With more and more Data Centers implementing Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software, the question will inevitably come up: Do I also need DCIM software? And if yes, why?
Using home-grown databases, Visio drawings or Excel sheets to manage your data center infrastructure is error-prone, cumbersome, and difficult to accurately maintain in an operational environment where many changes take place. In the end, it is costly. You should consider investing in a DCIM solution to:
In case you have been exploring the possibility of implementing a DCIM solution, and are still looking for more information about whether DCIM is right for you, here are six reasons why we think it could be the next step that your organization needs.
DCIM software enables you to easily organize, locate and store information relating to your physical layer assets. Data center storage capacity is expensive. Studies have shown that most data centers under-utilize their existing infrastructure, which means that they might be expanding their storage capacity without using all of their potential space. Without a DCIM, it is hard to keep track of everything, even in a small network, not to mention a larger one. For this reason alone, it is worth investing in the right DCIM software.
The cabling of any data center is a vital element of the infrastructure, yet its importance is frequently undervalued. Inconsistent cabling can lead to significant downtime and costs, which affects reliability and efficiency. A DCIM solution that places cable management on a genuine equal footing to device and rack management will provide you with the tools to manage your entire infrastructure down to the port, connector, and cable strand.
Accurate visualization enable you to organize your data center, from rooms and racks, down to device, port and cable level. With a DCIM solution, you can view 2D or 3D visual representations of your infrastructure, including rack elevations, asset locations and connectivity. These features allow you to plan changes more easily, and when troubleshooting network issues, can reduce the need to send technicians on-site for visual inspections.
Errors in performing network changes can prove to be very costly for your organization, both in terms of downtime, and inefficient use of resources when planning moves or expansions. A DCIM solution will allow you to plan your network changes according to change processes through work orders and work flows. This not only greatly reduces the chances of errors being made, but also provides a detailed audit trail, greatly increasing the chances of being able to swiftly take corrective action in the event of any errors occurring.
Home-grown databases, Visio drawings or Excel sheets become even less maintainable as your network grows. A DCIM solution that delivers high and consistent performance will alleviate this problem. Another consideration is that your network data is not just of interest to your network professionals, but is also a gold mine of information for many other roles within your organization. For example, your purchasing department may require to accurately track current stock and store levels. As more and more users tap into this information, it is vital that the DCIM solution will scale accordingly.
Reporting is an integral part of data center management. A DCIM solution will provide data that you can reply on, and will allow you to generate both engineering and management reports on a wide range of subjects. This will ultimately help you decide how to proceed with your everyday operations, and will provide you with valuable insight for making long term decisions.
While looking for a DCIM solution that fits your needs, keep in mind that there is not one software that can do it all. There have been attempts by vendors to develop a universal product that encompasses all aspects of DCIM under a single hood, but the complexities of a modern infrastructure got the better of them, and these products fail to deliver on their claims. Today it is becoming more and more apparent that the solution is rather found in selecting best-of-breed specialized products that each fully address a segment of DCIM, and that have extensive integration capabilities to enable information flow between the products. PATCH MANAGER is the leading product in terms of connectivity and physical layer asset management, and with its extensive REST API provides a rock solid foundation on which to integrate with other systems.
Want to know how PATCH MANAGER can help you manage your data center?
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