IT professionals don't have the right tools in place to manage their data centres effectively and many fail to monitor all their equipment, according to research from the (ARI) Aperture Research Institute.

The institute, which is funded by data centre specialist Aperture, found that under a third of all data centre professionals monitored more than 90 percent of their equipment while, rather alarmingly, 12 percent of those surveyed had no sort of monitoring system at all.

Tom Waun, Aperture's president said that managers who were failing to look at all the equipment were leaving themselves open to vulnerability. "The problem is that any item of equipment could fail; it could be a UPS or an aircon unit as well as a server."

Waun said that organisations should be aiming to manage their data centres from a central point with a single view - not surprisingly given that Aperture's flagship product is single-view management product, the confusingly-named Vista. There's plenty of room for growth however, the ARI research found that only 35 percent of data centre professionals were using a single view product to monitor their own set-ups.

There are plenty of challenges facing data centre managers said Waun. "There's a lot of information that used to be held by lots of different people, but now the IT guy has to take an overall view. It's not just a question of monitoring, he has to plan capacity and ensure that the company not only has enough power but that power is used in the most efficient way."

Waun said that the monitoring tool could be used not just for trouble-shooting but also for capacity planning. For example, some servers operate at their highest efficiency when they're running at 94 to 98 percent, the trick is to organise them so they're operating at this level of efficiency."

The ARI survey found that just over half of all data centre professionals who were using monitoring software were using vendors' own systems which Waun said, fail to give a complete view.

Waun would not be drawn on how much Vista would cost an organisation or what sort of return on investment a customer could expect. "Every data centre is different and there's no such thing as a typical installation - it's impossible to give any guess on price."