The 5 W’s of DCIM

Posted 01.30.14 in DCIM Strategy by Nlyte Software

To some people, DCIM is not so mysterious, they’ve been following the industry, perhaps have some form of it, or participate in it (most likely as a 5 W'svendor.), This post explores the, “Who, What, When, Where and Why of DCIM”, to demonstrate a “what is possible” point of view.

WHO – as in, “Who is DCIM for?”  This is my favorite part, because DCIM touches so many people: IT (right up to the CIO should care), Infrastructure & Operations, Finance (for sure), Data Center Management (obviously), and if an organization is large enough, an office of Corporate Social Responsibility (think, “Energy Conservation”.)

WHAT – as in, “What can a good DCIM system do?”  This is perhaps the broadest ranged question, and is often open to interpretation. Certainly physical infrastructure (lifecycle) asset management – who owns what, for how long, and where is it, with what running on it (that’s pretty much the 5 w’s right there.) Capacity Planning – what-if scenarios for consolidation, migration, and IT project roll-outs.  Monitoring – as in monitoring the power, temperature, cooling of your data center and their assets

WHEN – as in, “when should I be looking at DCIM?”  Often times a large event triggers this thinking: a migration, a consolidation, a new data center. All valid reasons. But because any data center worth its salt is constantly moving out older, under-performing assets and moving in replacements on a daily basis, the answer should be, “as soon as possible.”  More on this in the “Why” section.

WHERE – as in, “where can I or should I deploy DCIM”? With, ahem, certain software-as-a-service offerings, DCIM no longer has to be a “whole data center” to get the ROI, or have a minimum # of racks to get going. So the answer is simply, “every and anywhere you have data center physical infrastructure, you should have a DCIM system.”

And lastly, perhaps most importantly…

 WHY – as in, “why do I really need a DCIM system”?  You may be thinking that your existing way of management works just fine. Or that it is so hard to justify new software in your company that you’ll never be able to procure. The truth is, DCIM has a strong ROI. Nlyte clients see 50% savings in migrations and consolidations and the postponement of Data Center Build Outs by years, and in huge power savings by getting old equipment out of service. So, there’s a lot on the table that’s being left by NOT having a DCIM system – give it a try!


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