Know what's happening in your data center with DCIM

Know what's happening in your data center with DCIM

Data analytics is a key component of DCIM.

Modern conversations about data analytics typically revolve around business intelligence (BI) solutions that are revolutionizing our ability to yield better business outcomes. In 2013, Coca-Cola, parent company of Minute Maid and Simply Orange, started using advanced analytics to achieve flavor and texture consistency in every batch of orange juice it makes, despite significant variation in the types of oranges in each mix. 

However, BI's ability to achieve such uncanny precision hinges entirely upon data, and that data lives in the data center. The vitality of these dynamic hearths of valuable information depends on a wide array of factors that, if not properly managed, can precipitate unplanned downtime. Without access to data, BI – and for that matter, any of your web-based applications – are rendered useless. 

So, before you can even begin to worry about using other cutting-edge tools to improve your business outcomes, you need to ask yourself: Do I know what's happening in my data center?

Use the facility metrics that are available to you

The driving concept behind data analytics as a whole is that it taps into available data stores, sifts through this data, makes sense of it, and then supplies actionable insight. Apply this same logic to the data center, and you have data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software. 

As such, the first step to analyzing and reporting on facility and equipment conditions is to aggregate the necessary information. In the data center, this principally includes power consumption metrics, assets in use, temperature, humidity and physical security. These data points are gathered through a combination of DCIM's direct integration with equipment in use and through the strategic placement of sensors that funnel the information to a single pane of glass. 

Just like any other analytics tool, it's extremely important that your DCIM solution works seamlessly with the systems in your facility. This will make initial deployment easier, and more importantly, it will prevent you from missing out on potentially integral information. 

DCIM gives puts the metrics you need to manage your facility at your fingertips.DCIM puts the metrics you need to manage your facility at your fingertips.

Generating analysis and reports

"Data center operators' reports will always reflect up-to-the-second conditions."

Once DCIM has access to your facility's data, it can begin telling you what's actually happening. At this point, the message needs to be conveyed in a format that makes sense for the insight being supplied. This requires various interactive views that lay out what's happening in the most sensible interface possible. A visual, thermographic map, for example, will overlay your facility floor plans with color-coded temperature values, allowing you to identify hot spots at a glance. In a different view, markers of various colors might hover over equipment to signify the status of those assets. Power consumption throughout the facility can also be charted in this manner. 

Because all of this happens in real time, data center operators' reports will always reflect up-to-the-second conditions within a facility. This simplifies facility and asset management while helping to preempt sources of equipment failure. It also allows managers to plan for future loads and create predictive models, both features that are essential to ensuring long-term success in the data center. 

More data is being generated every day – about 2.5 quintillion bytes – and so are new applications that are meant to help businesses capitalize on this information. There's a lot of potential here for businesses to augment success, but only if they cover the most important base of all: the data center. 

Contact Geist today to learn more about DCIM.