Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software provides relief and cost savings for data center managers. This software combines concepts from the information technology and facilities management fields. Data center managers gain oversight and control across all a center’s multiple systems. Two types of data infrastructure management software dominate the market. DCIM “suites” are integrated applications that cover all aspects of data infrastructure management. With these self-contained systems, you can expect to see the following features:
Environmental and energy monitoring
Another type of DCIM software may enhance a suite or serve as a stand-alone solution. It will usually focus on one or more of the features listed above.
The appeal of a suite’s comprehensive approach is obvious when compared with most piecemeal systems currently in place. A primary reason to install DCIM is the ability to complete functions off-site. Remote access programs give managers up-to-the-minute information on hardware, allocate server space, monitor power usage, and conserve energy. Work flow systems let managers stay on top of process assurance and tracking. This is a vast improvement over the hassle of on site inspections and incompatible software.
Managers can eliminate the complex task of full DCIM installation by doing it in phases. Identify your most urgent needs and begin there. Most data center managers struggle to balance equipment cooling requirements with the need to save energy costs. Replacing your current environmental monitoring process with a DCIM solution lets you strike that balance and gives you analysis and reporting tools for future decision making. Or you might go with an automated asset management program and a centralized database that reduces cumbersome record keeping.
The DCIM system you choose should be flexible and easy to expand during future growth. Make certain that the vendor you select can give you complete support for the process, beginning with system configuration and continuing through installation and training. Better vendors may offer service engineers to assist you through implementation, and provide database population to speed the transition. Look ahead to future needs when you examine the service plan and make sure all your requirements are covered.