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The Future Role of DCIM in the Cloud

Written by  Tuesday, 30 April 2013 00:00
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As Cloud Computing becomes mainstream, we would see a changing role of Data Center Infrastructure Management software. While today’s DCIM Software is like an ERP for Data Centers, the Next Gen DCIM Software will be like Supply Chain Management to manage data centers in the Cloud. Whether you are a Cloud provider or a business that has its IT infrastructure with one, you should be able to better allocate your data center assets with the help of DCIM software. This means you can have fewer redundancies without compromising on uptime. Better still: you may even be able to improve your uptime through improved business continuity management provided by DCIM Software!

Why the Cloud?

Traditional data centers are designed to handle peaks in demand. On average annualized basis, less than 10% of server capacity is used during non-peak times resulting in inefficient utilization of costly resources. Since businesses cannot afford to do away with over-provisioning due to high availability requirements, the capital costs of a data center is very high.

Shifting some, or all, of their infrastructure to the Cloud gives businesses the ability to handle sudden, unanticipated and extraordinary loads. Cloud Computing provides the extra capacity to handle these peaks, through automatic provisioning from under-utilized assets at that moment of time. This is known as elasticity and it provides the resources to handle emergencies. How does it help? It controls capital costs and reduces operating expenses.

While scalability lets you plan in advance and provision your IT resources accordingly, elasticity lets you come out a winner in emergencies. Your data center doesn’t fail to deliver, your data is intact and your reputation is just as good as ever.

How is this done?

First I am going to define the term orchestration in the context of cloud computing. Orchestration refers to combining multiple and distinct automated tasks into a single workflow and provides centralized management across systems and networks including multiple devices, applications, solutions and entire data centers. It even takes care of the financial aspect of managing your IT infrastructure including, billing, metering and power consumption.

The Data-Centric Framework Management (DMF) approach (proposed by AT&T Labs and U. Penn) to cloud orchestration aims to maintain a conceptually centralized data repository of all the resources being managed including computational, storage and network devices.

The Next Gen DCIM would give businesses a unified and enhanced management interface across multiple data centers whether on-site or on the cloud.

How would the Next Gen DCIM do all this?

  • It would assist with load balancing and on-demand provisioning of both physical and virtual resources and provide for broad platform compatibility across your entire IT infrastructure.
  • It would act as a cloud agent or cloud brokering software allowing businesses to switch or augment provisioning between cloud providers effortlessly.

The Next Gen DCIM will be part of the management stack of Cloud Computing, and this would help to dramatically reduce costs and mitigate risks of Data Center failures.

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Shekhar Dasgupta

Shekhar Dasgupta is the Founder & CEO of GreenField Software Private limited, a venture pioneering next generation data center technologies for cloud infrastructures.

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