What is Data Center Infrastructure Management?
Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tools monitor, measure, manage and/or control data center utilization and energy consumption of all IT-related equipment (such as servers, storage and network switches) and facility infrastructure components (such as power distribution units [PDUs] and computer room air conditioners [CRACs]).
Managing the hundreds of components that make up your facility side power, cooling requirements, IT equipment, and more can be a daunting task. The emergence of Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) allows for this massive undertaking to be simplified and consolidated into a single application. A vital tool able to both monitor and manage all enterprise needs, while being unique and customized based on each individual business’ demands.
Why is DCIM taking the market with such force?
If you ask the executives who lie awake at night worrying about the tens of thousands of IT assets under their supervision, they’ll explain it with one word: “Help!”
Today’s IT decision-makers are starving for the information, insight, and command-and-control that a true Data Center Infrastructure Management solution offers.
They need to be able to see, understand, manage, and optimize the myriad of complex interrelationships that drive the modern data center – one of the most complex entities on earth. They need holistic information and visibility into the entire IT infrastructure, information that that is instantly meaningful and actionable. (Fragmented device-level data is no longer of much use to them.)
To paraphrase one of Gartner’s early definitions: Data Center Infrastructure Management integrates facets of system management with building management and energy management, with a focus on IT assets and the physical infrastructure needed to support them.
So what does this all really mean?
Data Center Infrastructure Management – when it’s the right solution from the right vendor – can optimize the performance, efficiency, and business value of IT physical infrastructure and keep it seamlessly aligned with the needs of the business.
DCIM can help decision-makers:
- Locate, visualize, and manage all of their physical assets within an integrated “single pane” view of the entire infrastructure
- Automate the commissioning of new equipment, reducing the need for error-prone, time-consuming manual tasks like walking the floor to confirm what can go where
- Automate capacity planning with unparalleled forecasting capabilities, including the use of “what if” scenarios
- Reduce energy consumption, energy costs, and carbon footprint – save the planet while you’re saving potentially millions
- Align IT to the needs of the business – and maintain that alignment, no matter how radically those business requirements may change and grow
But not all DCIM vendors are created equal. IT decision-makers must make a careful evaluation of today’s vendors, products, and promises. They must strip away the misconceptions. Here are three common myths about DCIM.