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“Time For Companies To Review Their Data Storage Capabilities”: Kathie Lyons, Park Place Technologies

“Time For Companies To Review Their Data Storage Capabilities”: Kathie Lyons, Park Place Technologies

Park Place Technologies

Ohio-headquartered Park Place Technologies is a global service provider for data centre storage, server, and network hardware. It prides itself on being one of the world’s “largest pure-play, post-warranty data centre maintenance organisations”. 

Accelerating and aiding the digital transformation of enterprises, Park Place Technologies helps its customers in maximising their Uptime, improving the operational speed, and ultimately eliminating IT chaos.

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 The company is currently basking in its latest acquisition of IT support and services company Curvature Inc. With this acquisition, Park Place Technologies catapults to become a leader in the field of third-party data maintenance.

Analytics India Magazine caught up with Kathie Lyons, the Executive Vice President and General Manager of ParkView at Park Place Technologies, to understand their processes and services. Lyons also shared a few insights on the landscape of data centres and their management, especially in India’s context.

Data Center & IT Infrastructure Management

Park Place Technologies has three main services: ParkView Managed Services, Entuity Software, and Enterprise Operation Center.

ParkView is an offering from the company that provides full-suite services to manage critical infrastructure and streamlines operations to support complex business issues.

It enables users to discover, monitor, support, and optimise (DMSO) — one of the organisation’s guiding mantras — on all their data centre tools and IT infrastructure. Detailing more on this, Lyons said that there are four main offerings from ParkView:

  • ParkView Discovery: This offers a full-remote, comprehensive, and automated coverage of physical, virtual and cloud environments for server, storage and network assets as well as desktops, peripherals and EDGE devices. It overcomes the manual process’s problem, which is time-consuming and highly prone to errors. It achieves real-time visibility to all the assets and further accelerates the audit preparation process.
  • ParkView Monitoring: It is a hosted solution for hardware (storage, server, network), server operating systems (Windows, Linux, VM), and network environments enabling automated support for our customers. It proactively identifies fault and works on a 24/7 cycle. While the conventional way of managing a data centre is reactionary, time-consuming, and costly, ParkView provides the maintenance solution in just two easy steps.
  • ParkView Server Management: It provides full server management including OS monitoring, remediation, and patch management (coming in 2021) for Windows, Linux and VM environments.
  • ParkView Network management offers full network monitoring and management, including remediation support and patch management. It is Azure-hosted and runs Entuity ENA software.

Automated Network Discovery & Monitoring

Another vital solution from Park Place Technologies is Entuity Services. With the proprietary Entuity Network Analytics (ENA), companies can discover, monitor, manage, and optimise their entire network across several devices supplied by different vendors. 

ENA automates the network discovery process and uses intuitive workflows that make it easy to detect any possible anomaly. With the aid of responsive dashboards, companies can take a high-level view to take cognisance of the overall network health and drill down to the component level for rapid and efficient fixing of any network problem so identified.

“On the Entuity side, we use dynamic thresholds to baseline the behaviour of network utilisation. We then alert on deviations from “normal. We use various algorithms also to predict network capacity needs. It also has integrations with AIOps platform from BMCs (Baseboard Management Controllers), Moogsofts, and Splunks,” added Lyons, who is also entrusted with the task of leading the successful integration of ENA into ParkView.

Single Pane Of Glass For Customers

“We are currently looking to enhance our monitoring and remediation offerings to increase our coverage to the EDGE, cloud and software-defined environments. We are also looking at increasing our use of anomaly detection both in the server and network monitoring areas,” said Lyons when speaking of the goals of Park Place Technologies.

She further explained that the company aims at providing “a single pane of glass for customers to discover their infrastructure, monitor/manage it, support it, and optimise it”.

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“We aim to deliver an unparalleled and effortless user experience, offering a complete service for both hardware TPM and IT stack monitoring,” added Lyons.

Some of the research and development projects going on at Park Place Technologies, as told by Lyons, include:

  • Expansion of SD-WAN (software-defined networking in a wide area network) management coverage in the Entuity management product
  • Expansion of the network monitoring capabilities to additional server and storage families
  • Creating capacity management services to help the customers optimise their environments
  • For the Entuity side, research is in progress for IP Address Management, which will allow customers to manage their IP allocations across the network effectively.
  • For Entuity, assisted remediation that was automatically suggesting fixes for issues based on previously learnt knowledge.
  • Collective Intelligence: Pooling customer data (anonymously) in the cloud so that things learnt from one Customer’s environment can be shared with other customers. “For example, Customer A may be the first to download and apply a new firmware version. A security vulnerability is discovered with the new firmware version. Information on this vulnerability is then fed down to all other customers as a ‘Shared Insight’, allowing them to avoid using the new firmware until the vulnerability is fixed,” she explained.

Wrapping Up

“India has been steadily shifting towards a robust domestic data consumption market; its digital data consumption has outpaced even most of the developed world. A move towards an inclusive digital economy resulting in more and more data being generated across platforms,” shares her view on data and its management, especially in India’s context.

Lyons feels that with the existing infrastructure, many Indian companies’ focus is to optimise cost while remaining competitive, especially in these challenges of COVID-19. 

“Based on our experience in managing data centres across the globe, here are two ideas that an organisation can implement to drive maximum ROI (return on investment) from their data centre operations:

  • Data storage capacity: It is time to review what data the organisation is keeping, for what purpose, and for how long. It is also important to understand how a company is embracing the digital transformation to make decisions about how to store data, recover, protect, and archive it.
  • Manage staffing: Data centre personnel need to be accorded specific training and certifications in servers, storage, switches, networks, applications etc.,” she advises before signing off.
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