Thursday, 18 September 2014

How Data Center Infrastructure Management Software Improves Planning and Cuts Operational Costs

Business executives are challenging their IT staffs to convert data centers from cost centers into producers of business value. Data centers can make a significant impact to the bottom line by enabling the business to respond more quickly to market demands. This paper demonstrates, through a series of examples, how data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software tools can simplify operational processes, cut costs, and speed up information delivery.

According to the Uptime Institute (a division of the 451 Group) the market for data center infrastructure management systems will grow from $500 Million in 2010 to $7.5 Billion by 2020. IT and business executives have realized that hundreds of thousands of dollars in
energy and operational costs can be saved by improved physical infrastructure planning, by minor system reconfiguration, and by small process changes. The systems which allow management to leverage these savings consist of modern data center physical infrastructure (i.e., power and cooling) management software tools. Legacy reporting systems, designed to support traditional data centers, are no longer adequate for new “agile” data centers that need to manage constant capacity changes and dynamic loads.

Some data center operators do not use any physical infrastructure management tools. This can be risky. One operator who only managed 15 racks at a small manufacturing firm, for example, felt that the data center operations “tribal knowledge” he had acquired over the years could help him handle any threatening situation. However, over time, his 15 racks became much denser. His energy bills went up and his cooling and power systems drifted out of balance. At one point, when he added a new server, he overloaded a branch circuit
and took down an entire rack.

New management software Planning & Implementation tools improve IT room allocation of power and cooling (planning), provide rapid impact analysis when a portion of the IT room fails (operations), and leverage historical data to improve future IT room performance
(analysis). These three types of Planning & Implementation tools–planning, operations, and analysis–are each explained in the following sections this paper. Data center facility software tools (e.g., building management systems) are not discussed.


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