Choosing the Right DCIM SolutionAugust 23, 2019 No Comments
Featured article by Jake Anderson, Independent Technology Author
With the ever-expanding complexity of IT configurations and environments found in today’s data centers, choosing the right data center infrastructure management (DCIM) solution for your facility can be something of an involved proposition.
At minimum, you want to ensure your choice will facilitate the management and monitoring of all assets and identify optimization methods, while contributing to maximum uptime and availability.
Fortunately, if you put a bit of thought into it, you can find an easy-to-use and comprehensive DCIM solution for your facility.
Tailoring the Solution to the Center
The first step is getting a handle on your specific needs. Data center size, equipment, and configurations vary widely; so it’s important to understand the specific requirements of your situation.
To do this, you’ll need to determine what information is most critical so you can be certain it’s always available. For example, if you’re operating a power-hungry, high-density facility, one of the areas you’ll need to keep a close eye on is cooling potential hot spots. You’ll also need to prioritize remote monitoring. Meanwhile, a smaller facility might do just fine with on-site or outlet level monitoring. Still, even with variances such as those, there are some fundamentals every DCIM solution must address.
Monitoring and Asset Management
Key information regarding the center’s assets, as well as anything affecting them, should be readily available on one screen. You should also have the ability to get a solid overview of the facility at a glance. Yes, granular data is important; however, seeing the big picture is always worthwhile, too. This is particularly true when it comes to climate and power monitoring. Preventing surges and maintaining optimal operating temperatures are critical to the functioning of any data center. Fire and safety resources should be covered as well.
Your managers should have the ability to access the solution from anywhere they might happen to be. The platform should also be mobile-friendly so key tasks can be accomplished with smartphones and tablets. Alerts, escalation features and the ability to determine and create thresholds for each of those functions should also be accessible — along with data regarding all critical monitored parameters and conditions. Cloud-based DCIM solutions like those offered by Schneider Electric excel in this area.
As your data center grows, your DCIM solution should be capable of evolving right along with it. Infrastructure expansions, welcoming new clients and incorporating equipment additions by existing clients should all be taken in stride. Another highly desirable feature is the ability to chart historical trends to inform predictive analytics.
In other words, the best DCIM solutions are capable of anticipating growth and identifying trends signifying an emerging need for additional resources. This will position you to operate from a proactive stance rather than a reactive one.
This one is so obvious it might sound like common sense — and it is. And yet, it’s remarkable just how often this grave area is given less attention than it deserves. With that said, the only people capable of gaining admission to the DCIM platform should be the ones you approve. Protection measures should always include multiple layers of authentication to be certain access by hackers is as difficult as possible.
Choosing the right DCIM solution means finding one capable of providing reporting and graphical tools covering every potential fault to help you stay ahead of potential issues. Remote, cloud-based, vendor-neutral monitoring, along with data driven insights and reporting are among the hallmarks of the best contemporary DCIM solutions.
Scalability, security, and an easy-to-use interface should be key to your choice of a DCIM solution as well. You’ll also want to pay attention to the reputation of the provider, the training and support they offer, their strategic alliances and the stability of their products.
The good news is offerings with all of these attributes do exist. You just have to choose carefully to find the right one for your facility.
DATA and ANALYTICS , SECURITY