DCIM Makes A Difference for Colo Providers

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Lara Greden is a senior principal, strategy, at CA Technologies. Her previous post Putting Your DCIM Plan into Action appeared in October 2013.

LaraGreden-tnLARA GREDEN
CA Technologies

DCIM is essential for optimizing the efficiency of data center operations, for mitigating risk and for enabling IT agility. But DCIM can also help IT get maximum value out of its colo providers. And that value is becoming increasingly important as IT looks beyond its four walls for much-needed infrastructure capacity.

Companies like RagingWire, Datotel, and Logicalis are using DCIM technology to bring highly differentiated value to their customers—while running more efficient data centers and improving the bottom line. But their real strategic reason for using DCIM is to serve their customers and differentiate their offerings. DCIM is helping them achieve market leadership in two fundamental ways: transparency and state-of-the-art data center operations.

Transparency

Transparency helps customers make decisions faster when it comes to problem resolution, server provisioning, and capacity planning and growth. For example, accurate data on power consumption help IT assess key questions, such as the operational cost savings of remapping VMs to increase utilization, or the total cost-of-ownership impact to deploying a new server model or a new mainframe box. Furthermore, features like visibility into the power chain or 3D visualization of the thermal environment also helps IT quickly respond to and identify root causes of problems. This transparency also allows the colo provider to easily demonstrate a quantified value proposition to grow their customer’s use of their facilities and services.

RagingWire takes the notion of transparency a step further. They offer a 100 percent availability SLA, and they back it up by offering customers visibility into power, cooling, and security. This means that, beyond 100 percent availability, customers can also access operational data on the critical systems that impact the business services that they deliver through a RagingWire data center. Through their DCIM system known as N-Matrix, RagingWire is raising the bar on bringing value to customers by offering monitoring, analysis, asset management and 3-D visualization capabilities.

State-of-the-Art Data Center Operations

DCIM represents a state-of-the-art data center. Colo customers want to know how you are helping to ensure uptime and availability. At minimum, they expect real-time monitoring and intelligent alerting across all data center power and cooling infrastructure, regardless of vendor. This includes batteries, PDUs, UPSs, chiller plant, CRAH, CRACs, rack temperature and humidity. For example, Logicalis, a managed service and colo provider, helps ensure uptime and availability for their customers by monitoring more than 1000 data points covering the power and cooling infrastructure and thermal environment. Achieving operational monitoring at this scale is possible with DCIM technology.

Customers know that early warning prevents disaster. This requires proactive monitoring as enabled by DCIM technology. There is also a growing expectation that the colo provider not only assures the shared infrastructure through these capabilities but extends that benefit to the tenant’s infrastructure within the rack or cage.

Organizations also expect that the provisioning of new servers in racks be backed by intelligence. They require visibility into knowing that a newly-placed server will have sufficient power and cooling. They are no longer comfortable with simply assuming that sufficient power and cooling is available. The server placement functionality of DCIM software must also meet other challenges, such as finding sufficient rack space and meeting user-specified criteria around provisioning and decommissioning servers.

Datotel brings the value of sophisticated power monitoring straight to their customers. In a business defined by change, fast growth, and complexity, Datotel sought to monitor power at each element in the power delivery system so as to enable customers to proactively manage power consumption and have insight for growth. By implementing DCIM technology, Datotel now advises customers on energy efficient devices and computing models, and help customers achieve growth while controlling energy costs.

Taking a Portfolio Approach

If you have come to expect DCIM from your colo provider, what does this mean for your organization’s data center portfolio strategy? Increasingly, IT management and DCIM users will seek a seamless experience for managing data center resources across the portfolio. Again, this is driven by DCIM’s central role in answering the critical question of “do we have the capacity to support business goals?” Organizations will place increasing importance on the DCIM solutions’ architecture as it relates to scalability, security, and integration with the physical data center.

In addition, as enterprises look to deploy and expand their DCIM implementations, they will increasingly require an easy on-boarding path for working with colo providers, ranging from asset data to real-time monitoring, and overall aggregation of data across their digital infrastructure. A portfolio approach to DCIM, across owned and leased data center resources, offers many benefits. It helps IT and data center managers gain visibility on floor and rack space, power capacity, and the thermal environment across all data center locations, and do data-driven capacity planning that improves business results.

Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines and submission process for information on participating. View previously published Industry Perspectives in our Knowledge Library.

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One Comment

  1. Great post. Thanks for sharing the great content on DCIM tools.