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Data Center Infrastructure Management tools monitor everything and ease capacity planning and operational support

Mark Harris, VP of marketing and data center strategy, Nlyte Software | Sept. 19, 2013
One of the industry's newest technologies to address data center capacity planning is the Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) Suite. DCIM Suites enable the monitoring and modeling of everything in the data center for the purpose of capacity planning and operational support.

So while monitoring and alarming is a great place to start as a Facilities professional, it is already being viewed as only a portion of the bigger promise of DCIM across the data center. It's all about defining a set of DCIM goals and timing, and then prioritizing the adoption of DCIM technologies to meet or exceed those goals.  In these mega-center deployments, they have rolled their own DCIM as a means answer their highest priority specific goals.

So how far will these mega-centers go down the DCIM path? Over time, all the way.  It just makes good business sense. Facilities and IT organizations in these mega-centers will have their needs met in part by DCIM solutions. It's about actively managing all those components that contribute to the cost structures associated with the data center. Managing the costs associated with cooling and power. Managing the costs associated with assets and their lifecycles. It's about all of this and everything in between.

DCIM fundamentally is about adding more interactivity to the physical world that traditional IT runs upon. A great example of a cross-organizational deployment of DCIM is eBay's much publicized "DSE" (see which is a finely tuned monitoring fabric coupled with the requisite business logic and presentation layers to identify key performance indicators and other metrics that make sense to their various stake-holders.

Everything about the data center is changing. The very foundation of IT has long been assumed to exist in a world of resources that appears infinite in nature. Over building and over provisioning data centers has been the best practice for 25 years, but the economy has changed all that. Adoption of DCIM suite solutions enable a significant level of discipline to be added to the capacity planning and management functions of a data center.  

Remember that a CIO's new role in this new economy is to provide just the right amount of services at the least cost for each particular service, to assure that those services are available at the level required for the business, no more and no less. DCIM suites enable the costs of the data center to be studied and optimized. While many times DCIM initiatives starts with a robust Facilities-style monitoring fabric, full DCIM execution will always at some point in time include the active management of the physical IT components that will ultimately live inside those four walls. The "new" data center is not a loose aggregation of isolated sub-systems, but instead must behave as a single, pro-actively planned and managed entity. The DCIM Suite does this.


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