Infrastructure experts at UTC and Nlyte Software share their insight on how to bolster the efficiency of your infrastructure operations.
Traditionally, Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) and Building Management Systems (BMS) have been silos, with distinct workflow systems. But there are significant benefits to these systems being integrated. Integration promotes efficiency. For example, when the two systems are aware of each other, it simplifies things like:
- Automated failure and recovery
- Accurate and automated provisioning. For example, in the case of new equipment which will affect power, temperature, resources, etc.
- Intelligent end to end alarm and alert management – when an event arises from the facility side, how does it impact the application? And vice versa.
- Service requests – can come from either side, and impact each other.
The scale and complexity of a modern data center necessitates rich, multivariate analytics from a variety of sources – virtual, edge, colocation – including both BMS and DCIM. All this information – and there is a tremendous amount - should be incorporated in order to manage processes, discern patterns, analyze possible outcomes, increase efficiency and head off problems before they happen.
Holistic building-to-rack approach
With common visualization of buildings, rooms, racks, PDUs, equipment in the racks, workloads, etc., and consistent terminology, capacity management and accurate reporting are simplified, and systems are easier to use. The business values are many: increased availability, greater optimization and efficiency, and the ability to make better management decisions.
With the growth of Edge computing, remote visibility and management become key. Smaller, dispersed facilities are often unmanned, so a manager does not have the luxury of being on premises. For both BMS and DCIM, and the two integrated, automation is vital. For example: holistic alarm and alert management: if a manager isn’t there, they’ve got to be able to discover what’s going on at the remote facility in near real-time to avoid disaster and speed recovery.
Holistic capacity management
You can’t do a good job with capacity planning if you’re just looking at the facility, not the applications, users, demand etc. Dynamic environments demand visibility into what it costs to run a workload on prem, in the cloud, in a colo, etc. so decisions can be made for better optimization. Complete information across both BMS and DCIM is required for determining best decisions for commissioning and decommissioning, scheduled maintenance, inventory control and power and thermal changes.