If you run a data center of any size, it is helpful to educate yourself about data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software, which is a comprehensive, homogeneous approach designed to keep your costs within budget, anticipate problems before they negatively affect you, and maximize the power and capability of your IT assets. Learn the basics and how they benefit you, and then take steps to establish data center infrastructure management within your organization.
What DCIM Software Can Do
Infrastructure monitoring and tracking has always been a feature of information technology, and data center infrastructure management builds on this approach by combining many discreet actions into one overarching approach. Rather than focusing on a single factor, this approach focuses on the entire issue and how each aspect of a data center works with the others. These aspects include the following:
- Asset management
- Asset tracking
- Capacity planning
- Changing management strategies
- Analyzing virtual and logical systems
- Power monitoring
- Devising system utilization systems within the context of efficiency
- Consolidating resources and locations
- Floor and rack space management
- Running modelling scenarios in order to plan for the future
How DCIM Systems Work in Action
DCIM solutions vary widely and are directly tied to the data center in question. Considering all the variables at play such as the size of the data center, the equipment being used, the age of the equipment, and the requirements of the business, it is impractical to make generalizations that apply to all data centers. Looking at the following hypothetical examples can better illustrate how the process works:
- If a company wants to create records of all their data center assets, including both the technical aspects (programs being run) and financial aspects (serial numbers), it should use strategies to analyze how the overall assets affect and relate to one another, and whether this benefits or obstructs business goals.
- Another strategy involves using real-time DCIM monitoring and predicative analysis to allow data center technicians to spot problems before they occur, and then shift resources proactively in order to avoid interruptions. This approach also empowers technicians to increase resource utilization and maximize efficiency.
- Environmental monitoring is crucial for the health of servers. DCIM tools can be used to integrate data regarding server performance and environmental conditions to create reports and models that reveal the health of the entire infrastructure and each of the constituent pieces. This allows technicians to head off potentially catastrophic failures and make minor tweaks to improve overall performance.
Data Center Infrastructure Management Accessibility
Infrastructure management can be a difficult process, but it is important to realize that the time, money, and energy spent are all valuable investments. When approached correctly, data center infrastructure management can help lower utility bills, extend the life of servers and improve their performance, eliminate downtime, and maximize the value of your mission-critical IT infrastructure. Begin implementing a strategy by following these four steps:
- Monitor and Access – Institute systems that allow for 24/7 real-time monitoring of data center assets, and then facilitate remote access so that technicians can respond to issues immediately.
- Capture Data for Planning – Make data capture automatic, comprehensive, and multifaceted, and use the captured data to guide the planning process.
- Analyze and Diagnose – Using captured data and real-time monitoring, analyze overall data center performance and diagnose issues that keep it from operating at its peak.
- Recommend and Automate – Identify the criteria necessary for data center optimization, and automate processes designed to maintain those criteria. This removes technicians from the previous three steps as much as possible.
There are a number of DCIM softwares on the market that are designed to facilitate one or more of these steps. One such software is Hyperview, a cloud-based DCIM software platform. Hyperview is one of the few applications that monitors all three layers of you IT infrastructure: Facility (UPS, cooling, generators, CRAC), IT (servers, storage, network devices) and Virtual (VMs and cloud). Its tools are as meaningful to the c-suite as it is to data center operators. It is easy to deploy and use, delivers real-time insight and actionable intelligence, enables management of workloads, reduction in IT cost and mitigation of outages.