Data Center Infrastructure Management
Ask Malcolm who retired five years back after three decades managing large Data Centers in North America. Chances are he would not have heard about DCIM Software. So, what’s DCIM and why has this suddenly become so important when Data Centers have been around for over half a century?
While Malcolm did bother about keeping his systems up and available “most of the time,” but was not overly concerned about power bills, today’s Data Center Managers are tasked with:
- Keeping the systems and applications up and available all the time.
- Spending less on power and cooling.
- Extending utilization and life of equipment as well as the Data Center
- Meeting the new requirements for a cleaner and greener environment.
Traditionally data centers could be managed using spreadsheets and 2D-object drawing applications. While these tools were adequate in Malcolm’s time, they are no longer effective for keeping track and monitoring usage of all equipment in high redundancy data centers and where Move-Add-Change is an everyday phenomenon.
What Data Center Managers need is a solution that gives an integrated view of the entire Data Center across IT and Facilities, across networks and power chains and lastly across the Data Centers themselves. Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) has emerged as a new category of enterprise software that helps to manage the extreme complexity of today’s Data Centers.
What is DCIM?
Currently, DC Managers rely on two discrete systems that do not share information with each other.
Facilities Managers use a Building Management System to control and monitor the mechanical and electrical equipment in a data center including ventilation, lighting, power systems and cooling. IT Managers rely on Systems Performance Tools for managing applications, servers, storage and networks.
As recent high profile Data Center failures have shown, the two worlds of IT and Facilities can no longer be operating in silos. DCIM bridges these two worlds and provides visibility across the entire chain of assets in an organization’s multiple datacenters. DCIM gives the Data Center Manager the ability to take proactive action against possible failures ensuring better uptime and higher SLA at reduced operating costs.
DCIM Software also helps to resolve the negative correlation between High Availability on one hand and asset utilization and energy efficiency on the other. In short, DCIM allocates and optimizes key resources in a Data Center, similar to what an ERP does for a manufacturing unit.
DCIM also mitigates the risk of Data Center failures, whether in Captives or in Multi-Tenant Data Centers (MTDC).