The Stack Archive

What’s next for data centre infrastructure management software: the evolutionary opportunities

Wed 9 Jul 2014

Although still a relatively new software category, DCIM is already adapting to meet changing needs and technology. Soeren Jensen believes there will be even stronger reasons for enterprises to use it in future

As more and more enterprises start to embrace DCIM, I’m already thinking about how the software will evolve (a process which is already beginning); and how this will serve to both enhance the value of DCIM to customers, as well as how it might also become a catalyst to ushering in new and different ways of operating and managing data centres.

DCIM is still a relatively new product category that is bound to change as the companies who develop the technology look for new and innovative ways to improve their solutions to embrace advances in other fields in order to better suit end customers.

As an example of this, I see the range of our work in Smart City technologies, smart grid and smart buildings, as well as charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, stimulating new thinking about how DCIM could provide smarter and more automated solutions for these fields.

Now, that’s all well and good for the future, but we also need to recognise that right at this moment data centre operators are still struggling with older infrastructure equipment that doesn’t allow them to collect the kind of data they need to obtain best value from DCIM systems.

However, there are emerging solutions which can add exactly this kind of functionality through the addition of third-party sensors. These can be deployed (often wirelessly) into facilities to help to overcome gaps in monitoring and provide a bridge to automation. As the quantity and quality of data points expands, DCIM could feasibly become de facto data centre operating system.

Once the right data points are being measured and gathered using intelligent hardware devices, DCIM can be implemented to manage legacy-cooling equipment and create a lot of value. Of course, you can put a dollar value to enabling operators to run higher temperatures inside their facilities as this has a measurable effect on energy cost.

An effective toolset for operating and managing dynamic cooling provision without risk to the IT load issues like this could potentially remove worry for operators and allow staff to focus on other issues – with temperatures and loads being managed in real time and adjusted automatically.

Whilst DCIM has yet to be considered as such, embracing it now and getting it working well across core parts of your operations gives your organisation a learning path to grow with and to evolve with. It will also enhance your ability to harness the evolutionary process for the benefit of your business whether this is through lower energy costs or by more automated and responsive management tools.

DCIM is going to become an even more essential toolset in the data centre of tomorrow, when will you get started on the journey? ♦

Soeren Jensen is Vice President, Enterprise Management and Software for Schneider Electric


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