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How DCIM Tools Can Improve Data Center Management

Analysts expect fast adoption in the next few years.

To gain a clear view into data center assets and how they connect and interact with one another, many IT shops are turning to data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tools. Deployed properly, they support the management of current processing loads, deployment and provisioning of new capacity, and information needed for planning. These tools are only beginning to penetrate data center operations. But analysts expect fast adoption over the next few years. Driving this adoption is the increasing density of assets and the ensuing consequent complexity.

Data center consolidation, virtualization and the provisioning of cloud services within the data center have, ironically, increased the intricacy and diversity of equipment in data centers even as they have reduced the overall number of servers and facilities for many organizations.

DCIM tools incorporate asset discovery and tracking, data collection, and report generators. They enable the automation of repetitive functions such as the provisioning of new gear and other operational tasks. These tools monitor operational health, measuring parameters such as capacity utilization and energy consumption of data center components. And they can provide predictive analysis of the resources, including staff time, necessary to complete future tasks.

DCIM tools can improve data center management by integrating the roles of an organization’s facilities, network and systems staff. Plus, they can aid in the design of specific processes and then the enforcement of associated policies and use rules. It’s helpful to evaluate several tools closely before selecting a program for the organization’s IT team.

Some tools have originated in the power monitoring or facilities management domains, others in the IT domain. The original orientation might remain after they integrate other functions, and they might not appeal to all of an organization’s functional managers. Additionally, a given DCIM tool might have the power to control some components of the data center, such as those related to utilities, but not the technology itself.

To learn more about data center optimization, see our Reference Guide.

Mar 20 2012