Over the last few years, the DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) phenomenon has soared, with many companies recognising the benefits of system integration in relation to its reduced costs, time and labour. But for many, confusion remains about how DCIM can benefit their data center and what are its broader effects on facility operations?
With a market valued at approximately $1.2m, the popularity of DCIM can’t be disputed. We’re taking a closer look to better understand what exactly Data Center Infrastructure Management is and the reasons why you should consider implementing it.
What is Data Center Infrastructure Management?
Data Center Infrastructure Management is best understood as the merging of a business’s facilities functions and IT functions. Adopting DCIM, enables a data center to optimise space utilization, equipment usage and energy usage by providing a complete view of the entire facility performance. The focus is to gather and analyse all relevant information about a data center’s processes, equipment and usage. This analysis then supports management in fulfilling their business objectives. While data silos remain problematic in causing barriers in communication, DCIM can counteract this with its focus on collaboration in the data center.
Reasons why you need DCIM
▶︎ Cost reductions – DCIM provides greater savings
The valuable information that DCIM provides, allows managers to stay one step ahead by highlighting issues before they even realise they exist. As well as uncovering the problems, a DCIM also provide insights into what is needed to rectify them. This may just be a simple update or repair, but had it been left unnoticed, it could potentially cost your data center a lot more. Underutilization and unused space can be a big player in data center added costs, but with DCIM supplying information on every aspect of a data center’s operations, you can pinpoint sections of the facility that are no longer required.
Data Center Infrastructure Management has a positive effect on energy management; by cutting operational costs by 20% and lifecycle costs by up to 13% over a decade. These savings coupled with acting on the information provided by DCIM analysis, can contribute to a huge reduction in costs for data centers.
▶︎ Increased productivity
Maintaining constant availability and a high level of uptime is the key to a data center’s success and reputation. Companies are well aware of the effects of device failure on their operations. The efficient monitoring features of DCIM can provide accurate, real time information on a data center’s networks, servers and equipment to signal any issues before they lead to a system outage. Achieving 99.999% uptime and maximised business performance is the goal for data centers today. With the help of a DCIM solution, the effects of downtime are minimised with quick system repairs by technicians who are supported by insights to where the problem arose.
When analysing the advantages of DCIM, we can’t forget the value it holds in merging information from all departments of the company. It’s common for valuable information to be kept separately, held by different people and stored in various locations throughout the business. Data Center Infrastructure Management removes this divide by presenting all the information on a single screen for everyone to access. Data silos are eliminated, allowing insightful information to flow between departments, benefiting both IT and facilities. Billing accuracy is also improved through integrating current systems with automated ones.
▶︎ Valuable insights
The complexity of the data center environment makes it difficult to divide efforts between monitoring current operations and preparing for future developments. The insights reported by a DCIM, allow managers to hone in on areas of opportunity as well as modify problems. You can easily answer critical questions with the high-quality data provided by DCIM. Having knowledge of the facility’s available capacity, the placement of future servers can be chosen based on physical infrastructure requirements. DCIM can also log all the relevant information of resources (model, make and capacity, etc.) as well as recording and monitoring the relationships between each of these assets to avoid any issues.
▶︎ Environmental benefits
Environmental issues remain prevalent within the data center industry. DCIM solutions have a positive effect on monitoring cooling efforts, reducing wasted resources and managing energy and power distribution. Sensors can be integrated with DCIM software to monitor temperature, humidity and airflow to foresee any potential savings.
Data Center Infrastructure Management systems provide multiple advantages to data centers from managing and monitoring current operations to predicting and adapting for future requirements. Its efficiency and accuracy in system integration provides a holistic view of a data center’s performance, to meet company goals.