For years, data center operators have struggled with the ever-evolving problem of gaining and maintaining end-to-end visibility of IT and OT in their data center.
A consolidated view would expose information about every part of the operation, including the facility and the data center’s IT operations. This “single pane of glass” has proven more elusive than anyone might have imagined.
Different skillsets, job functions, and daily needs make the development of a single tool a veritable impossibility. Each system for monitoring critical infrastructure or IT equipment has distinct features – applicable to one audience, but not others. Vendors have focused on solutions for a discreet problem set, be it building management systems (BMS), building automation systems (BAS), data center infrastructure management (DCIM), network performance monitors, workflow engines, etc.
This specialization creates solutions to specific problems but not the “single pane of glass”. An analogy that represents a better solution is a pair of eyeglasses with interchangeable lenses.
In this analogy, the frame is common to all operators, regardless of focus. The frame comprises components like the underlying system architecture, data ingestion, data storage, and analytics capabilities.
The lenses are interfaces that provide an expected view or result to various operators. For example, an intelligent chiller provides information to any system that can ingest the data it sends out (frame), from BMS/BAS to DCIM systems. However, the operators of those different systems have different needs for how they view and use the data – they need different lenses.
Collectively, the eyeglass frame and set of lenses depict a real Integrated Data Center Management (IDCM) solution. IDCM’s consolidated data set is critical as data center operators cannot achieve their management and operational goals when limited by traditional tools and processes.
Whether you oversee Critical Facilities, IT Operations, or Systems Engineering, IDCM addresses many challenges you are facing today.
Better Capacity Management – A building automation system (BAS) provides no visibility inside the rack to know where there is available contiguous space, power, or cooling for equipment placement. DCIM solutions have limited visibility into systems that compromise the data center’s critical infrastructure, such as fire detection and suppression, lighting, physical security systems, and other critical building systems. IDCM brings together the relevant data to provide full visibility into space, power, and thermal capacity management, which helps to ensure that the workloads are optimally placed.
Reduced Costs and Improved Energy Utilization – The data center’s thermal equipment is a heavy consumer of electricity which is frequently a target for recovering costs and improving energy utilization. It is no simple task to change temperature setpoints without end-to-end visibility into how that temperature change will affect the equipment that is processing critical workloads. To safely change thermal equipment’s energy consumption, an operator must have visibility into how any proposed change in temperature will affect the environment and the applications. IDCM provides the information required to optimize the energy usage of the data center’s thermal equipment. IDCM processes vast amounts of data points from critical infrastructure and IT equipment. It proactively provides information to make data-informed time-sensitive changes to thermal equipment’s operating parameters.
Improved uptime – There are many ways to improve uptime. It starts with being able to simulate critical infrastructure changes in software for scenario planning and optimizing operations. Scenario planning allows operators to plan for failures at critical points in the data center and plan for maintenance, workload migrations, and equipment replacement. Another way is to map and understand the dependencies of a workload downstream to the power ingress.
Reliability will always remain the priority of data center operators, followed closely by efficiency, and cost optimization. IDCM delivers critical dependency information to facility and ITOps teams to avoid or minimize disruptions from planned and unplanned events. IDCM ensures operators have granular details from the critical infrastructure that manages energy and thermal properties. Using these details, operators can better manage their power, cooling, and space more effectively.