ABCs of DCIM

Features and Benefits

There are a number of options to evaluate and consider when choosing the right DCIM solution for your business or company. A scalable, easy-to-use DCIM solution in your data center should offer these core features:

Dashboard

  • Instantly see a visual of the data center and any issues from a single pane. This may reveal that a threshold has been exceeded, a PUE has improved, or a maintenance visit is due on a chiller.

Asset Management

  • In which department does the equipment belong? Are assets registered by model numbers, the installation dates, or who performed them?
  • What is in the data center? This provides visual and textual information on equipment that usually includes a floor plan allowing for accurate record-keeping and processing.
  • How is it all connected? Topology drawings completed during the capacity-planning phase eliminates the need to physically inspect the site.

Capacity Planning

  • How much space, power and cooling is available? This allows the quick referencing of each parameter in order to plan the next equipment implementation.
  • Where is the best place to deploy new equipment? Once the correct space, power and cooling needs are determined, the next step is deciding where the perfect cabinet or even “U” space should reside to ensure the utmost efficiency in the data center.

Change Management

  • Once capacity planning occurs and is approved by the necessary parties, any requested changes to parameters can take place with the assurance that equipment installed will be in line with the data center’s delivery strategy.
  • After installations are complete, a document outlining the details and signed by the person who did the work is paramount.

Power Provision and Availability

  • How much power is currently being consumed? What is the peak power usage on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis?
  • How much power is available in a particular cabinet?

PUE Tracking

  • What is the target PUE?
  • What is the PUE average for the year?

Monitoring and Alerting

  • Monitoring power involves creating thresholds for rows, cabinets or PDUs. Alerts can be received via text, email or voice.
  • Environmental monitoring allows you to control energy costs, improve data center design, and increase operational efficiency.

Important DCIM Terms

DCK deciphered the definitions, jargon and complexity to help you understand what DCIM is and compiled a glossary of terms and acronyms used by companies that make DCIM tools.

PUE

Power Usage Effectiveness is the relationship between the amount of power used by IT equipment and the amount of power used by the supporting infrastructure (cooling, lighting, losses, etc).For example, a facility that uses 100,000 kW of total power of which 80,000 kW is used to power IT equipment, would generate a PUE of 1.25, or the 100,000 kW of total facility power divided by the 80,000 kW of IT power. If a data center has a PUE of 2.0 for every watt used of IT power, the data center uses an additional watt to support, cool and power the IT equipment.

DCIE

Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency is another less-common metric that’s always displayed as a percentage. DCIE = IT Equipment Power/Total Facility Power x 100 percent. If a data center has a DCIE of 50 percent for every watt used of IT power, the data center uses an additional watt to support, cool and power the IT equipment. Another useful calculation is DCIE = 1/PUE.

Green Grid Efficiency Level

This table created by The Green Grid illustrates the relationship and meaning of the figures:

PUE DCIE Level of Efficiency
3.0 33% Very Inefficient
2.5 40% Inefficient
2.0 50% Average
1.5 67% Efficient
1.2 83% Very Efficient

ITEP

IT Equipment Power or ITEP simply refers to all the power used by the IT department, including compute, network, storage and any additional computers/screens associated with data center operations.

TFP

Total Facility Power is power usage measured at the utility meter and includes components such as, UPS, switch gears, generators, PDUs, batteries, and external power distribution to IT equipment. It also takes into consideration cooling system components such as, chillers, computer room air conditioning units (CRACs), air handling units, pumps, cooling towers; and miscellaneous items like data center lighting.