The industry has been talking about the need for data center facilities and IT staff to collaborate to drive smarter, more efficient data center management decisions for years, but there hasn’t been much progress. That’s what prompted creation of a host of innovative and comprehensive DCIM solutions — software tools to help everybody get on the same page. Use the DCIM InfoCenter to learn more about the DCIM solutions that are available today to manage data center infrastructure, how to evaluate them, and how to make informed buying decisions about the right system for your business.
Collaboration between IT and facilities to drive smart, efficient data center decisions. We’ve been talking about the need for this at data center industry events and in the industry press for many years now. Yet, when we ask people whether more of it is happening, the predominant answer continues to be a frustrated “no.”
Five or so years ago, a whole new category of software tools was defined to help bridge the gap: Data Center Infrastructure Management. The promise ultimately is a unified set of tools that tracks things like what kind of hardware you have on the floor and where, how much of each box’s potential is being utilized, what the temperature and humidity is in any particular part of the data center, how much power is being consumed by every piece of equipment, and more.
With such a wide scope, it’s no wonder “DCIM” quickly became one of the industry’s most confusing acronyms. DCIM-washing ran wild. Some vendors pitched environmental sensors as “DCIM solutions,” while others referred to Computational Fluid Dynamics modeling tools as DCIM. Some of the confusion about definitions has subsided, as several analyst reports came out over the years explaining the category.
There has also been a wave of consolidation, as big vendors bought smaller ones to add to their packages of DCIM functionality. Some smaller vendors partnered and integrated with the same goal. The usefulness of a DCIM solution is tied directly to the level of comprehensiveness of addressing all of a data center’s moving and non-moving parts.
Today, as things are progressing fast toward treating a data center like one big computer (web-scale operators have done it this way with home-baked tools for years, and there are now numerous vendors making progress in productizing the approach), the need for unified management across IT and facilities is more important than ever.
As the need becomes more and more acute, companies need guidance in going through the long and complex set of decisions on the road from learning to deployment. This is where the DCIM InfoCenter comes in. As part of Data Center Knowledge, the data center industry’s journal of record that is now 10 years old, the InfoCenter can be your primary go-to information resource for DCIM decisions.
In this new section we will go from explanation of the basics to nuanced how-to guides. We’ll cover case studies of real-world DCIM deployments and help you learn from what others have done and educate you about all the key vendors in the space. And, true to DCK’s heritage, the InfoCenter will bring you the latest news in the DCIM space.
We also invite you to help us learn too. Please, send us any ideas you have about making the DCIM InfoCenter more useful. Send us your DCIM case studies, and tell us about your successes and errors in buying and implementing DCIM. Let’s learn together.
Editor in Chief
Data Center Knowledge