Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) is a group of solutions designed to integrate data centers and information technology to centralize management and monitoring while providing intelligent data planning.
According to IDC analyst Jennifer Koppy, “DCIM solutions … help organizations do more with their data center resources by providing operations insight and automating key manual tasks so that work is done quickly and accurately”.
DCIM has many purposes:
Traditional approaches to resource provisioning have not worked well in today’s highly virtualized and cloud computing environments. In many cases, the hand off between IT systems and technology professionals was poorly documented and inefficient.
Initially, monitoring systems within data centers were only used to manage alarms and equipment availability. However, with the rapid growth of server virtualization and cloud computing, it has forced data centers to increase capacity without investing more into physical infrastructure.
As servers and cabinets within data centers have become denser, it has created more disconnects between the data center and IT equipment. Virtualization allows rapid changes in compute load, which can be translated quickly into additional power consumption and cooling needs.
These rapid changes can cause severe inefficiency in both cooling and power, which can increase the risk of power shortages and overheating. Using proper management and monitoring solutions allows data centers to decrease the risk by monitoring and predicting hot spots before they happen.
Several companies continue to improve DCIM. In a new article at datacenterknowledge.com, Yevgeniy Sverdlik says Raritan has “added a comprehensive single-pane-of-glass map of the data center’s capacity and a change-management workflow engine.”
This new data center map gives users a comprehensive overview of the capacity, space, cooling, power, network ports, and power connections. Much like a traffic light, it uses red, yellow, and green indicators to show the current health of any monitored resources.
Data centers need to monitor and predict problems with cooling and power before they happen to greatly minimize the risk of outages. DCIM can be a powerful tool which helps data centers do this by allowing them to centrally manage and monitor their infrastructure.
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