Data center operating costs have skyrocketed in the past years with a major contributor being the power bill. Gartner recently estimated that 12 percent of data center operating costs are spent on power, and this cost increases by 20 percent annually. In addition to the higher cost of operations, power poses other major challenges in terms of size, capacity and utilization constraints. The Uptime Institute recently reported that more than a third (36 percent) of data center facilities will run out of space, power and/or cooling in 2011 or 2012. Only a fraction of organizations have the resources to plan and build new data centers while most will have to resort to strategies such as consolidations, virtualizations, hardware upgrade and other means to meet growing demands and increase the lifeline of their data centers. In recent years, data center infrastructure management (DCIM) has become an essential solution for data centers in their effort to implement these strategies and help deal with their space, power and management challenges.
How DCIM supports the business
DCIM helps data centers identify and determine whether all the hardware assets are needed to meet the business objectives, while at the same time profiling assets to power usage, cooling requirements, applications running, utilization levels and so on. By providing full analysis of the data center, organizations can report back to management “what if” scenarios on how every move, add or change initiative will affect the status of the data center and properly forecast future improvements to the IT infrastructure.
DCIM enables organizations to systematically control and manage their data centers and help redirect wasted IT budget toward investments that support the core business objectives. Uncontrolled and unmanaged data centers end up wasting the IT budget on counter-productive, time-wasting activities – perpetual firefighting issues.
The ability to visualize, analyze and predict the performance of the data center is among the strongest features of DCIM. This predictive analysis enables the data center operator to examine various and competing concepts before committing to any changes. Moreover, if DCIM is used to analyze the present status and predict the performance of any future changes, then a focus on cooling should be at the epicenter of these efforts.
Gartner, The Benefits of CFD Analysis in Designing and Running Modern Data Centers, 1 March 2011.
Information Week, Data Centers Face Growth Challenges, 20 March 2011.Excerpt from The DCIM Advisory feature article by Kamran Fouladi and Soheil “Sam” Negahbani, Energex Technologies. Check back later for more on this feature.