Traditionally there have been many different tools used to manage the various parts of the data center. These range from software supplied with hardware, to home grown Access applications, Excel spreadsheets and Visio diagrams.
DCIM or Data Center Infrastructure Management is a new term which describes the function performed by these tools. It includes the areas of asset management, capacity management and planning, physical infrastructure monitoring, future planning and modeling for energy and space management, and change management.
DCIM is developing from point solutions into an interoperable framework of tools which manage both the physical, virtual and operational aspects of a data center.
The key to gaining value from DCIM is in the elements needed to be brought together. For example you need to understand your assets and energy usage in order to do capacity planning. There is no use having these as separate components which can’t communicate. It’s even worse if it has missing pieces.
CENTEROS brings all the pieces together so each area of functionality maximizes the data available. This avoids having multiple tools to populate with data and maintain, it’s all done in one place. Change management functions manage data entry which takes into account capacity and asset management. The end result is the simplest way to manage each area encompassed in DCIM from one package while generating an overall picture of the health and operations of your data center.
Lose the Spreadsheet
Examining it from a workload perspective a DCIM solution is much easier to maintain than spreadsheets and opens the door into massive cost savings. Liberating your data allows you to achieve big things. For example DCIM tools like CENTEROS give you the ability to calculate how much space you have available, and how much weight is being produced by the racks on the floor without expensive monitoring systems, simply through smart usage of the manufacturer’s data. This gives you the ability to plan and set limits all from the data you probably already have. Monitoring tools then allow you to calculate power and cooling in real time to ensure you are charging customers appropriately for usage, and to estimate power usage over time.
The Economics of DCIM
Running a data center is all about maximizing the capacity you have and for the most part making profits from it. DCIM gives you the ability to identify redundancy and reduce over-provisioning. Proper capacity management allows you to cut operating costs and plan the most economical way to extend your data center when necessary, ensuring you are running to optimal efficiency.
DCIM and Operational Quality
A DCIM system allows you to access your data from different angles when you have to respond to business challenges. DCIM gives you the ability to see problems before they eventuate, however if problems do occur you won’t be caught searching through spreadsheets to find out how your power and networks are routed or who owns a piece of equipment. A DCIM tool like CENTEROS gives you instant information which allows you to see how things are connected. This data allows you to find the origin of the problem then work downstream to what equipment is affected. Normally you would then have to check who owns this equipment on another system but with DCIM this information is also stored. The end result is a quick step from isolating an outage to generating a complete list of customer contacts that need to be informed.
Presentation of Data
Data centers contain complex data and because of this any DCIM solution needs to present data visually. A good solution will allow you to perform tasks like view floor plans, search for and drill down to equipment and connections, and examine colorized views to highlight any issues. This level of ease will make the data available to all data center professionals across your organization.
CENTEROS takes the complexity out of DCIM by supplying all the functionality you need and more. This is done via an intuitive, easy to use, clutter free interface which saves you time and money and gives you the overview you need of your data center in order to make those important day-to-day operational decisions.