Lights out Data Center? Why isn’t everyone doing it?

So Aol launches the first 100% “lights out” data center. I stumbled across Mike Manos external blog yesterday he discribed “ATC” which is what they call this new facility, “ATC is a 100% lights out facility.  There are absolutely no employees stationed at the facility full time, contract, or otherwise.   The entire premise is that we have moved from a reactive support model to a proactive or planned work support model.  If you compare this with other facilities (including some I built myself in the past) there is always personnel on site even if contractor.   This has fundamentally led to significant changes in how we operate our data centers, how, what, and when we do our work, and has impacted (downward) the overall costs to operate our environments” So what is lights out? A lights out data center has very few to no lights at all. It’s climate controlled and usually will have limited access. Which helps your electric bill because less people are walking in and out of the data center and it makes it easier to maintain the right temperature within the data center.  This improves security as well, with less people in the data center it leads to less accidents that happen. Most accidents that “kip and gary” go through on a daily basis ( I had to do a plug for them). So if i’m understanding this correctly, the data center is actually being operated completely remotely, which dramatically increases the response time. The technology used to do remote monitoring is KVM over IP switches this is a  non-intrusive hardware-based solutions that allow you both in-band and out-of-band access to all servers connected to your KVM switch, or directly connected to the KVM Over IP switch. Sounds brillant, so why isn’t everyone going “lights out”? I would like to hear your thoughts? 🙂


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  • Dave Lowery - November 14, 2011 - 2:04 pm

    I’ve been in a light out data center before, and was very impressed with the organization and cleanliness of the data center. If there aren’t a lot of people roaming the center, then it is less cluttered, and much more organized. Also, very few problems seem to come from that data center as well!ReplyCancel

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