Hey there, want to read a joke? Microsoft was vying for speed, it partnered with Ferrari for some extra torque in its products. And the system they developed sputtered to start at the beginning, crashed straight into the wall, and blasted out of existence. Speed spiralled out of control apparently.
Not funny! But comes as a reckoning for enterprises looking for similar runtime efficiencies in their IT infrastructure and planning to invest on Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) project. Without a big-picture thinking, DCIM projects repeatedly tumble to get smashed.
DCIM investment is the boardroom agenda for many enterprises.Its Market crossed the $1 billion in 2018 alone and it is expected to surge by over 20% CAGR between 2020 and 2026. However, Implementing DCIM is no small feat, teams need to check its usability & performance, and understand at runtime to know what’s going on.
The biggest challenges come from the technical debt, friction between new & old system principles, and complexity. A fair share of these problems stem from poor configurations, lack of technical know-how, or mismanaged installation.
DCIM tool can work like a strategic pivot of efficiency management — if it is implemented with the right controls to counteract the aforementioned challenges. Here are some ways to set up an overarching DCIM framework that lives up to the promise of centralised management and intelligent capacity planning:
Lay out a future-ready framework
Every data center is of different creed and kind and they have starkly distinct requirements. Enterprises should outline their requirement and build a rock-solid proof of concept to support their case. The outline should sprawl to cover:
- IT/ facility aspects and functions that need to be optimized
- costs and complexity to maintain systems
- Desired goal that needs to be achieved
Mission-critical functionalities should be prioritized first for capacity planning, and other functionalities shall be integrated in subsequent phases. Enterprises should have a well-rounded strategy to prioritise functionalities at every phase. To do this smoothly, enterprises should introspect the current data center size and anticipate its growth after upgrades for scaling their DCIM strategy as per the strategic business needs.
Fuse inhouse expertise with vendor capabilities
Successful DCIM implementation is a collaborative effort, and in-house expertise needs to be provided to vendors at every turn. Enterprises should review the data center and baseline server storage, power distribution units, etc., with their vendor. Enterprises should collaboratively decide upon a bulk data manager or data integration technology to seamlessly move data between source and target systems.
In the next stage, they should charter dedicated processes around specific equipment requirements. For instance, some equipment requires sensors for valuable data on water temperature, air flow, etc. For seamless transition, enterprises should evaluate the vendor’s ability to manage hybrid digital environments, support remote sites, integrate data, manage resources, automate provisioning, and improve operational efficiency.
Harness DCIM tool to the best of advantage
Enterprises leaders should actively participate in the DCIM implementation to make the best use of the tool. DCIM tools provide from-the-trenches insights about the data center which should be leveraged as value-added analytics services. Enterprises should use these insights to avoid events which are on the brink of disaster, respond faster to failovers, prevent repetition of downtimes/ failovers, and avoid previous incidents from snowballing. To make the best use of DCIM tool, enterprises should study the system readings before and after new hardware installations. These insights can enable an enterprise in understanding the ramifications of newly made hardware changes on the data center.
A well-oiled DCIM solution can be a boon for instant enabling allocation of resources, it brings the benefits of low latency, operational efficiency, and agility in the data centre. However, implementing such a solution is a fraught business as there are many challenges on this path. Covid-19 worked as a force multiplier for these challenges as more and more organizations embarked on pandemic-fuelled cloud migrations and amasses more complexity in their ecosystem.
Enterprises need to cross-juggle a lot of things when several errors related to complex multi-layered and disparate systems surface on the ground.
However, all these problems can be surmounted if the DCIM system is intelligently meshed with all other business systems for an unambiguous overview. For a simplified orchestration, enterprises shall implement DCIM with a farsighted vision after introspecting every nook and cranny of their data center.