Businesses in recent years are facing challenges relating to performance, security and scalability of the data center infrastructure. In this context, DCIM or more profoundly known as Data Center Infrastructure Management, came into the scenario.
In the last few years, it has been observed that data centers have been the key weapons in business arsenals as they store critical applications and data. However, managing and maintaining the data centers is challenging, and the necessity for enterprise software solutions for managing and maintaining the data center infrastructure is more important than you think. In this situation, DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) comes into the scene and is a respite for businesses. Market Research Engine’s research shows that the DCIM industry can exceed $2.85 billion by 2024. DCIM is so crucial that ASHRAE published a book titled “Advancing DCIM with IT Equipment Integration,” which was a part of the Datacom series.
What is DCIM?
DCIM, this term stands for Data Center Infrastructure Management, which refers to the hardware and software tools used to monitor, manage, measure, control, and optimize data center operations in a controlled way. DCIM is an addition to any existing business IT infrastructure management which exclusively deals with data centers, servers, storage components, switches, and other infrastructure components. Therefore, proper operation and maintenance of DCIM are essential for ensuring efficient and reliable data center operations while you keep additional costs at bay.
Traditional DCIM and the Next-generation DCIM
The last few years have seen DCIM has evolved rapidly. In its earliest avatars, DCIM helped businesses to realize what happens in data infrastructure, including the power and cooling device status. The traditional DCIM enables businesses to avoid data center infrastructure problems and prepare for future operations.
However, the traditional DCIM has certain downsides. Because of its on-premise installation, it’s hard to implement, complicated to use, and difficult to maintain. All these concerns gave birth to next-generation DCIM, which resolves many pain points related to traditional DCIM.
Next-generation DCIM software tools use cloud hosting to simplify things for businesses to apply DCIM. In addition, it integrates ML (machine learning) and AI (artificial intelligence) technologies to provide superior analytical abilities compared to traditional DCIM.
Components of DCIM
Physical architecture: The DCIM tool helps businesses to plan and visualize how to use physical space for data center infrastructure. It helps businesses determine how to deploy server racks and additional components such as cooling and airflow.
Materials catalog: With DCIM, businesses get a massive library of data center equipment with every detail on specifications. This makes things easier for businesses.
Rack design: With DCIM, businesses can optimize their rack design and size with their specific server requirements.
Change management: With DCIM, businesses can plan in advance for any data equipment variations. This way, businesses can avoid disturbances that are triggered by unexpected equipment breakdowns.
Software integration: With DCIM tools, businesses can integrate additional management solutions that help coordinate and track data center resources and workflows. For instance, DCIM can integrate with Modbus and SNMP protocols to make things easier for businesses.
Capacity planning: With DCIM, businesses can easily plan for scaling operations, and companies need a detailed plan, like the equipment to get, racks to be deployed, and spaces to be utilized.
Data analytics: With DCIM, businesses can get real-time data on the current status. The DCIM software has a dashboard that provides insights into how one can manage the data centers.
Here are some best practices for DCIM operation and maintenance:
- Regularly update the DCIM software to ensure it performs efficiently and effectively.
- Monitor the DCIM dashboard for real-time data and detect issues before they escalate.
- Properly configure and calibrate sensors to get accurate data.
- Conduct regular audits and assessments to identify key areas for improvement and optimize operations. This includes reviewing power usage, cooling efficiency, and identification of potential security vulnerabilities.
- Provide proper training for staff for effective DCIM operation and maintenance. The staff learns about DCIM software, proper usage of sensors, and different procedures for responding to alerts and alarms.
- Conduct regular backups of DCIM data for disaster recovery and business continuity.
Your future-proof data center needs a future-proof DCIM software
Data centers are the heart of any organization, and without a stable data center, the information does not flow smoothly, and the business fails to function. Optimizing the data center is crucial in today’s global market to stay ahead of the competition. To implement the DCIM tool, you must support digitalization, enterprise-wide data sharing, cloud adoption, and future demands. Outdated tools cannot handle modern data centers. Network cabling and connectivity are integral aspects of today’s hybrid ecosystem that must be handled in unison with traditional data center resources.
With this approach, you need to depart from traditional data center operations and embrace the future-proof DCIM solution. This new solution can offer transparency into the IT landscape. It also helps the data center in comprehensive planning, efficient process, and automation. A future-proof DCIM must be based on a central management hub and organization platform, offering a comprehensive, integrated view of all resources.
A new state-of-the-art DCIM tool can effectively manage all relevant data center information within a central system from logical and physical layers of virtualization to include all cable and network aspects and services. Due to this, data from different departments are available within a single tool rather than from different independent applications. This centralized approach of future-proof DCIM guarantees integrity, timeliness, and coherence of data. The DCIM tool should also be able to integrate and share data with other IT systems to achieve greater operational insight, improve data management, and optimize workflow.
It’s, therefore, important to get an advanced web-based software solution that offers much needed visibility in all infrastructural elements by mapping virtual components, physical assets, applications, and services while including logical/physical dependencies and connections with the central database. Furthermore, a good DCIM software tool should also give you interface functionalities that automate data collaboration and exchange and integrate the process management to monitor any planned changes efficiently.
From standard formats to flexible processes, vendor independence, and active product maintenance, you need to check various other features and functionalities to find the futureproof DCIM solution. Your DCIM tool should meet future demands and support the organization’s digital transformation. As a business, if you want to manage the data center infrastructure more effectively, then deploy our DCIM tool and reap its full range of benefits.