Now that you’ve purchased a DCIM platform for your data center, the real work begins. Configuring and implementing DCIM can be a time-consuming and complex endeavor that needs to be approached with baby steps.
Rather than trying to delve into everything at once, tackle each phase based on the priority problems that need to be resolved. Take the time to do it right the first time. If you don’t, you may never be able to fully take advantage of all that your DCIM solution has to offer.
Here’s some tips to consider along the way.
Think of all the ways that a piece of data center equipment is touched—from the time it is purchased and installed, to its end of life and ultimate disposal. And also consider all of the business units that “touch” a piece of equipment throughout its lifecycle.
Use this information to determine what information to track, to define which content fields within the DCIM solution are important to the organization and how much granularity is needed.
Create a game plan for implementation. Determine what the most important information is to populate in DCIM first. What are the low-hanging fruit? Start there and don’t get off course. Remember to stay focused on your primary objectives and the main features of the DCIM platform that will address your primary pain points.
As you build your database, monitor and evaluate each phase and adjust as necessary before moving on to the next.
If possible, go live quickly with part of the environment and determine what is working and what is not. This information can ease further roll out. Don’t be afraid to rework something that does not work.
Assign an administrator of the DCIM solution. This individual or group is responsible for managing and building templates for IT equipment, racks, enclosures, etc.
This does not mean that the administrator is the only one who updates DCIM. Everyone who uses the DCIM system should be trained to enter the information based on the company’s standards. This will help ensure consistency and information that is repeatable and ultimately reportable.
Discuss with all stakeholders which reports and dashboards are needed and set up reporting intervals that make sense. For each component on a DCIM dashboard, decide on how much historical data to show and at what level.
And remember that there is much more to information analysis with DCIM than pure physical layer information—think about the ability to find available capacity for future equipment.
For example, integrating intelligent PDUs, power metering and energy monitoring with DCIM can help you understand energy consumption from a more holistic perspective and allow you to create “what-if” scenarios for future equipment placement.
While implementation can seem daunting at times, try not to lose sight of the bigger picture. When applied correctly and implemented strategically, DCIM will provide you with the accurate, comprehensive view of the data center that you need to make informed decisions, support future needs, and maintain operational awareness… And ultimately lower your costs.
Stay tuned for more information on DCIM as Belden embraces the technology and delivers DCIM-ready solutions like Belden Traceable Bonded-Pair Patch Cords that come standard with a unique barcode at each end that can be scanned using mobile enabled DCIM systems. And check out my article on DCIM in last month’s issue of Data Centre News (DCN) titled—From Luxury to Necessity.
Mike Salvador is a 28-year industry veteran, living the challenge of operating efficient data centers, optimizing the performance of network devices and delivering highly available, highly agile, low-risk data centers. Mike served as Belden’s technical solutions manager from 2012 to 2015.