The Role of the DCIM in Data Centre Management

The demand for new data centres is unlikely to abate soon, thanks to surging growth in cloud computing and the proliferation of mobile applications. With IoT devices expected to exceed 75 billion devices by 2025, the number of data centre looks set to increase at an even faster pace.

IT Technician Works on Laptop in Big Data Center full of Rack Servers. He Runs Diagnostics and Maintenance.

Managing the Data Centre

While there is no question that data centre demand will rise, the harder question is how organisations cope with it. From traditional facilities to newer, micro data centres deployed at edge locations to serve IoT and edge deployments, there is a need to incorporate them into existing infrastructure plans. For sure, unplanned, unsupervised growth will only culminate in unnecessary complexity, making proper management a matter of urgency.

Indeed, Kim Povlsen of Schneider Electric outlined some of the things that can go wrong in a blog post on risk planning for data centre management. Risks range from downtime to an inability to scale to meet new demands, with the situation even dicier for colocation providers where multiple tenants share common resources.

“Downtime can be especially punitive if it affects multiple tenants. And, as tenants’ needs scale up, you need the agility to adapt to their demands. Another challenge for colocation providers is managing tenant growth rate while new tenants are coming in and others are leaving. Providers need the ability to scale adeptly to variations in demand,” he wrote.

The situation can be addressed with the implementation of a comprehensive data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) software to deliver greater visibility into the inner workings of the data centre. Moreover, greater clarity serves also to ensure that efficiency can be increased, and equipment can be better managed to rectify serious issues before they fail.

Server room in data center. Telecommunication equipment. 3d illustration

Building the Ecosystem

A data centre is a balanced ecosystem of multiple interacting components and upsizing or tweaking one component can affect several others to upset the delicate equilibrium. For instance, the installation of an additional rack at the wrong place might block airflow and result in a higher temperature further down the aisle. The new rack of equipment may also exceed the capacity of the existing UPS system, which might have to be upgraded.

This is where a DCIM solution can be a lifesaver. Instead of having to rely on guesswork or the experience of the IT team, data centre managers or IT managers can now model the planning and management of their facilities using software and analytics. With end-to-end visibility, considerations such as asset management, risk planning and capacity planning become far more manageable without the need for nail-biting guesses.

Pair the DCIM with cloud-based monitoring, and administrators can get 24/7 real-time remote monitoring and data insights to rectify hiccups promptly. CIOs and CTOs can hence rest easier at night – safe in the knowledge that faults in mission-critical systems can be detected and addressed on time. Similarly, software update and security updates can now be applied automatically, allowing for a streamlined and efficient data centre.

You can read more about a cloud-based DCIM here, or get started with one from Schneider Electric here.

Data Centre World 2019

Schneider Electric will also be showcasing Edge & Data Centre Solutions at Data Centre World 2019 Booth L10, Asia’s biggest and best-attended B2B data centre and enterprise technology event along with over 18,000 data centre and technology professionals on 9th – 10th October 2019 at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Basement 2 and Level 1.

Schneider Electric will have three speakers at the event. Victor Avelar, Director and Senior Research Analyst at Schneider Electric’s Data Centre Science Centre, will be talking about building resiliency through a collaborative ecosystem and the evolution of data centre management. Cherry Reyes, Solution Architect Data Centre Segment Lead (EAJP), will cover optimization and standardization of electrical distribution for hyperscale data centres. James Neo, Digital Field Services, Business Development, will discuss 24/7 Data Driven Services for Business Continuity.

Article by Gay Chi Sen, Head of Data Centre Software Solutions, APJ & EMEA, Schneider Electric