Intelligent Data Centres Issue 35 | Page 62

DCIM software is becoming more utilised across the data centre space as data centre managers look for smarter ways to run their facilities . Nick Ewing , Managing Director , EfficiencyIT , explores some of the barriers to DCIM adoption , its benefits and whether it can be used effectively to support sustainability ambitions .
hen it first appeared , DCIM ( Data Centre Infrastructure

W Management ) software attracted great interest from market watchers and analysts , many of whom expected that it would become a prevalent tool , indispensable to the burgeoning data centre industry , and as a lucrative element of the overall software industry .

Factors expected to drive its adoption included the ability to drive more efficient operations , especially within large data centres , resulting in visible returns in investment and the ability to manage increasing deployments across distributed sites . As concern for the environment gathered pace and sustainability was expected to become a major driver of investment decisions , the need for DCIM was perceived as a critical tool for data centre operations .
The jury is still out on some of these predictions . In particular , the hope that it would be deployed as a tool to improve energy efficiency and sustainability efforts has not yet been realised . The potential remains , but in reality its adoption has been for more prosaic purposes such as asset management and auditing .
The benefits of DCIM
Certainly , there are many data centre operators who see value in DCIM ’ s key strengths of monitoring and then providing additional management features for all IT infrastructure assets throughout their organisations . This is especially true in the larger corporate and financial sectors , where regulation is both expected and accepted . The need to locate , identify and report on all equipment in a company ’ s inventory is an obvious benefit for organisations accustomed to tight regulation and auditing and as a result , DCIM has gained some traction here .
However , the scope for growth is often limited by the preference for longestablished personnel to squeeze the maximum benefit out of existing tools , especially if they have spent considerable time and effort customising and optimising those tools to their organisation ’ s specific needs .
Additionally , often in large organisations , the responsibility for the infrastructure equipment typically managed by DCIM tools is split between IT and M & E departments , with different objectives and chains of command . Finding the right person to sign-off on a new DCIM project – or finding the right group of people to agree to such – can be a challenge . Inevitably the procurement and acquisition process for such an acquisition is lengthy and often tortuous .
Diverse environments
Adding to the labyrinthine process of deploying DCIM is the fact that the IT resources of the typical large organisation are no longer centralised in a single

DCIM software gains respectability as sustainability beckons

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