Are you familiar with Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM)? If you own and operate a data center, this is one of the most critical components to have in your data center management strategy.
DCIM is a systems-oriented strategy for managing data center infrastructure that supports your entire organization, including your IT departments and service professionals. Without it, your IT team is at a disadvantage and your performance will suffer.
To maintain your network at peak performance, you need to know everything about your data center infrastructure. For example, you need to know what you have and where it’s located in your server room.
What is DCIM (frequently called data center infrastructure management) typically used for by IT departments? It’s a collection of systems and best practices that manage and monitor data center system components, like servers, networking equipment, storage, energy consumption, and temperature control.
All of these systems and best practices culminate into one objective: visibility that supports uptime. Here’s a list of what DCIM provides:
DCIM creates an accurate map of your data center’s assets, including an inventory of equipment and how all the information flows. This makes it easy for your IT team to troubleshoot problems, fix errors, and replace or repair components.
Imagine having to find a failing networking switch and not knowing where all of your switches are. It will take longer to find the failing switch because you’ll have to first find all of your switches to test.
Worse, after your IT team troubleshoots that issue, the next time you have a switch problem, they’ll have to go through the same arduous hunt for all your switches.
By creating a map of your entire system, your IT team will have the key they need to troubleshoot problems quickly without having to hunt for components.
You need a master list of devices connected to your system. DCIM solutions will take inventory of all IT devices located in your facility, including your instruments for managing temperature and air quality.
If you’ve never used DCIM solutions, you’re in for a treat. In the process of taking inventory of your data center, you’ll have the opportunity to organize your storage racks and cables along the way.
You can have the best data center staff in the world, and if your server room is disorganized and jumbled, they won’t perform at their peak.
It’s better to get organized in the beginning, and besides, you’ll need an organized foundation to get the full benefits of DCIM.
DCIM solutions create systems for managing and monitoring your network. When your entire team uses the same systems, it creates consistency. That consistency leads to higher performance from both your team and your network.
Monitoring your software and hardware is critical. DCIM solutions will set you up with a monitoring system that will automatically measure and report on key events and incidents. This process makes troubleshooting faster and more efficient.
When your data center is organized and your IT team has a system for managing your infrastructure, you’ll experience more uptime. Problems will be resolved faster, potential problems will be thwarted before they affect your system, and you’ll know where all of your equipment resides. All of this contributes to uptime.
You’ll also be able to hang onto your legacy components for a much longer period of time. Not all components need to be replaced when they reach the end of their service life. Some components are still perfectly usable, but you need an organized data center to make it work. When you know what legacy components you have, you can ensure they are taken care of properly.
There are certain problems that will make managing your data center a nightmare. For example, not knowing where your assets are, unknown server capacity utilization rates, messy cabling, and not knowing if your machines are approaching power limits are all examples of issues that make managing a data center difficult.
When you get on board with Data Center Infrastructure Management, your IT team can do what they do best without wasting time searching for hardware. They’ll be able to quickly resolve issues, identify problem sources, and implement solutions quickly. You can survive without DCIM, but it’s necessary to thrive.
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