily financial transactions, or manufacture and distribute goods, our clients must be able to count on these systems because every minute counts.

In other ways, our DCOS is different from NASA of the 60s and 70s. While their rocket scientist team was watching for alerts, we have taken the approach that the current International Space Station center uses - complex event correlation and handling. Our team doesn't watch screens, they strive to work more effectively on data center incidents, changes, patches, and analysis. Our process and tools teams continually review and optimize processes for ways to automate and improve our operational efficiency. While the NASA team was watching one complex system, our team watches numerous diverse complex systems and must adapt for many custom, client-specific processes.   

Our DCOS with the Datalink Central platform enables us to have a "Zero Person NOC" (network operations center). Our platform ingests events from numerous sources at hundreds of private and public cloud environments. Our team then fine-tunes those events hundreds of times a month to correlate this data into actionable information. Then we route those incidents to our "rocket scientists," highly trained data center engineers, to fix the problem right away. They expend all their energy and time proactively managing client environments. With our knowledge base, tools, processes, and people, we can raise service levels, reduce operational costs, and improve the client experience.

If you would like to understand how our Data Center Operational Services can integrate with your operations, please contact us.