Managing Data Center Infrastructure – The Game-Changing IT Resource?


Article by Park Place Technologies General Manager for APAC Ian Shearer.

Organizations looking to improve the efficiency of their data center operations often look to Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) practices to holistically monitor and manage the use of all their IT equipment. .

They adopt DCIM to achieve significant energy and management savings. Recommended by leading analysts including Gartner, DCIM typically integrates the management of IT data storage solutions, servers and network switches alongside other infrastructure facility components such as air conditioning within the center. of data.

DCIM’s role in advancement has grown increasingly comprehensive, delivering significant business and carbon efficiency benefits far beyond monitoring capabilities. Using established DCIM practices, organizations can:

  • Improve operations
  • Continuously collect and analyze data from all sources of IT equipment to reveal many ways to improve business operations
  • Reduce carbon footprint
  • Plan the next steps for digitization in their data center.

There are three distinct pillars to achieving DCIM’s automated and proactive management state, including discovery, monitoring, and optimization.

The premise behind DCIM is to enable organizations to use resources as efficiently as possible. It starts with understanding what is in the domain, including on-premises physical resources, virtual resources, and cloud assets.

This is the discovery stage of infrastructure management. This should include accurate tracking of IT equipment and encompasses traditional components of facility infrastructure, such as power distribution units and computer room air conditioners.

The results of this data center usage should be fed into a real-time discovery base that can be reported, tracked, and integrated through APIs to provide a truth pane that integrates with the configuration management database. existing customer.

Once the discovery phase of DCIM is established and trusted, businesses can fully understand their inventory of hardware and software assets, related data center dependencies, and associated warranty details.

The resulting asset-level reports include full details about devices across systems and manufacturers. Ideally, DCIM capture should be done through an agentless deployment that does not require any software installation on the target devices. Sometimes Discovery is offered as a service through a hosted platform with an easy to use interface.

Achieving automated and continuous monitoring is the next desired state of DCIM. With event management tracking solutions, users gain visibility into incidents that can impact system performance and availability. Sophisticated DCIM monitoring tools will also suggest the most likely causes and recommended actions.

In all large data centers, continued first-class compute and networking support through trusted maintainers remains a critical requirement for DCIM to thrive. Monitoring and remediation is unlikely to be successful without performance optimization, consistent patches, and remediation by accredited engineers.

This breath can rarely be expected or performed internally. Instead, DCIM advocates can tap into pools of accredited third-party maintenance engineers, offered by support providers who can manage DCIM capabilities onsite and remotely.

Once you have a group of trusted support engineers reporting real-time data back, you can take DCIM’s next step: optimization. This is when adopting companies begin to leverage more of their existing infrastructure by tweaking various usability options, including CPU, memory and latency improvements.

With DCIM’s automated topology and dependency mapping, new software is easily deployed and downtime is reduced. Optimization also reduces maintenance expenses as customers look to retire redundant software licenses.

Energy savings are another key factor in the DCIM optimization step. Data centers consume significant amounts of energy. By 2030, IDC predicts that data centers will account for 10% of all global energy needs, noting that the amount of power used by data centers continues to double every four years.

Using DCIM, data center managers can verify power consumption, environmental data, and cooling demands, noting and reporting peak workloads and enabling IT to better manage equipment energy consumption workflows.

Through continuous reporting of environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, airflow, power consumption, and cooling data, IT managers are notified when environmental thresholds are exceeded, which identifies warming and struggling assets and reduces repair time. Monitoring environmental conditions provides information on reducing energy consumption and offers demonstrable resource savings to meet and exceed green goals.

Ultimately, DCIM provides a complete overview of the operation and performance of a data center so that equipment and power consumption can be continuously optimized.

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