SAN FRANCISCO: Executives from a group of firms including Facebook and nuclear power provider NEK took the stage Wednesday to discuss their use of enterprise software for supply chain and asset management.
Speaking at the Oracle OpenWorld conference, the managers and administrators said that the use of asset management technologies played a vital role in helping to keep track of inventory and maintaining productivity in high-stress environments.
Daniel Soosai, manager of business applications at Facebook, said that his company saw the complexity and workload of its asset management systems increase as the company grew in popularity and engineers developed a custom server architecture and design which would later become the open compute project.
Soosai told convention-goers that the company recently redesigned its asset management approach to keep better track of the various hardware components and supply and manufacturing chains necessary to build the thousands of custom servers the company adds to its datacentres each month.
The Facebook exec said that the company operates its systems on a three-year cycle which includes procurement, deployment, management and eventually the decommission of the hardware and return to suppliers.
As a result of the new programme, the social networking giant said that it has been able to improve productivity as well as the efficiency of its hardware.
"Now that you know which servers are doing what, you can use your existing server fleet better."
For other firms, efficiency and speed of deployment take a back seat to concerns over safety and reliability.
Franc Skaler, chief information officer for nuclear power firm NEK, said that while Facebook seeks to build its own public profile, his company operates its IT assets with the goal of keeping things as uneventful as possible.
"I am sure you can name at least three nuclear power plants in the world, and we do not want to be one of them," he told the crowd.
"As long as equipment is operable in normal or severe conditions, everyone is safe, performance is high and acceptance is good, so equipment reliability is something very important."
The company's asset management platform is designed with safety and redundancy in mind, focusing on areas such as safety protections and procedures and the proper provisioning of replacement parts for various facilities.
As a result, the company said that its systems have been fine-tuned to better manage large-scale inventory databases and ensure compliance with multiple regulations and permit procedures.
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