UNCOVERING THE LAYERS
paths within a data centre , especially if they comprise equipment from multiple vendors . The ability to track dependencies , to minimise potential risks to the overall IT estate from a single piece of equipment , such as a Power Distribution Unit ( PDU ) or a cooling unit , can be identified to mitigate any outages .
The fact is that it remains essential for DCIM software to interact with other systems , such as facilities management suites , IT and network management software and even older legacy infrastructure management software . This is best achieved through the use of Application Programming Interfaces ( APIs ) that allow high-level information exchanges between disparate software tools .
Calculating an RoI
One of the ongoing problems facing DCIM deployments is the difficulty in accurately measuring the Return on Investment ( RoI ) an organisation can achieve from such software . It ’ s an expensive outlay ; how do you calculate its payback ? Embedded among several other software tools and hardware assets that typically come from multiple vendors , how easy is it to attribute any overall improvements in performance to just one piece of the puzzle ?
A typical large customer , when asked to detail their DCIM RoI , said that they just couldn ’ t possibly come up with an accurate figure ; yet when asked whether they could manage without DCIM at all , the answer was ‘ certainly not ’.
In this regard , calculating the effect of DCIM could be analogous to the problem long familiar to the marketing sector : ‘ Half of my budget is wasted , but I have no idea which half !’
Simply put , efficiency requires transparency and that in turn requires investment . Better management tools provide better visibility , auditing capabilities and change management . Once these tools are in place , then further capabilities will be realised .
The issues of electrical power efficiency , sustainability and the proper management of a ‘ Circular Economy ’ have not gone away and indeed they are being rapidly brought into focus by impending legislation and the data centres industries ’ self-regulatory initiatives to become net zero by 2030 .
Sustainability is based fundamentally on transparency , and so , the most immediately and obvious benefit of DCIM – its ability to provide visibility and simplify auditing – could well prove to be its most far-reaching as we move to a greener , more sustainable and renewable future . ◊
A RELIABLE DCIM SYSTEM CAN PROVIDE INSIGHTS INTO ALL KEY POWER PATHS WITHIN A DATA CENTRE , ESPECIALLY IF THEY COMPRISE EQUIPMENT FROM MULTIPLE VENDORS .
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