With summer fast approaching, a Data Center Journal article (“Save some money – work with outsiders”) by Rakesh Dogra that was written last November about the new trend to minimize power bills through what some call lights out management (LOM) or remote management is well worth noting.

Just what is lights out management (LOM) or remote management? Simply put, such a data center is managed with the bare minimum or even no personnel to carry out critical jobs. In other words, a data center may have employees based in India or elsewhere “manning” the management console of a data center located in the USA or Europe.

Dogra noted that this practice obviously creates huge cost savings as most work that does not involve tasks such as cabling, provision and racking can now be done remotely by anyone with a laptop and an Internet connection. Other advantages include an added measure of security when fewer people have physical access to a computer room and of course a green benefit is gained as less energy will be consumed.

However, there are also drawbacks that come with lights out management (LOM) or remote management. Dogra pointed out that a data center will always need personnel on the ground to deal with emergencies. Moreover, this on the ground staff will need to have enough experience to handle and fend off a crisis as it unfolds.

Nevertheless, Dogra ended his article by noting that HP’s iLO and Sun’s ALOM are managed remotely and no doubt there will be many more data centers that follow in their foot steps in the future.