Image source: Nlyte Software
So how can organizations build a modern, software-controlled data center designed to collect and analyze humongous amounts of data, constantly consolidate and improve workflows, and make optimum use of IT equipment and resources? How can they use real-time data to facilitate smarter and quicker decisions, reduce operational risks and provide instant services and solutions to their customers? Here are the facets of DCIM that will assist them in these goals.
Asset Management with Automatic Discovery
Documentation is critical to inventory and asset management, especially if your data center is an unwieldy collection of small and large equipment, including racks, cables, sensors, outlets, and devices. Updated, real-time documentation is made simpler by automatic discovery and management of assets.
Modern data centers have a dynamic environment with VMs being a common feature. Centralized DCIM software enables auto-discovery of multiple hosts, VMs, as well as applications, and lists them down as assets. It also syncs with the virtualization platform at periodic intervals to keep this list up to date. In case of errors or inconsistencies, logs and email/IM alerts can be generated, enable managers to track and respond to issues in real time.
Regular audits can be automated and scheduled, or run on-demand. The DCIM UI also simplifies addition of storage, compute, or network assets and enables easy configuration of IP addresses, user access, protocols, and host attributes.
It’s possible to map out an entire data center, and monitor and operate devices using a simple Android or iOS app.
Long-Term Sustainability with Energy Management
Data centers everywhere are either approaching capacity limits or overcompensating for energy requirements. As a result, power resources are constrained and energy costs are moving up by the day. It’s important to keep an eye on power usage and efficiency barometers; this is a core feature of any DCIM worth its salt.
Overheating of servers and consequent overcooling uses more resources, reduces performance, increases risks, and decreases the hardware lifespan. Modern DCIM solutions save costs throughout the operational duration of equipment using intelligent PDUs with sensors for temperature, humidity, airflow, pressure, water, smoke, and motion. The human element to monitoring is added by connecting to CCTV or web cams.
DCIM software also has the ability to monitor the energy usage of individual servers and intelligent racks. Dashboards can show power utilization trends per device or system and alert managers when thresholds are crossed. An AI-based DCIM might have the capability to forecast usage and even balance power loads based on current consumption. This ensures budgets are not used up by inefficiencies or stresses in one or more workloads.
Configurable tools that help calculate savings everyday allow IT managers to stay on budget by tweaking different hardware and software resources in real time.
Change Management with Hyperconvergence and Hybrid Cloud
Data center operations are more complex than ever. Workflows and applications being added, stopped, modified, or repurposed at any given moment according to evolving business demands. It’s important for IT managers to identify and manage the workflows with the potential to cause change in the data center’s physical and virtual assets, and then control infrastructure changes accordingly, while maintaining efficiencies.
The key to high performing data center that helps the organization outclass competition with less resources is technology. Organizations need to make data center upgradation and standardization needs to be an ongoing process, for which they need the ability to deploy and switch between on-premise systems and public, private and hybrid clouds that best meet the demands of their workloads.
A full-fledged DCIM solution features intelligent tools for workflow automation that integrate with the enterprise cloud’s single pane of glass interface. Managers can use the centralized interface to generate change requests, automate device moves, respond to security issues, and maintain audit trails of requests and compliance tasks.