DCIM: A Solution Ensuring Remarkable Return On Your Investments

Sanjay Motwani

 

As with any technology investment, a business owner should examine the return on investment (ROI) before making a purchasing decision on a Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution. There are innumerable white papers and articles that point to the fact that DCIM – a solution that helps to address the infrastructure management needs of the data center - has a remarkable ROI. When a DCIM solution is properly implemented and managed, it saves hundreds of man-hours and helps maintain high availability, both of which increase business profits.  

However, it is important for data center operators to understand that DCIM will not fully transform a data center overnight. It takes time, effort, and commitment from various stakeholders throughout the organization to reap its full benefits.  But, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be some immediate benefits.  Here are three primary areas in which DCIM can provide a phenomenal ROI from the start.

Improved Energy Efficiency

The manner in which the DCIM helps to improve efficiency is straightforward: it collects data from building meters, UPSs, Floor PDUs, RPPs, busways, intelligent rack PDUs, Branch Circuits, environment sensors, and CRACS; and presents that data in the form of easy-to-understand dashboard reports.  That information helps data center managers identify areas where energy efficiency improvements can be made such as underutilized servers, or cooling systems that can be optimized. By being able to “see” the problem, data centers will have the ability to effectively address it right away.

Better Power Capacity Management and Operations

DCIM can immediately help data centers to improve power capacity management and operations. Say the data center receives a work order to set up a new server that will host a business service. Without DCIM, the technician would have to check his Excel® spreadsheet or Visio Diagram to determine where there is available space, power, and cooling to support the new asset.  When the technician goes to power-on the new server, he or she may unknowingly trip the circuit breaker due to faulty or dated power information they were relying on. DCIM can help technicians locate available capacity within a few clicks, thereby streamlining the process, and eliminating the risk of downtime.

Improved Auditing Capabilities

Regulations like SSAE-16, SAS 70, FISMA, FEDRAMP, PCI DSS, GLBA, HIPAA, and SOX require regular audits to ensure your data centers are compliant. DCIM offers a centralized source for data, helping to reduce the cost and time of the audit process.  Data can easily be stored and accessed from a relational database, data warehouse, or other proprietary system.  In fact, with DCIM you have the ability to provide comprehensive information on thousands of assets in the data center, including location, owner, power usage, and more. This can be done without the need for spreadsheets or the use of self-generated tools which are prone to human errors.  

The above points showcase some nice returns on their investment almost right away in data centers, and will eventually help to build momentum for future projects. Over a period of time, organizations will derive several more financial benefits from a DCIM solution.