Lara Greden is a senior principal, strategy, at CA Technologies. You can follow her on Twitter at @laragreden.
In April, we examined the requirements for integrating data from a multitude of sources for power, cooling and other facilities related assets in the data center, so now let’s hone in on the importance of your DCIM software integrating with other critical systems in your environment.
If you are exploring which DCIM solution is right for your organization, chances are you are looking to undertake this project to more effectively manage risk and help drive growth for your business. So to support these efforts, it is imperative that you understand what the solution’s integration capabilities are with other strategic systems and applications in your environment.
Integration with IT Service Management
Gaining rapid problem resolution with automated and integrated system communications to address problems and manage risk is core to any data center operating plan. So integration with IT Service Management solutions is a crucial functionality to have if you are looking to track changes in the environment across system and groups via service desk tickets and change management solutions.
By integrating your DCIM implementation with your service management systems, you can simplify and unify common operational processes. Also, by integrating with IT Service Management systems, your DCIM solution can empower you to use information across different parts of the infrastructure to quickly find answers to problems.
For example, to troubleshoot a slow internet issue, instead of passing the blame from one group to the next, some DCIM software solutions can show if the root-cause is related to a power, network, router, or equipment issue. In addition, the alerting engine in your DCIM solution can uncover signs of problem assets that require maintenance and open a ticket for investigation or assign a service technician to fix the issue.
Integration with Business Growth
Many organizations that invest in DCIM do so not only to better address risk, but also to support their strategic data center plan which ultimately is to enable business growth. Thus the need to manage data center capacity to support this growth makes capacity management one of the core functions – with supporting software tools – with which your DCIM solution must integrate. A complete approach to capacity management is crucial to managing risk and availability in supporting delivery of new applications.
For example, Facebook defined and implemented DCIM technology to accommodate 42 use cases. In the article, author Rich Miller notes that Facebook’s overall data center management strategy integrates DCIM with several in-house tools, including Cluster Planner, which is used in planning and deploying entire clusters.
So what does this all mean? It means that not only do you need DCIM to integrate with capacity and business growth enablers, but you need it to be central to those goals. Your DCIM implementation should support your efforts to align IT and data center resources with current and future demands on the business. After all, when you are faced with a request to support an expanding range of business services or applications, you don’t want to be dealing with the pain of managing in siloes - IT on one side and Facilities on the other side.
When investing in a DCIM implementation, be sure to take the time to go beyond power, space and cooling, and understand how it fits into your organization’s overall management of resources and be sure to include network, storage, and server capacity on this list. With this mindset you will be sure to undergo a DCIM implementation that not only integrates, but rather, is integral to your strategy and the growth of your business.
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