How to Guarantee Successful DCIM Implementation in your Data Center
A Data Center Infrastructure Management system (DCIM) delivers an all-inclusive assessment of critical points and performance within the data center. DCIMs are advantageous in that they ensure energy, equipment and floor space are utilized correctly, reducing downtime and boosting power efficiencies. However, integrating a DCIM system doesn’t come without challenges; here are 5 ways to successfully integrate a DCIM project in your data center.
1. Define the scope of your project
Your first step should be to map out your current data center monitoring processes and pinpoint strengths and weaknesses. You also need to think about your business goals and needs- do you want to save energy or do you need to improve your reporting capabilities? A crucial step is to identify and prioritize any issues that you want to solve with the project- although be realistic and only focus on the key ones. From this you will be able to build a picture of what your ideal process looks like.
A DCIM project will be different from business to business- there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, which is why it’s important to define your goals early on and create a workflow that aims to deliver on those goals.
2. Identify a DCIM team to own and maintain the system
Establish a DCIM team that will be responsible for administrating and supporting the implementation, and the long-term maintenance and running of the system. Appoint a project manager and system administrators; they should be cross-functional to ensure cooperation from all teams.
Appointing a dedicated system owner that will be involved at every step will provide clear insight and understanding of the project. They will also be responsible for working alongside the vendor to make sure the company goals and objectives are met.
3. Start small and expand over time
There can be a tendency to try to expand the initial project but remember- Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Focus on accomplishing your critical issues first and establish success in these before you contemplate any add-ons; tell the vendors what your specific problems are and the outcome that you want. Don’t get distracted with features not included that may be useful to you in the future; you can develop system functionality as your requirements grow and your needs change.
System changes can be initially overwhelming for staff but you can minimize the negative impact by segmenting and phasing project implementation. By constraining your initial project complexity, you increase your chances of a successful DCIM implementation.
4. Ensure system integration
For smooth system integration, ensure that your chosen DCIM system has an ‘open platform’. This will allow for minimal disruption to systems, processes and people during integration.
Consider the systems and processes that you already have in place- would any of them benefit from DCIM integration? Would your building management system or issue tracking system offer better insights if they were integrated with a DCIM?
It’s essential that you work closely alongside your DCIM vendor so you fully understand what is involved in the installation and integration process. Quite often, failure understanding the ‘roll out’ of a DCIM project is the cause of failure of the complete project.
5. Choose a trusted, reliable and experienced vendor
Choosing a vendor should be a meticulous process- look for a company who has a proven track record, a wealth of experience and one that is well established in the sector. You should look for a company that will offer you continuous support and won’t abandon you once the installation process is complete.
Ask for testimonials from other companies who have implemented a DCIM solution from the same vendor. Furthermore, meeting potential project managers and engineers could help you determine capacity and capabilities.
Incorporating a DCIM project into any business is no mean feat, but it’s certainly worth it. Ensuring your objectives and goals are understood and partnering with a trusted and reliable vendor should pave the way for a successful project.