Unified Data Center Management: 10 Data Points to Keep in Mind
The Cloud Is Making Unified IT Management a DCIM Imperative
Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) is evolving facilities management to include the data center's IT infrastructure, thanks to the rise of private and public cloud technologies and virtualization. By giving IT professionals a holistic, real-time view of the entire IT infrastructure, DCIM can help align IT management with business services and ultimately create business value and meet business demands.
DCIM Point Solutions Fail to Deliver on the Unified Promise
DCIM point solutions can't provide the unified, real-time views needed to optimize the management of the typical data center's supporting heterogeneous, multi-vendor IT infrastructure. Companies that have wanted a single management console must integrate those point solutions after the fact, at their own expense via internal efforts or through professional services engagements.
Rethinking DCIM: Beyond Facilities Management
DCIM grew out of the green IT movement and originally focused on power utilization and efficiency and overall carbon footprint. As such, DCIM initially provided energy monitoring, reporting and management for data center facilities equipment. Today, the data center's prominent enterprise role has expanded DCIM to include the IT assets powering enterprise business services.
Rethinking DCIM: Incorporating IT Service Management
Ignoring service management in a DCIM solution often leaves IT managers to manually track license expiration dates, vendor service-level agreements (SLAs) and other IT asset information. Incorporating a configuration management database (CMDB) to automate service management provides in-depth visibility and control over enterprise IT assets—inside and outside the data center—to optimize uptime and service availability.
DCIM Best Practice: Integrate CMDB and IT Asset Management
The integration of CMDB and IT asset management enables organizations to look beyond their data centers as all their enterprise IT assets come under a centralized repository, which makes asset lifecycle management easier. Adding service management and other Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) processes ensures that all changes and SLAs are properly managed from a central console.
DCIM Best Practice: Support Assets From Multiple Vendors
Today's data centers are powered by IT assets from multiple vendors. In turn, support for heterogeneous, multi-vendor data centers has become critical to organizations' ability to strategically think about the services they can provide to clients without having to rethink their performance and availability management strategies.
DCIM Best Practice: Establish a Central Management Console
A centralized console unifies information on IT assets underpinning critical business services and enables organizations to group infrastructures that run their business-critical applications. Anything that degrades application performance can be tracked to the deepest underlying network device as all are linked together. Consequently, the mean time to repair is considerably reduced.
DCIM Best Practice: Consolidate Alarm Management
The alarm management system must support capacity, threshold and other parameters to eliminate reactive management. A proactive DCIM solution manages alarm configurations across different services from a single console to give data center managers real-time visibility into the IT infrastructure and set appropriate thresholds.
DCIM Best Practice: Track and Plan With Reporting Analysis
Data is important, but representing and interpreting data to make it informative is even more important. Capturing and reporting on application performance and historical trends lets IT organizations predict and plan for future capacity demands, helping them prepare for traffic during peak hours and ensure user satisfaction.
DCIM and the Demand for Unified IT Management
DCIM with unified IT management addresses the demands of today's data centers with pre-built support for multi-vendor IT assets to create a single-console, real-time view of the entire data center IT infrastructure—out of the box, no additional integration required.