Take Three Steps with DCIM Software to Prepare your Data Center for the Cloud

This audio was created using Microsoft Azure Speech Services

Speaking at Data Centres Europe in Nice last month, Soeren Brogaard Jensen presented “Consolidation, Big Data and Unifying Devices in the Cloud”. In the attached interview, which was filmed at the conference, I asked Soeren exactly how can DCIM support a Cloud strategy?

“We like to have a conversation with our customers around three major steps,” Soeren told me. “First, you’ve got to get the scope right. Then you’ve got to get the right information to the right users; then you’ve got think about you business processes.”

So, the first step is to get the scope right – this is important because it sets the context for the DCIM offer, what it can do for the business, from driving efficiency to readying the data centre for new opportunities like cloud, virtualisation or new business models.

“We urge customers to start with the building itself and the construction which will host the data center. From there you go into the power, the cooling the racks and so-on all the way up to the IT itself, the devices the hypervisors. You need to consider the full scope of the data center if you’re going to gain maximum benefit by integrating DCIM,” said Soeren.

The second step is getting the right tools to the right user; whether you’re a facilities person with a detailed understanding of the mechanical requirements, or electrical engineer looking at the quality of your power supply and understanding the forensics, all the way to IT and understanding where your assets are situated, the capacity that resides in your infrastructure all the way up to deploying new virtual machines – you need the right tools and you need to have the right insights which are specific to your role in the data center.

Soeren said, “Think about the CIO or the CFO when they make a decision about whether they should expand an existing data center, deploy a private cloud or go to a public cloud service. You need tools which are going to help you with your decision making criteria.”

The third step is one which Soeren says is something which has been overlooked and therefore caused some DCIM implementations to fail.  “Step three concerns the processes for organisational adoption of the software. We very much urge clients to think about this a lifecycle, from early design and planning to implementation and the operational phase, all the way up to ongoing evaluation. The ability of DCIM systems to automate and simplify infrastructure management can cause users to underestimate or not properly account for the effort still required on their end.”

Concluding, Soeren said “DCIM has a lot more potential than simply helping a customer to run the data center more efficiently, if you can externalise and make DCIM available from those early stages it can help operators safely maximize the efficient use of power, cooling, and space capacities now and in the future; availability of the physical infrastructure systems and the IT workloads that are supported by them is enhanced, and many data center management activities are simplified or automated allowing operators to focus on other issues and tasks.”

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