What Is Asset Integrity Monitoring (AIM)?

February 20, 2018 Mike Schmitt

Many people ask, “What is Asset Integrity Monitoring (AIM)?”

The answer: Asset Integrity Monitoring is ensuring the physical integrity of computing infrastructure, whether it is on premises, in a colocation facility or on the edge. It is the process by which physical assets are protected from being either intentionally or unintentionally compromised.

All the applications and data in an organization depend on a safe and secure physical infrastructure. This infrastructure can be compromised when personnel make unplanned or unrecorded changes to assets. Most of the time, this compromise is not malicious; just the result of good people making bad mistakes when they:

  • Make incorrect/unplanned/unauthorized changes
  • Perform changes at unauthorized times
  • Fail to record these changes centrally
  • Turn off supporting equipment
  • Introduce new assets, which negatively affect operations
  • Fail to be aware of all firmware and software patches which might be vulnerable to cyber-attack

Nlyte’s Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution helps get an Asset Integrity Monitoring program up and running to avoid compromises, in just five phases:

Phase One: Asset, Power Chain, Cable and Workflow Management

During this phase, a baseline of all assets, power systems, processes and activities is established. This allows the review and strengthening of asset lifecycle management, and the tracking of all changes to the physical infrastructure, whether on premises, in a multi-tenant/hosting facility or even on the edge. When changes are tracked from a central location, it can be determined which assets may be at risk, and workflow becomes the single source of truth for all work to be performed in the data center.

Phase Two: Power Capacity Planning and Failure Simulation

Once the power baseline is established, issues can be prevented before they occur. Tracking power trending over time enables accurate power capacity planning, ensuring enough capacity for future growth and changes in the infrastructure. The ability to simulate failure of a particular piece of equipment in a virtual environment, identifies what the result of that failure would be so the infrastructure resilience can be strengthened with no risk to the actual environment.

Phase Three: Power, CPU and Environmental Monitoring

When it’s known where power is being used, improvements to efficiency are possible by discovering and repurposing or retiring underutilized and unmanaged servers. As changes to the power chain occur, monitoring personnel can proactively identify risks to power or other systems that may result. In addition, through alerting and ticketing features, environmental monitoring alerts personnel to potential problems so downtime can be averted. Real-time monitoring of CPUs and the physical environment will not only keep temperature and humidity levels optimal, but it will also reveal opportunities for greater optimization.

Phase Four: Asset Monitoring, Alerting and Exception Reporting

Real-time asset monitoring enables the identification of unplanned/unauthorized asset changes, and the generation of alerts and exception reports for any action that was not approved. It provides a central repository that acts as a single source of truth and a baseline to gauge changes, authorized and unauthorized, against.  Asset discovery tracks adds, moves and removals, and uncovers unknown assets that are unauthorized and potentially malicious. Scans of the computing infrastructure provide reports of all patches of software and firmware present, and any know vulnerabilities.

Phase Five: Machine Learning, Physical Issue Prevention

In this phase, massive amounts of data are gathered, and machine learning is used to determine potential outages and proactively head off power issues.

To learn more about Asset Integrity Monitoring and how it can improve the efficiency and dependability of your computing infrastructure, reach out to the Nlyte team at info@nlyte.com or 1-650-642-2700. We’re ready and available to answer any additional questions you may have.

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