Successful DCIM Deployment in 10 Steps

April 25, 2017 Mark Gaydos

By now most data center operators are well aware of the benefits and value Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software offers in ensuring operating at peak capacity, while increasing uptime and reducing risk. However, installation of a DCIM solution is not a 10 minute process.

To save time and successfully deploy a DCIM solution, facility managers and data center operators must be patient and methodical with regards to the installation process. It’s worth the time investment.  Here are 10 steps that will help to insure a smooth DCIM onboarding experience.

  1. Outline your desired achievements first and determine exactly what you want to measure and improve. Then start by answering these questions:
    What do you want to measure and improve?
    Do you have specific savings goals you need or want to reach?
    Who needs to see and understand the data you collect and analyze?
  2. Align business goals and priorities.
    Make sure that your business goals are in sync with the plans of the larger organization.
  3. Decide your data capture intervals, for example, every 3 sec., 10 sec., 30 sec., or 120 seconds. Then determine:
    When the data becomes more cumbersome than the information is worth.
    How much of this data has to be stored long-term?
  4. Classify and configure alarms correctly.
    Set your thresholds and then assign the right personnel to be informed in the event a limit is approached or reached.
  5. Review various BMS integrations and how they work.
    Ideally, your selected DCIM solution should integrate easily with your current systems, to create a “single pane of glass” view of your facility.
  6. Protect your data systems.
    This doesn’t only concern physical security, but cyber security as well, including the consideration for the development process of the DCIM solution.
  7. Don’t attempt it all at once; take a phased approach.
    Don’t try to boil the ocean. Start with the simplest improvements to gain quick wins. Then slowly roll the program out bit by bit.
  8. Provide role-focused training to ensure DCIM adoption across your entire organization.
    If individuals on your team are confident in their roles and see the value of the information the DCIM software provides, it will become a trusted part of their daily routines. To encourage their buy-in, make sure your staff is comfortable with the solution.
  9. Maintain scalability and polling so as not to overload the DCIM.
    Some information demands constant monitoring; some information doesn’t change too often. And most likely, polling could be less frequent.
  10. Constantly improve and optimize.
    The old mantra of “lather, rinse, repeat” applies here as well. DCIM is a process, not a destination. Analysis of the data gathered by your DCIM solution will expose opportunities for changes across your organization for even greater efficiencies.

As with any software implementation, constant tweaking and care are vital.  DCIM is not a “set it and forget it” solution. The more the DCIM solution reveals about the state of the data center, the more improvements can be made. The data center is constantly evolving and so too must the DCIM solution in order to obtain the best optimization.

 

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