For people working in data centers, the term DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) has in recent years become a frequently used acronym and only few agree upon how to define the term.
Data center people come in many flavors and range from facility managers over IT managers to data center managers and CIO/CFOs, but who is the DCIM rock star and how to become one? All of these positions influence and make decision every day on operating, managing and planning the data center and in many cases as a business to provide the enterprise with the right services at the right time – uninterrupted.
Can you do this without a DCIM product? Yes, and then No! Managing supply in terms of power, cooling, network etc. to a few racks is doable with only the human brain as a resource. However, if you increase the number of racks just marginally, the human brain is simply saturated from constantly calculating capacity limits, consequences on changes, impacts on event and alarms that occur in real-time as well as in the night time, where we ‘humans’ typically sleep in order to get ready for the next day.
A DCIM product never sleeps – it is constantly there for you – when you need it. And a good DCIM product only involves you when it can’t figure things out or if the criticality level exceeds the pre-defined threshold.
The DCIM rock star has the ability to attract visibility with his manager because he can speak about the business case rather than detailed technical issues that just blurs the big picture for a CFO or a CIO.
The rock stars I’ve met share a true interest in their data center and understand why a holistic view and approach are crucial in order to solve the challenges they are facing. They typically also have a unique vision on where they want to go, but not necessarily how they want to get there. They work closely with DCIM vendors to solve common problems rather than putting out immediate fires.
So, where are you in this picture? I have met with lots of data center customers over the years and their potential to become a DCIM rock star varies greatly. Some are already there, while others are never going to be nor want to become one.
Are you already a DCIM rock star? If not, adapt a holistic view of your data center despite the professional silos you are facing. Whether you are a facility manager or an IT manager, your objectives should be the same – creating a data center fit for a DCIM rock star.