Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) has experienced tremendous growth over the last decade as the sprawl of hybrid IT workloads continue to create additional complexity for many organizations. The depth and breadth of modern data center solutions, paired with cloud-native and hybrid workloads has increased needs for visibility and mandated a deeper integration of more functionality into their DCIM software.
As an application first, cloud forward data center provider we are always looking for ways to deliver more meaningful data, more control, and more features via the customer portal to enhance our customer’s overall solution.
What is Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM)?
DCIM software has traditionally been used to manage and optimize the performance of an organization’s data center and infrastructure. It converges facilities functions with IT workloads by providing a comprehensive view of resource usage, power utilization, and environmental data. The main objective of any successful DCIM deployment is to give customers a holistic view to assist with operational efficiency to maximize cost and energy savings.
Essential features of DCIM software include capabilities to monitor and report on your critical infrastructure and IT equipment’s power consumption across multiple layers. The same tools can also analyze power usage effectiveness (PUE) and environmentals such as temperature and humidity. Other assets in the data center can also be analyzed and reported on such as network bandwidth, server load, system health, security cameras, door locks, and much more.
Modern DCIM software has extended these capabilities to distributed IT workloads across on-prem and cloud-based solutions with global reach. The support of third-party systems with integration to the DCIM software has become essential for centralizing reporting and automating tasks to enhance an organization’s measured efficiency and effectiveness of different types of IT workloads. Next-generation DCIM software enables a unified management experience of all endpoints with a cloud-based functionality that can be accessed remotely via web, mobile app, and API.
The Data Center’s DCIM Strategy
A solid DCIM strategy is necessary for a data center provider to make key decisions based on their usage and efficiency. It also provides insight to potential impacts, risks, and vulnerabilities which can yield to better uptime and preventative measures.
The full benefits of DCIM can be realized as data is captured and analyzed to understand trends over time. The foundation of DCIM relies heavily on data and its accuracy, which has become the primary driver to the success of a DCIM deployment.
Benefits of DCIM
With proper analytics the achievable resiliency and redundancy target levels of your environment are improved. DCIM software can help identify vulnerabilities that could lead to infrastructure failures before they even occur. It allows operators to take a proactive approach to addressing potential environmental, power, and other system-related concerns.
Visibility and control
DCIM can provide end-to-end visibility across the entire data center. When mapped with the physical assets of your infrastructure properly, the data center administrator has better control of operational and energy conservation decisions. Furthermore, IT assets can be tracked, tagged, and organized within DCIM tools for enhanced visibility. Graphical visualization replaces manual spreadsheets and the DCIM tools automatically update any changes.
DCIM tools with real-time monitoring and machine learning can help improve capacity planning by analyzing the current state trends, predicting future capacity requirements, evaluating the impact of change on the data center, and optimizing capacity consumption. Operators can map future needs with power, cooling, compute resources, and more to align their IT strategy and budget.
One of the most powerful benefits of having DCIM software for a data center operator is the ability to reduce energy and costs. The industry is demanding more sustainability efforts from data center providers. According to a KPMG 2020 Survey of Sustainability Report, 80% of top companies now report on sustainability. Additional scrutiny is also placed on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) reporting, which can impact access to capital and the ability to attract new investors. With the help of DCIM, a lower PUE and power consumption will result in energy savings and reduced OpEx. This allows the data center to pass the savings to their customers while simultaneously reducing their carbon footprint.
DCIM software can utilize machine learning and AI to automate manual tasks, keep data relevant and up-to-date, and corroborate records. Over time, DCIM software becomes smarter, more accurate and consistent. The data it collects often becomes the single authoritative source of truth for data center operators.
The Next-generation DCIM
Traditional DCIM deployments are typically on-premises solutions. While they are still incredibly useful, they have limited access to large data sets to help drive predictive analytics. The awareness, benchmarking, and health of the data center is only understood within its own boundaries. As newer technologies emerge, more integration into DCIM solutions is needed to replace aging and outdated tech.
Evoque has already deployed next-generation DCIM software by partnering with Schneider Electric, a world-class DCIM provider and leader in the industry. The next-generation DCIM has improved by moving to cloud-based deployments, having easier access of management, built-in disaster recovery mechanisms, and enhanced intelligence. It also offers machine learning and real-time analytics, while collecting data and pooling it with data from other organizations in an anonymized manner for benchmarking. Data points can scale rapidly to hundreds of thousands of endpoints.
The architecture of next-generation DCIM provides capabilities to connect to a “data lake”, or a secure repository of massive amounts of anonymized device data. Having access to a data lake enables more insight and event prediction with artificial intelligence. Data center owners and operators considering DCIM solutions today that are adopting a modern cloud-based DCIM solution should ensure that it includes access to a data lake.
Evoque is developing next-gen DCIM initiatives to enhance how customers can interface with their data center assets. Afterall, the more efficient our customers are with their utilization, the more efficient our facilities become. The capabilities of DCIM are nearly endless and we will continue to bring these features forward into the customer experience.
It doesn’t just stop at DCIM either. Evoque understands that cost efficiency of our customer’s workloads is equally important. That may even involve a customer workload moving out of the data center and into the public cloud. At Evoque, the focus is on continuing to better serve the customer as we have with MGI (Multi-Generational Infrastructure™) with SpendAgility™, no matter where they are in their hybrid journey.
Evoque architected MGI with an application-first approach, understanding that what an application needs today is not necessarily what it will need a year from now. SpendAgility™, allows the customer the flexibility to shift their data center spend to the public cloud, cloud engineering or another data center location at any time.
Whether you’re a customer evolving in the data center with Evoque, or planning a transformation of your IT strategy, Evoque continues to lead with innovative technologies that assist our customers in having ultimate flexibility.
To learn more about how Evoque can help with your efficiency and IT strategy, talk to one of our solutions experts today.