Giving DCIM Another Look
In This Article
DCIM was an early concept of building information software used to develop a digital representation by facilities managers of the systems they were managing. Now DCIM is a convergence between IT and Facilities and helps to bring together existing stand-alone sub-systems such as data center design, asset discovery and management, capacity planning, energy management and more. DCIM gives a view outside the data center itself and identifies constraints in real-time so quick decision can be made.
Analyst firm Gartner defines DCIM as "[a set of] tools [that] monitor, measure, manage and/or control data center utilization and energy consumption of all IT-related equipment and facility infrastructure components such as power distribution units and computer room air conditioners."
But after a nebulousness beginning, frustration set in with the DCIM market and adoption slowed. Now there are signs of maturity and a better understanding of the DCIM technologies that help provide an improved, quicker, less expensive delivery of IT.
10. Asset management
Collect detailed information about IT and Facilities environment.
9. Capacity management
Provides the ability to visualize space, cooling, power, network connections, storage and virtualization.
8. Power management
Track power, cooling, CPU usage, alarms and more.
Ensures change management requests are compiled correctly and in a timely manner and eliminates communication gaps.
6. Cost savings
Supports improved focus on demand reduction of electricity, water, waste and more.
4. Risk mitigation
Audit and reporting tools for improved visibility and help with compliance audits.
3. ITSM integration
With ITSM and DCIM sharing a common ticketing process and workflow engine makes these similarities for a perfect implementation.
2. Migration, consolidation, tech refresh
Helps utilize available footprint, optimize power, enhance security and more.
1. "I don't know what we have, or where's my stuff."
Auto detects based on IP address, MAC address or as you define it.
Without stating the obvious, there are no two DCIM implementations that are exactly same, considering the varied nature of DCIM solutions out there. This is not surprising when one considers that every data center is essentially a customized environment with very different priorities and objectives, applications and hardware.
The best way to highlight the value of a DCIM solution would be to list its disparity in a legacy data center. In the past, facility managers would manually track assets using spreadsheets and network diagrams, now an accurately deployed DCIM systems offers a self-generated or graphical view of key components and statistics within the data center while providing detailed reporting for decision making.
To sum up DCIM: the objective is to deliver automation and clarity into the data center to increase visibility and ease of management of the IT hardware and facilities equipment. A DCIM could be configured to work across the entire breadth of the data center, within a private area within the larger facility, or even a private data center deployed by an enterprise.