Posted on 7/18/2014 7:00 AM by Sev Onyshkevych

Facilities managers know that proper building maintenance is a complicated process. When a data center is involved, however, the complications increase exponentially.  Why? Because data centers are a completely different breed of buildings, with a unique set of concerns ranging from the challenges of lowering CO2 emissions and power consumption to seemingly perpetual expansion and growth.

This unrelenting growth is due, in part, to the never-ending need to support more applications, manage increasing data, support the growth of the cloud, and fulfill the insatiable needs of consumer devices generating countless videos, pictures, blogs, and websites. This puts a lot of strain on facility managers, who are tasked with tracking the very lifeblood that keeps this data moving: power, cooling, and capacity planning.

Add in the stress of complying with PCI, HIPAA, GLBA, and supporting BYOD (basically choose your acronym), keeping up with the pressures of energy savings in light of rising energy costs  – without risking downtimeand you have the makings of very stressful job. A Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) Monitoring solution will ease the responsibility burden on FMs and building owners while helping with data center performance.

DCIM Monitoring to the Rescue

DCIM Monitoring has become a foundation for improving data center efficiency, maximizing the use of available space, controlling power and cooling costs, and enabling informed decisions based on real-time situational views.

The software enables facility and IT managers to collect real-time data on the physical data center environment. DCIM consolidates measurements from all parts of the data center – most importantly power and temperature from both the facilities and the IT equipment, plus information from other monitoring tools like a BMS or EPMS.

In addition, DCIM automatically gathers this big data and translates and normalizes all information into easy-to-follow charts. With dashboards of key metrics at their disposal, managers can view any facility’s current physical state, as well as alarms related to ongoing or potential problems. DCIM Monitoring has become an extremely effective method to mitigate risk and avoid service disruptions.

8 Key Features of DCIM Monitoring

  1. Temperature monitoring With a real-time thermograph, you can identify and eliminate hot and cold spots, raise operating temperatures, and lower power consumption.
  2. Real-time capacity reports – These cover all “stranded” energy, space, and cooling capacity. It can also enable consolidation and help delay or eliminate the need for costly, physical plant expansion.
  3. Communicate with other monitoring systems and speak other protocols The ideal DCIM solution should seamlessly “interrogate” all your other systems by polling.
  4. Results sharing – The solution should allow managers to collect data and be able to share it with key stakeholders, including staff and applications.
  5. Push and pull – Monitoring should have the ability to receive information from devices that “push” data and alerts and “pull” data by polling.
  6. Historical along with real-time data – It is vital to have real-time information, as well as historical measurements to show trending and enable effective planning for the future.
  7. Alarm and alert – To help the data center staff be predictive and proactive, alerts and alarms should notify managers before something goes wrong, not afterwards.
  8. Scalability A DCIM Monitoring tool should have the capacity to handle future growth and planned expansions. If you have multiple, large data centers, you’re looking at millions of data points per day. Not all DCIM Monitoring solutions are designed to handle such massive loads.

To make your future expansions go as smoothly as possible, make DCIM Monitoring the foundation of your data center infrastructure management. You can then plan more effectively and make the right business decisions for your mission critical facility.

Sev Onyshkevych is the chief marketing officer at FieldView Solutions, a DCIM software vendor. Contact Sev at sev@fieldviewsolutions.com or 732-395-6920 ext. 202.