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The Four Pillars of DCIM Integration

BY INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVES ON SEPTEMBER 4, 2014

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2014/09/04/four-pillars-dcim-integration/?
utm_source=internal-link&utm_medium=foot-link&utm_campaign=next

DHESI ANANCHAPERUMAL
CA Technologies

Dhesi Ananchaperumal, SVP Software Engineering and DCIM Evangelist at


CA Technologies.
DCIM systems are central to so many processes in the data center and
beyond that integration is essential. Yet it can also be incredibly daunting.
With some organizations using as many as 40 systems to manage the data
center ecosystem, the potential for rationalization and retirement is
considerable.
This level of integration should not be tackled in a single pass. Instead,
organizations should start with the systems that will add the most value to
their DCIM implementation and their business.
A requirements workshop at the beginning of the DCIM journey will help
identify which integrations matter most. It will also identify where an
integrated DCIM system can be used to replace aging, expensive or
disparate tools.
DCIM integration opportunities can be split into four key areas:

Data: This is paramount, and is usually the first area to tackle. For
DCIM to deliver better visibility of data center operations and resources,
organizations need to be able to integrate data from different platforms
and in different formats.

Service management applications: From building management


systems and change management databases to service desk ticketing
platforms, integrating DCIM with service management systems can
simplify and unify common operational processes. For example, if a PDU
rack fails an integrated DCIM system can not only raise a service desk
ticket but also correlate other alerts to the same issue.

Strategic planning: DCIM can be an enabler of business growth. I


recently spoke to a large retailer that needed to better manage its
power, space and cooling capacity to deliver on its corporate strategy to
grow by nearly 30 percent. To be effective, DCIM needs to be integrated
with enterprise capacity planning and management processes, which
will help provide greater visibility of costs and performance.

Process automation: With this kind of integration in place,


organizations can tap into the next tier of operational efficiencies. For
example, workloads can be automatically moved between data centers
to take advantage of idle capacity and cheaper energy rates as well as
in response to disaster situations. Not many data center managers are
prioritizing automation yet, but as adoption of public and private clouds
increases, I see this becoming an important opportunity for DCIM.
To realize the full potential of DCIM integration, organizations need to ensure
they deploy a DCIM system that has been designed to do just that: integrate.
With the right DCIM solution in place, organizations can establish an
integration roadmap for the short and long term.

After all, DCIM integration is not a revolution; its an evolution. And the
results will keep getting better over time.
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.

Preparing for DCIM in 2014: Best Practices for


Getting It Right
BY INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVES ON DECEMBER 17, 2013

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2013/12/17/preparing-dcim-2014best-practices-getting-right/

Lara Greden is a senior principal, strategy, at CA Technologies. Her previous


post was DCIM Makes A Difference for Colo Providers.

LARA GREDEN
CA Technologies

In 2014, many organizations will implement DCIM for the first time or expand or replace
their existing implementation. Several critical factors will help organizations succeed.
Here are recommended best practices based on experiences with our customers.
1. Enable users
First and foremost, when it comes to enabling users, is choosing a DCIM solution with
usability in mind. The software should be role-based and thus meet your users where
they are. Seemingly small things, such as allowing for single sign-on access, increase
usability. One of the key benefits of DCIM is that its architecture brings together a large,
valuable data set. To enable users, you need to know how users can leverage the data
themselves. For instance, are they able to create their own metrics, or do new metrics
require additional services costs?
2. Integrate where it makes business sense
Integration is at the core of DCIM. The most common first phase is integration with
devices, power and cooling equipment and the BMS, i.e., the physical data center.
Ultimately, DCIM can even replace some of the tools previously used to monitor and
manage the physical data center.
But integration in the IT stack is also important. To identify what makes business sense
for your first phase, evaluate the workflows you are supporting or enabling with DCIM.

Then, map the IT systems for which data sharing is critical to supporting accurate
decision making and reducing manual efforts. For instance, if you are already using
intelligent alerting and users receive alerts through a service desk, then you probably
have a solid business justification for prioritizing integration of the DCIM alerts with your
service desk.
3. Talk to others
Implementing and making use of DCIM technology is not a one-off project, as discussed
further in this white paper on DCIM implementation success. Having trust in the
underlying technology is key to success, but so is confidence that your team will be
successfully up and running in the expected time frame. Thats why talking with other
organizations with DCIM experience is so valuable.
2013 has seen an increase in uptake of DCIM. Seeing a live implementation of the
technology at peer organizations and having a frank conversation with those peers will
be valuable for your DCIM acquisition and deployment process. It will help you gain
insights for defining the critical requirements you will want to clearly spell out as part of
your procurement process.
With December being a particularly critical time of year for many in data center
infrastructure and operations, use your observations to plan for your DCIM
implementation and capitalize on the awareness building and early wins youve
achieved. Organizations that plan for their DCIM implementations with a focus on
enabling users, integrating where it makes business sense, and learning from peers are
all achieving greater business value from their DCIM implementation.
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.

Putting Your DCIM Plan into Action


BY INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVES ON

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2013/10/15/putting-your-dcim-planinto-action/

Lara Greden is a senior principal, strategy, at CA Technologies. Her previous


post The Road to Acquiring DCIM: A Q & A Primer appeared in September
2013.

LARA GREDEN
CA Technologies

More and more companies are recognizing the value of DCIMnot only to the operations
of their data centers but to their core business functions. The need for DCIM is driven by
the realities of todays data centers: increased automation, significant growth in compute
and storage, and that many organizations are taking a portfolio approach, including
owned data centers, leased or collocated facilities, Software as a Service (SaaS) and
managed services.
These realities mean that data centers simply cant be operated the same way as
before. This is the crux of a blog post by Terrence Clark on Three Misconceptions
about Data Center Management. One misconception is that if you have plenty of
data center management tools and a great facilities management team, youre covered.
But as the blog explains, this doesnt go nearly far enough to keep up with the reality of
todays hybrid data center environment, which is a mix of virtual and physical systems
and the application layer.
For example, rapidly shifting workloads can cause hotspots and power surges. Whats
required is the convergence between IT and Facilities Management. That is the heart of
a strategic approach to DCIM.

Defining DCIM strategy at your organization


Defining DCIM strategy entails considering the beginning, middle, and end of your
business objectives. Getting an early win with the implementation is important, but the
overall investment value is defined by the roadmap for your DCIM strategy covering
software and hardware that comprise the monitoring, intelligent alerting, reporting, asset

lifecycle management, 3D visualization, and more that ultimately help data center
operators improve capacity, reduce risk, and improve business service delivery.
A Forrester Research Inc. report titled CIOs Should Get Real About Real Options
Thinking In Their BT Plans And Messages (July 15, 2013) by analyst Chip Gliedman
states it well, With firms depending more on IT to facilitate business changes, a flexible
and adaptable set of technologies, platforms, and processes needs to be in place. This
means that IT must also acquire the option to move rapidly in response to the
business needs.
DCIM gives organizations several options for responding to business needs via the data
center infrastructure. For example, the analytics capability from bringing together the
physical and virtual components of the environment helps companies plan for and meet
capacity needs with improved efficiency and accuracy at lower cost.
From an overall IT and business strategy, you may see DCIM as connected to a larger
effort to consolidate IT vendors, or to replace aging systems that dont provide the
automation needed for todays business. Ive seen a large financial institution marry IT
capacity management with the physical capacity management of DCIM to help support
a vision of enterprise capacity management.
Another recent example was a Fortune 500 company that viewed its DCIM strategy as
bringing together the following key areas to improve data center management and
business service delivery: environmental management, systems monitoring, white
space and capacity planning, asset management, and incident and request
management. Increasingly, organizations are also using DCIM to strategically manage
and assess their portfolio of data center infrastructure, including owned, colo and cloud.

Putting your plan into action


Work closely with your vendor as you put your DCIM strategy into action and ensure that
your DCIM software addresses your requirements with a rich set of capabilities. Ive
repeatedly seen data center operators overcome what were viewed as major hurdles by
working with a provider with extensive knowledge of software deployment, IT systems,
and the power, cooling, and other data center infrastructure systems.
Finally, DCIM is fundamentally about scale. Its value comes from monitoring and
normalizing hundreds or thousands of data points via integrating with your existing data

center, augmenting that monitoring with rich analytics and intelligent alerting, and by
being able to do that across all of your data center sites. If the architecture of the
solution doesnt support the scale of an environment, then speed and agility of
operations wont be supported. To maximize the value of the technology, youll want a
horizontal architecture that can be extended as needed.
You should attempt to find out how the technology behind your DCIM investment is
working out at similar organizations, whether in a similar region, similar data center
scale, or in your industry vertical. DCIM is a strategic technology investment for which a
focused, disciplined approach will pay off with numerous benefits to your business. And
if you choose one that is easy to deploy and intuitive to navigate, everyone will benefit.
An upcoming post will look at the value of DCIM in colo data centers.
Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge
highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines
and submission processfor information on participating. View previously
published Industry Perspectives in ourKnowledge Library.

The Road to Acquiring DCIM: A Q&A Primer


http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2013/09/16/the-road-to-acquiringdcim-a-qa-primer/

Lara Greden is a senior principal, strategy, at CA Technologies. Her previous


post DCIM Integration: Are IT Management Tools Enough? appeared in
August 2013.

LARA GREDEN
CA Technologies

What are compelling business activities at the strategic level that make DCIM
technology essential? Business cases for supporting investments in DCIM are often a
combination of hard and soft costs. They include the ability to free up OPEX, avoid
CAPEX, replace other systems and improve productivity. But the successful business
cases for DCIM always recognize that it is essential to the organizations business
goals. Here are responses to questions often asked by forward-looking organizations on
the road to acquiring and successfully deploying DCIM technology.
How do we meet new service demand quickly and efficiently?
When it comes to meeting new service demand quickly and efficiently, the traditional
approach is to throw more capacity at the problem, be it physical capacity or labor
capacity. Many organizations are recognizing the problems with this approach: namely,
that it is expensive and/or not fast enough.
Many organizations align DCIM to the strategic imperative of agility in IT operations. The
software-defined data center is helping data center operators in both facilities and IT
improve agility at the data center level, and DCIM is a fundamental component of that
approach. Due in part to its data federation capabilities, DCIM helps organizations
efficiently manage the power, space and cooling capacity of the data center, and
efficiently and confidently provision and decommission devices. Because increased
automation means that applications are often moving and configurations can be
changed easily, data center operators on both the facilities and IT side are finding that
the visibility provided by DCIM is a necessary link in the chain. For longer term needs,
DCIM provides the analytics necessary for capacity planning.
Should we build or collocate?
Capacity constraints are a major driver for investment in DCIM technology. When
organizations are looking to expand or consolidate their data center infrastructure, DCIM
technology is an essential tool. First, in situations where capacity constraints on power,
space and cooling are projected to limit the organization, DCIM helps identify and
prioritize the opportunities to free up capacity. Likewise, when consolidating data center
resources, DCIM helps organizations carry out the consolidation efficiently and
accurately. This starts with using DCIM analytics to identify the best locations,
equipment and devices to maintain going forward.

Perhaps more importantly, DCIM technology helps organizations uncover situations


where capacity constraints may compromise uptime and availability. Knowing when
power circuits are reaching higher than desired demand levels, or where hotspots are
occurring is essential to maintaining the health of the data center. Data center operators
have known this since the beginning, but its often easier said than doneunless you
have the visualization, normalization, and integration capabilities of a DCIM software
technology.
Organizations will increasingly have a portfolio of data center resources, including
owned and colo space. DCIM technology helps provide remote insight across a variety
of indicators, including efficiency, available capacity and operational status. It helps
organizations drive best practices across their data center portfolio by providing insight
and transparency.
How can we create competitive advantage?
For colos and managed service providers, DCIM technology goes beyond helping them
run efficient and modern data center operationsit helps them create competitive
advantage by offering transparency to their customers, and thus, differentiating
themselves in the market.
In a case study on the ROI achieved through the deployment of DCIM software
technology in one of their Tier III+ data centers, Logicalis identified top-line revenue as
one of the major benefits due to the ability to differentiate their managed services
offerings and help customers achieve energy and sustainability goals.
Transparency on various elements such as power consumption, the thermal
environment, and other elements in SLAs can even lead to further revenue generating
opportunities. These include consulting services and remote operations to help
customers reduce their overall costs.

The End Result


Meeting service demand quickly and efficiently, confidently supporting decisions to build
or colocate, and creating competitive advantage for colos and service providers share
the commonality of attention at the strategic level for data center infrastructure. Because
DCIM technology provides the means to execute in those areas with confidence, more
and more forward looking organizations are turning to DCIM technology. We expect to

continue to see organizations place importance on DCIM as they innovate and evolve
their data center strategies.
An upcoming post will discuss essential elements of a roadmap for DCIM strategy in the
data center.
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.

Notes from the Road: DCIM User Experience


BY INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVES ON JANUARY 26, 2012

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/01/26/notes-from-the-roaddcim-user-experience/

Gary Bunyan is Global DCIM Solutions Specialist at iTRACS Corporation, a


Data Center Infrastructure Management company. Based in London, he
works with data center (and data centre) owners and operators around the
world to help them optimize their physical infrastructure. This is the first in a
series of columns about the user experience as Gary traverses the globe
working with buyers, managers and users of DCIM.

GARY BUNYAN
iTRACS

Ive been around data centers for a long time (sometimes longer than I might care to
admit) and I can tell you this: When it comes to the usability of a particular technology
product or solution, the question you should be asking isnt: How easy is this to use?

The question you should be asking is:


Can I do what I need to do and how efficiently can I do it?
Or to put it another way:
Am I going to have to work for the tool, or will the tool actually work
for me?
Take the rapidly-growing world of Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM).
There are dozens of DCIM vendors out there, each with their own products, user
interfaces, and claims of usability. For IT executives who are seeking to buy and deploy
these technologies, deciphering what is truly usable (vs. of little use to them) can be
quite a challenge.
With this in mind, Ive decided to reshape the definition of usability in the DCIM world.
Heres my definition.
In full disclosure: I have a slightly different way of thinking about usability. Im mostly
interested in how efficiently business value can be generated by the use of the DCIM
tool. This is what my customers tell me is most important to them and how they measure
usability. To them, usability relates directly to their ability to generate a positive
business outcome.

Usability isnt about being easy to use. Its about


getting the job done.
One root of the word usability is to be of use. When youre attempting to manage
millions of dollars of IT assets in one of the most complex entities on earth the modern
data center you dont need a pretty user interface which, when you pull back the
covers, is lacking in usefulness. You need an interface that helps you get the job done
directly helps you manage the complex web of inter-relationships between the
thousands of IT and Facilities assets sitting on your data center floor.
If you cannot manage the myriad of inter-dependencies inside the data center if youre
stuck with a piecemeal approach that looks at fragments rather than the whole
interconnected ecosystem then you have a tool that is, ultimately, unusable. It may
nudge you in the right direction, but it cannot get you to DCIM nirvana a place where

you have true intuitive point-and-click command and control over the entire physical
landscape.

Usability Is About Information, Not Data


You cant get the job done if you dont have the information you need to make informed,
knowledge-based decisions that drive positive business incomes. You need efficient
(easily and readily available) access to the information required to accelerate not just
decision-making, but smart decision-making.
Interactive 3-D Visualization offers a very usable solution. Interactive 3-D Visualization
lets you manage the whole of the physical infrastructure using a visualized 3-D model.
You literally point-and-click through this model, navigating through the data center to
manage assets, power, space, connectivity, and other dynamics across both IT and
Facilities. Talk about a user experience Interactive -3D Visualization lets you tour your
global portfolio of data centers, literally walk through your facilities, from a browser.

DCIM with Interactive 3-D Visualization delivers a holistic, in-context, single pane view of the data
center and its complex web of interrelationships. Its an open-systems decision support platform
offering the user command and control over the entire physical infrastructure in a navigable point and
click 3-D environment. Image courtesy of iTRACS.

By contrast, a more static user interface that provides text, spreadsheets, and static 3D
images may look pretty, but ultimately, it creates more issues than it solves. Because no
matter how clever it may look and operate, the user is still stuck with fragmented chunks

of data that must be deciphered and put into some kind of context before they can be
truly understood. Data without context = a user interface that isnt of much use.
As many data center executives have said to me, Interactive 3-D Visualization isnt just a
pretty picture. It gives you the context critical for democratizing information and
socializing management tasks at the operational level. Absent this, your time will be
spent justifying your decisions with your peers instead of executing them.

Usability Lets Everyone Be In Their Own Roles


DCIM serves a lot of different masters. Each has his/her own requirements and
expectations. The CIO needs something different from the Data Center Manager, who
needs something different from the Technical Ops team, which needs something
different from the Business Units and other clients of the data center. Everyone wants
DCIM to meet their own specific information and management needs, with dashboards
customized just for them. Dashboards with deep-dive analytics for making informed
decisions the kind of decisions that justify the investment in DCIM to begin with. The
good news? Even in a usability scenario this diverse, the right DCIM solution brings
everyone together:

Everyone has a single-pane, open systems view into the entire physical
infrastructure IT, Facilities, and Building Management Systems assets

Everyone has access (albeit to varying degrees) to the same rich repository
of data about assets, power, space, time, connectivity, and process

From this perspective, usability isnt about how much the individual user can get done.
Its about how much the whole enterprise can get done.
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.

Notes from the Road: Tearing Down the Silos


BY INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVES ON MARCH 1, 2012

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/03/01/notes-from-the-roadtearing-down-the-silos/

Gary Bunyan is Global DCIM Solutions Specialist at iTRACS Corporation, a


Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) company. This is the second
in a series of columns by Gary about the user experience. See Garys
previous column on DCIM User Experience.

GARY BUNYAN
iTRACS

The era of big data is upon us. Gartner expects an 800% growth in the creation and
sharing of digital data over the next five years. Just look at the electronics you carry with
you daily smart phones, laptops, tablets, etc. Each of us receives and shares
information by the second. Our interactions are increasingly embedded in the digital
world and its only going to accelerate.

Sharing, Distributing Mission Critical Information


One area of explosive growth is social networking, where information is instantly shared
(socialized) across vast numbers of participants. Whats great about social networks is
that everyone gets the same information at the same time.
Where else do you see this highly efficient level of information sharing? You can
leverage data about your data center when youre using DCIM tools to manage your
physical infrastructure.
Im not saying these tools offer the same experience as a social network. But in many
respects, they accomplish the same thing. DCIM with Interactive 3-D Visualization

spreads or socializes information to everyone, instantly and efficiently, eliminating the


walls or silos between people, efficiently opening up new paths of communication.

Tearing Down the Silos Between IT, Facilities and


Building Management Systems
DCIM tools can be used to tear down the walls or silos between IT, Facilities,
building management systems, operations and business units. They socialize and
democratize information across organizations, roles, responsibilities and skill sets in a
way that creates unparalleled collaboration. Comprehensive, holistic information about
the entire physical ecosystem is made available to all data center constituents. And this
isnt just information its information that everyone can instantly understand and act
upon.

How It Works
First, it provides unparalleled insight into data center interconnectivity.
The data center is one of the most complex entities on earth, supporting tens of
thousands if not millions of devices in an intricate web of interconnectivity. When one
uses DCIM tools properly, one is uniquely positioned to understand these
interdependencies and create a robust environment for managing and optimizing them.
A rich DCIM toolset empowers you to proactively manage moves, adds and changes
based on knowledge, not guesswork, about how changing one asset changes the entire
landscape. You can use what if scenarios to see and plan for the impact of change
before it occurs. You can reduce energy, cooling, and space costs based on valid
information that tells you how to do more with less. And you can automate entire
workflows like intelligent commissioning and intelligent capacity planning, accelerating
time-to-value across the entire physical infrastructure.
Secondly, it socializes this information and functionality to multiple roles and skill sets
across the enterprise.
Unlike other data, DCIM with Interactive 3-D Visualization provides a dynamic 3-D
environment that puts information in context, visually, making it instantly meaningful and
actionable to everyone. After all, if you cant quickly understand and use it, what good is
it? The system validates the axiom: A picture is worth 1,000 words. Its a great way to

socialize content, especially content about complex interconnectivity. Everyone works in


the same easy-to-use single-pane view of the ecosystem. Everyone has access (albeit
with varying degrees) to the same rich repository of data about assets, power, space,
time, connectivity and process.

DCIM with Interactive 3-D Visualization socializes complex information about interconnectivity in an
easy-to-use point and click environment. Users with different roles and skill sets can collaborate to
optimize data center efficiency, agility, and availability using the same repository of information, DCIM
toolset, and single-pane view of the IT ecosystem. Click for full size. Image Courtesy iTRACS.

Scenario: A Power Distribution Unit (PDU) Supporting


100 Mission-Critical Servers Goes Down
Let me walk you through a usual scenario. Lets say a PDU goes down. Heres how it
becomes both a visual and a socialized experience:
3:07 p.m. You and your colleagues get an alert telling you that a PDU just went down.
You instantly locate the PDU visually and confirm its due to mechanical failure. You
execute a Failure Simulation to find out which assets are impacted by the loss of the
PDU a trace that gives you a complete visual picture of the PDU and its network of
interdependences. You see within seconds:

All servers and assets affected by the PDU failure

Applications these devices are running virtual, database, etc.

Line of business(es) they support

Who else needs to be contacted about the event

Exact steps needed to resolve the incident before it affects the business

3:09 p.m. You update the entire team, sharing complete visual information about the
event. And you send out a tech team to begin repairing and/or replacing the PDU.
Everyone has the same information about the incident and what to do about it. Since
Interactive 3-D Visualization shows the repair team exactly where the PDU is, they are
quickly dispatched armed with detailed graphics and operational data. No guesswork
about where the unit or what its connected to. Its all right there in 3-D.
3:10 p.m. You contact the server owners and assure them a team is already on
location and in repair mode in less than 5 minutes from the beginning of the event.
Youve just broadened the social network to include the business owners.
4:05 p.m. The crisis is over power has been restored with no disruption to the
business.
In a normal disaster recovery scenario, this event might require hours of recovery time.
Here, it took about an hour, thanks to the speed and efficacy of the DCIM social
network:

Identified the source, location, and nature of the problem

Identified every server and application affected

Shared complete visual information across the DCIM social network


technical teams, owners and management

Leveraged DCIM to quickly resolve the incident before it became a problem

Information Is Nice, but Its What You DO With It that


Counts
DCIM puts control of the entire data center ecosystem at your fingertips. And it goes
one step further than anything any social network can do. Tools that include 3-D visuals

helps users see the information in context, creating a level of meaning that is
unachievable through spreadsheets or static imagery. Rather than being mystified by
interconnectivity, users are able to see, understand and manage it.
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.

DCIM Integration: Are IT Management Tools


Enough?
BY INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVES ON AUGUST 12, 2013

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2013/08/12/dcim-integration-are-itmanagement-tools-enough/

Lara Greden is a senior principal, strategy, at CA Technologies.

LARA GREDEN
CA Technologies

When it comes to driving value through data center operations, one of the prevailing
challenges for facilities and IT alike is a lack of common management tools. In
a surveyconducted by IDC, 63 percent of respondents reported that they do not have a
common set of management tools covering servers, network, storage, power, cooling,
etc.

For those on the facilities side, what does it mean to not have an integrated tool set
covering the complete data center picture? Likewise, what does it mean to not have the
areas of power, space, and cooling visible and integrated with the tool sets that IT uses?

Lack of Tools Can Hold Back Productivity


It means more time spent on manual tasks. It reduces the ability to be agile. It also
means a missed opportunity to provide value to the business, be it maintaining
availability when it matters most or providing the data center capacity to meet the needs
of new products and services that contribute to revenue generation.
By bringing together accurate information on power, space, cooling, network, compute,
storage, and more, Data Center Infrastructure Management software suites help
facilities and IT get an integrated picture of their data center environment. It makes
information that was previously hidden in somebody elses black box become
transparent. Furthermore, the analytics that are possible when you have a DCIM system
in place that truly integrates with your environment helps you address risk and capacity
in new ways.

Beyond IT Management Tools: Benefits of Integration


Lets take the scenario of integrating with the various physical systems supporting the
data center and the analytics made possible. It allows you to see all relevant metrics for
a Computer Room Air Conditioner (CRAC), battery, or circuit breaker from one place.
For example, one organization that I work with was able to get early identification of the
potential failure of circuit breakers before the Building Management System (BMS)
notified them thanks to their DCIM implementation. Being able to make the repairs faster
put the organization at less risk for a potential incident and provided immediate value.

DCIM Helps Manage Data Center Capacity


Providing and meeting the capacity needs of the business is often a major driver for
investment in DCIM software suites. Another organization I know of had an extremely
lengthy, manual, and costly process for finding space for new servers in the data center.
Even a third party was involved, yet data was typically still inaccurate and not current.
By looking to DCIM software as the technology solution to support a people and
process change, the organization can significantly simplify their processes and greatly

improve the agility of their data center operations. Analytics through DCIM can provide
options for where to place devices with sufficient power, space, and cooling. No more
tossing the information back and forth, or making guesses, and then dealing with the
issues later. This is another tangible area of savings for DCIM software.
Integration with the equipment, devices, and systems in the data center is key for
unlocking black boxes and achieving the benefits of transparency and analytics through
DCIM. Integration capabilities play into the timelines of implementing DCIM software,
and are one of the key areas to consider in looking under the hood of DCIM software
offerings. When you can truly integrate the key data sources required, you will be able to
stand behind your decision to invest in DCIM.
An upcoming blog post will discuss some specific questions that we
see forward looking organizations asking as they build the business
case for integrated DCIM software suites.
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.

With Latest DCIM Update, FieldView Focuses


on Integration
http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2013/07/12/fieldview-updates-dcimversion-6-0-focuses-on-integrations/

FieldView Solutions is announcing version 6.0 of its Data Center Infrastructure


Management Suite today. Fieldview says its latest update focuses on addressing a
critical gap in DCIM solutions: sharing data that is gathered, stored and analyzed with
other applications.
FieldView 6.0 represents a wealth of customer feedback and the realization to conform
our solution to better meet the needs of a global marketplace, said Tim Regovich, Chief

Technology Officer, FieldView Solutions. We are proud to offer a data center tool
thats adaptable enough to integrate into any existing set of data center management
tools while flexible enough to conform to individual requirements.
To address these gaps, FieldView is changing from providing a custom integration for
individual applications to creating two different data links that streamline and share
power, cooling, historical and other information critical to optimizing todays data
centers. The data links are called DataView and LiveView.
DataView is a non-compressed cache of data for a wide variety of applications to
access or publish historical and trending data for asset management and capacity
planning needs. LiveView is a live temperature and power feed that offers the most
recent measurement readings for an at-a-glance view of global data center operations.
DataView and LiveView enable FieldView to virtually interconnect with a bunch of
applications. This simplifies integration of historical and real-time data collected by
FieldView into asset, systems and network management solutions, as well as financial
applications, dynamic facilities control, IT power control, and other applications.
In addition to the new data sharing abilities, FieldView 6.0 also adds the following
features, which will be delivered throughout Q3 and Q4 of 2013:

Extended Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities: BI functionality


have been enhanced, including capacity planning of space, power and
cooling.
Data Warehouse Excel Integration: Fully-customizable Excel
features enable users to save any query or run any regression.
Enhanced Dashboards: With the use of configurable widgets,
FieldViews user dashboards can now be customized. Whether the end
user wants to view PUE data or just alarms, this new feature provides
only the information desired.
What If Planning Scenarios: Predictive analysis is critical to data
center operations and FieldView 6.0 has enhanced functionality to help
forecast space, power and cooling requirements vs. available capacity,
and to simulate the impact of potential deployments.
Ticketing System Integration: Full integration with industry-leading
ticketing systems enables integration with customers operational

processes for resolving critical alerts. FieldView 6.0 generates alarms,


and aggregates alarms generated by the systems it monitors.
Mobile: Leveraging HTML5, FieldView 6.0 information is now optimized
for smart phones and tablet viewing and interaction.
Internationalization: FieldView will offer five languages: Chinese,
Portuguese, Japanese, German, and Spanish as well as inherent
capability of operating and capturing data in Metric or Imperial units.
Energy Optimization: Enhanced reports provide power, cooling and
space trending information to identify servers with long-term power
draws and other anomalies.
IT Asset Management Integration: Newly enhanced version now
has a common format for importing and synchronizing data making a
simpler and deeper connection to asset management tools to
automatically share information.

DCIM Assists Integration of Facilities and IT


BY INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVES ON MARCH 8, 2011

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2011/03/08/dcim-assists-integrationof-facilities-and-it/

Maurice (Moe) Donegan is a director of product management for


the Avocent business of Emerson Network Power. He has a broad
background in business-driven IT solution and IT strategy, is ITIL v3
Foundation certified and co-authored a patent in unified service models.

MOE DONEGAN
Avocent

In the last several years, the IT-Facilities relationship has redefined existing assumptions
to address rapidly changing business requirements. Just as IT has risen to the
challenge of aligned business services that are standardized, measured, flexible and

responsive, now Facilities must provide IT with the on-demand resources (space, power
and HVAC) that enable those dynamic business services.
With the increased interdependency between IT and facilities, it is critical to share the
historical and real-time triggers to dynamic change in resource consumption. To an
extent, facilities can anticipate some of IT resource needs from a baseline capacity plan;
however, the dynamic nature of data center response to business demand can only be
seen in real-time.

Data Center Infrastructure Management Assists


Integration
The best way to achieve productive integration of IT and facilities infrastructures is
through effective Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM). Detailed monitoring
and measurement of data center performance, utilization and energy consumption is
crucial in order for data center managers to make accurate judgments and ensure
proper planning.
At Emerson Network Power we use a four-step method to ensure a mature, thorough
approach to data center management. First, managers must have the ability to monitor
assets and access all the necessary information to make planning decisions. Second,
real-time notifications, proper server back-up and actual performance data allow
managers to have a solid understanding of their data center assets, and their location.
Third, the ability to efficiently decommission and identify the connections between
space, power and cooling, allows managers to analyze and diagnose data center
problems. From here, managers can move to the final step of effective DCIM and
anticipate potential failures and automatically shift loads to reduce downtime, further
optimizing data center efficiency.
Before data center managers can properly prepare for a DCIM solution, they must first
establish a daily working relationship and a forward-thinking plan with the facility
managers. Historically, the contact between these two teams has been contained to
infrequent meetings on long-term requirements and planning. Often, data center
managers would come up with a core plan that facility managers would then use as a
worst case scenario for contracting with utilities, building management and HVAC
vendors.

A major issue is that neither manager is aware of the daily pressures that impact one
another, namely the daily fluctuation in resource costs and contracts for the facilities
manager, and the Service Level Agreements (SLA) that IT must meet in servicing
business needs. Establishing a tighter relationship allows facility management to
understand the granular details of capacity planning and assist in identifying the hot and
cold spots of resource utilization within the data center. Further, an improved relationship
allows data center managers to be aware of the cost of resources so they can make
better choices around asset selection, the timing of lower priority and off-line tasks. By
gaining better appreciation of these interdependent impacts and the respective
organizational mission, the case for a DCIM solution will be apparent.
As DCIM continues to emerge, our customers have expressed a wide range of DCIMdriven initiatives. For example, improving IT and facility responsiveness to business
driven needs includes flexible provisioning of facility resources ahead of peak IT
demand. This would include capacity planning, run-time monitoring and management,
load balancing, IT process redistribution and resource optimization. For each of these
activities, DCIM plays an important role in enabling IT to meet the dynamic mission with
the right resource load in a timely manner.

Multiple DCIM-driven Projects


Other DCIM driven initiatives include merger/acquisition restructuring and corporate
sustainability commitments. When businesses merge, IT organizations often find
themselves in possession of interim infrastructure. Having a DCIM strategy in place can
deliver many of the same benefits found in process optimization while helping to make
management decisions about the effectiveness of on-going operations in the newly
adopted infrastructure.
Corporate sustainability commitments continue to be a growing focus for business. The
resources required to run a data center are a significant contributor to the production of
greenhouse gases and, in some geographies, a major element in environmental
compliance reporting. Implementation of an effective DCIM solution can provide the
basis of metrics on resource consumption and its change over time. This enables the
organization to have a single system of record for source measurement of resources,
thereby accelerating the ability to collect data for compliance reporting.
DCIM will continue to be vital to the evolution of the data center over the next several
years. Now, more than ever before, is the time for companies to prepare for this

comprehensive approach to data center infrastructure management.


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