Ask yourself these questions:
- Can you easily tell which cabinets in your data center have available capacity?
- Do you have readily accessible information about power usage by server, rack, or circuit?
- Can you determine the best location for new equipment without physically walking into the data center to look, or using potentially outdated spreadsheets?
- Do you know exactly which critical assets will be affected by a proposed change?
- When you initiate a new energy efficiency measure, is it easy to track the results?
- Are you alerted when UPS batteries are close to failing, or when hot spots or other downtime risks develop?
If you can’t answer “yes” to every one of these questions, it might be time to invest in data center infrastructure management (DCIM) solutions.
Data centers are highly complex and dependent on several interrelated systems and factors, ranging from power usage and energy efficiency to physical space (floor space, rack space) and environmental controls (temperature, humidity). That’s a lot of information to manage. DCIM software collects and coordinates all of the data from these various aspects to provide an integrated overview of the entire operation.
This level of insight has many benefits including:
Centralized Command. With DCIM, all of the information you need is available in one place, accessible from anywhere, at any time. You don’t have to be physically on-site, and you don’t have to struggle to correlate data manually from disparate sources. You can look at each individual asset and learn about its exact location, capacity, status, network connectivity, environment, maintenance needs, and more – all in real time. You can track performance over time and see trends that indicate potential problems before they become critical. Knowledge is power, and DCIM puts it at your fingertips.
Bridge Communication Gaps. DCIM makes essential information readily available to all involved parties, including IT staff, facility operators, and senior executives. This transparency ensures that everyone is on the same page and can work together when making decisions, to avoid situations where “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.” Each group can see how the infrastructure is connected and how a change in one area will impact others. DCIM reports and analytics also provide useful evidence to convince upper management, for example, that the purchase of a new server is necessary or that the budget for the cooling systems should be increased.
Optimize Efficiency and Decision-Making. DCIM will assist you in making the most of your current assets and planning for future improvements. Information about aspects – such as power usage or cooling requirements – can help you take initiatives to reduce operating costs. Monitoring the health of your equipment can not only extend its life cycle (enabling you to postpone replacement costs), but also prevent failures that can lead to costly downtime. You’ll be able to predict when space, power, and cooling capacities will be reached, and whether the best solution will be to reconfigure or expand.
For further illustration of the many benefits that data center infrastructure management software can provide, see the e-book 40 Critical Problems Your DCIM Should Solve, from Raritan, a leading solution provider. It’s easy to see why DCIM software has become an essential part of truly effective, successful data center management.