How scalable DCIM orchestrates data center growth

How scalable DCIM orchestrates data center growth

Reliable DCIM helps data center managers plan for growth.

Planning for business growth is sometimes a Herculean undertaking. Nascent or relatively young companies don't want to overreach in their projections, as this can result in overspending with the belief that growth will occur more quickly than it does. On the other hand, underestimating success rates can result in colossal losses down the road due to an inability to support a rapidly growing client base. In many ways this can be just as damaging as spending too much money from the outset.

Scalability should therefore be the ultimate goal of any business, and this is especially true for data centers. According to an October 2015 report by TechNavio, the global market for data centers is slated to see a compound annual growth rate of around 10.66 percent from 2014 to 2019. With growth in the cards, data center managers would be remiss to disregard scalability in data center solutions.

DCIM does not have to be a static solution

The ability to have both a bird's eye view as well as a granular understanding of the data center in a single pane of glass has become as essential as the servers themselves. Monitoring equipment can detect unusual occurrences, such as spontaneous voltage spikes or abnormal increases in temperature, before any damage is done. Likewise, data center infrastructure management solutions can help data center management identify trends that may be indicative of future equipment failures.

As a data center facility grows, so will the internal infrastructure. For example, it may experience an increase in the number of high-density racks, which would highlight the need for remote monitoring of more elaborate power distribution units. A reliable DCIM solution should be able to accommodate this growth, at least to some degree.

DCIM is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all product, as data center facilities vary immensely in volume. However, DCIM solutions can help management teams forecast future capacity needs by analyzing trends in growth. This can assist data center managers in their efforts to strategize ways to maximize the physical space in the future, and it also provides early insight into the power and cooling needs that new loads will demand.

Scalable PDUs and cooling components

DCIM is the brain of the data center operation, but PDUs and cooling components are vital arteries that keep everything up and running. As data centers scale, so must PDUs and cooling components. DCIM can help with this by providing analytics and usage data. This intelligence can then be applied to selecting the right cooling equipment - rack-based or row-based, for example. Like most other forms of data center equipment, cooling tactics will vary according to scale.

PDUs may also need to be swapped out as data centers density changes. Smaller data centers might only need basic surge suppression power strips. But as the server racks and cabinets close in on one another, a basic PDU might no longer cut it.

One solution is to replace the PDU. Another more ideal alternative is to use an upgradeable PDU, such as Geist Upgradeable. Local monitoring tools and other features can be integrated into the hardware as needed.

Above all else, it is vital that DCIM can support a data center as it expands or contracts, even if that support is indicating the need for a costly overhaul of certain equipment based on current usage trends. A lack of awareness regarding such issues can result in outages and downtime, or worse, hazards to human life. Deploying a DCIM solution with some degree of scalability should be a top priority among data center management. It makes life easier for IT support teams, and helps to prevent downtime as a result of inadequate or obsolete hardware.