Having just returned from “Panduit Global Systems Integrator Congress” in Malta, (yes the weather was lovely thank you), it is interesting to see that Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) toolsets such as Panduit SmartZone™, could be one of the significant growth areas in 2014. After two to three years of being left in the wilderness, the collaborative benefits of DCIM toolsets are starting to be realised by facilities management (FM) and information technology (IT) departments. It appears that the days of outdated Excel spreadsheets, Visio diagrams and attempting to remember the user credentials of various customised databases and Building Management Systems (BMS) could be coming to an end.
DCIM offers significant benefits through integrating the stand-alone functions of asset discovery and management, capacity planning, predictive modeling, energy management, environmental management, but why has it taken so long to realise this opportunity? Could it be the requirement to fully understand what is actually happening within our datacenter environments from a combined FM and IT perspective?
It is clear that within the vast majority of companies that FM and IT departments often have a strained relationship. The simple process of deploying a new FlexPod solution is often met with protracted discussions about the availability of physical space, power capacity, network connectivity and cooling demand. The resultant effect is that you will have to conduct a major review of your facility to determine all of the above – costing time and money. However, if a DCIM toolset was already in situ, then real-time monitoring could provide this information through integration of these disparate requirements into a simple to use, single “management platform”.
It is clear that with the constantly changing, dynamic nature of datacenters and the need to focus on energy efficiencies, we must have real-time and historical data at our fingertips. How much power are we consuming? Do we have available resources to accommodate new hardware platforms? What is the effect deploying these new systems? These should be easy to answer questions. DCIM toolsets offer this capability and has the ability to bring FM and IT managers together to understand their common goals of sustainability and accurate asset and system reporting.