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SearchDataCenter’s top tips of 2011

If you’ve missed these best tips of 2011, now is a great time to catch up and end the year right.

As the year winds down and we get ready for the busy holiday season, it’s a good time to take a step back and reflect on 2011. There have been many technological advancements in the data center, and we’ve assembled the most popular tips from our expert contributors. These useful tips run the gamut of data center topics; these include setting up Nagios for Windows server monitoring and a mainframe expert’s analysis of the IBM and Neon Enterprise Software lawsuit. We’ve also included our most popular and most anticipated content of the year: our State of the Data Center report, which analyzed survey results from more than 1,000 IT professionals. If you’ve missed these tips, now is a great time to catch up and end the year right.

State of the Data Center: 2011
What better way to wrap up the year than this deep analysis on the state of the data center? The articles in our State of the Data Center: 2011 special report series examine several facets of data center design, server technology and systems management to identify interesting trends and surprising revelations about the state of IT operations across many industries.

Server Month: A guide to server features and functionality
This year we devoted an entire month to exploring the specs and features of several popular rack and blade server models. Our coverage also included purchasing advice for different form factors and the capabilities to consider when contemplating a server purchase.

Setting up Nagios for Windows Server monitoring
Nagios is one of the most popular open source systems management tools, so it’s no surprise that it landed near the top of our list of the most popular tips for 2011. This tip provides a detailed explanation of the steps to set up and configure Nagios for a Windows environment.

What the IBM and Neon settlement means for mainframes
Neon’s zPrime software made a huge splash in the mainframe market, promising reduced licensing costs for customers running mainframes. However, it didn’t turn out to be quite that easy. In this tip, mainframe expert Robert Crawford explains what the IBM vs. Neon lawsuit and settlement means for users and for the future of the mainframe.

Configuring the server monitoring tool Zabbix
Installing the server monitoring tool Zabbix used to be difficult, but in this tip, Sander van Vugt explains how Ubuntu 11.04 makes it easier to configure the appliance and monitor a network. He’ll walk you through the process of setting up Zabbix as a monitoring host.

Using Zabbix for open source network management
If you’re going to install and configure Zabbix, you should know how to use its advanced features to get the most out of this powerful product. Proactive monitoring and has contributed to the growing popularity of Zabbix as an open source network-management tool, and in this tip, you’ll learn how to leverage those features.

The causes and costs of data center system downtime: Advisory Board Q&A
Avoiding all downtime may be impossible, but knowing the potential causes – like human error – can help administrators reduce outages. Planning and training can help restore operations sooner and mitigate the impact on most organizations. We asked our Advisory Board members what they see as the primary causes of downtime, how to prevent it, and how downtime affects business.

Server benchmarking tools and stress testing
Administrators want to know if their hardware is performing to expectations, and there are several tools they can turn to perform benchmark testing. In this tip, you’ll learn the importance of stress testing an environment and review the pros and cons of several benchmarking tools.

Data center design standards for cabinet and floor loading
As server densities have increased, the weight of today’s racks and equipment cabinets are becoming an important consideration. Heavy cabinets can stress floor structures, making it crucial to consider floor loading requirements in your data center design. In this tip, data center design expert Robert McFarlane explains how cabinet footprints relates to floor loading and what is needed to support heavier equipment.

Choosing UPS systems for the data center
Selecting the right UPS for data centers is complex, and there are countless different options to choose from. This buying guide can help you sort through the features offered by today's UPS systems and determine what models best suit you environment.

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