Managing data center infrastructure is a complicated and high stakes task. Making the wrong decisions during deployment can cripple network performance, introducing latency into a system or even resulting in server downtime. That’s why today’s data centers have implemented DCIM solutions to optimize deployments efficiently and continuously monitor performance to deliver consistent system uptime.
Data centers have a lot of moving parts that managers, technical personnel, and customers have to keep track of in order to keep the facility running efficiently. From power consumption and cooling demands to asset management and bandwidth usage, the process of administrating a data center on a regular basis is known as data center infrastructure management.
Abbreviated as DCIM (which is not to be confused with a Digital Camera Image folder on a smartphone or tablet device), the goal of this process is to use a comprehensive view of the data center environment to maximize efficiency in terms of energy, equipment, and floor space. It is a foundational best practice for data center operations, helping to bridge the gap between the physical aspects of a facility’s infrastructure (cooling systems, cabling, power supplies, etc) and the network systems they make possible (cloud services, development tools, edge computing framework, etc).
One of the most important tasks for any facility manager is keeping the data center infrastructure running efficiently and with minimal disruption. Few things are more damaging to a company than system downtime, and DCIM data center tools help to keep servers online by continuously monitoring power consumption and cooling capacity. When unusual spikes in power usage occur, DCIM solutions that incorporate sophisticated analytics can provide reports on the condition of equipment, the rate of network traffic, and the likelihood that a cyberattack is taking place.
Improvements in artificial intelligence and machine learning are providing even better insights into data center infrastructure. DCIM solutions are already being implemented to incorporate these innovative technologies. Consider, for instance, Google’s decision to hand over control of cooling systems in its hyperscale facilities to an AI program, which delivered substantial energy savings over the course of several months. As AI technology continues to improve, it will surely be incorporated into additional DCIM solutions to further improve efficiencies in terms of power consumption, data management, and predictive maintenance.
Managing assets in a complex data center environment goes far beyond simply knowing where each piece of hardware is located (although that’s important too). A poorly optimized deployment can cause an otherwise well-designed network to function below expectations. DCIM solutions that facilitate data center asset management can help provide a comprehensive picture of how equipment should be deployed throughout the facility to maximize effectiveness. The high visibility offered by these DCIM solutions also reduces the likelihood of human error, which remains one of the leading causes of system downtime.
Many of the DCIM solutions used in data center asset management are also valuable for controlling access. Integrating logical security protocols into these systems makes it easier to identify and change who has access to critical assets. In addition to providing better security for customers, this also creates a valuable record of who has accessed specific assets over time, which could be used to improve efficiencies in the future.
In most cases, DCIM is implemented in the data center through the use of software tools that gather data and provide continuous analysis of the facility’s environment. This data can be analyzed to identify trends and anomalies that could provide an opportunity to improve efficiency. Data center management software also provides tremendous visibility, giving data center managers a comprehensive view of what’s happening in the facility at any given time. They can locate and address problems quickly, assess how changing a deployment might impact performance, and manage both customer needs and compliance issues without having to conduct a lengthy, “by hand” assessment of the data center’s current performance.
DCIM solutions like vXchnge’s award-winning in\site also empower customers to make better decisions about their asset deployments and networking needs. With data center management software, there’s no need to question how much traffic a network is getting throughout the day or how much power servers are consuming. Platforms like in\site, which is accessible through any internet browser and also by way of a smartphone app, allow data center customers to monitor their network and assets at any time, giving them the information and flexibility they need to make quick decisions to capitalize on business opportunities or avoid disaster.
Every data center can benefit immensely from implementing DCIM solutions through data center management software. These tools allow both data center managers and colocation customers to monitor equipment and network performance far more effectively, helping them to make continuous adjustments to improve efficiency.
As the Marketing Manager for vXchnge, Kaylie handles the coordination and logistics of tradeshows and events. She is responsible for social media marketing and brand promotion through various outlets. She enjoys developing new ways and events to capture the attention of the vXchnge audience.