COMMON MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT DCIM
DCIM has changed over the years from a monitoring function to a proactive management practice. As such, today there are several misconceptions surrounding DCIM. Although monitoring to identify cost and utility savings, answer capacity issues, and plan for expansion continues to be an integral function, DCIM is about more than environmental monitoring. DCIM continues to move towards more practical management processes that migrate many functions of the data center past its own walls to align with overall corporate goals. In observing the expanding role of data center integration into the entire enterprise, Gartner put out a report that cautions IT leaders to move away from a traditional strategy of continuous acquisition to one of continuous life cycle management. With their holistic view and integrated reporting capabilities, data center infrastructure management software can support strategies for optimization, reliability, and cost-effectiveness that will better position IT leaders to build a case for future capital expenditures and growth.
Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) began before it even had a name when dedicated areas of a building were assigned to house the physical assets necessary for computer systems and servers, network, cabling, and data storage. It became clear that better methods of monitoring for heat and cooling, capacity and usage, and rack or cabinet space were needed. Visio and Excel spreadsheets, along with a good pair of sneakers to walk the floor to perform manual inspections, were the initial monitoring tools for many facilities. As the unique needs of the facility managers and the data center converged, DCIM solutions were developed to help manage performance and utilization, including skyrocketing power consumption costs, space and facility capacity, and necessary environmental mitigations for equipment.
Today, innovation and green initiatives are catalysts for facilities to look for automated and interconnected 21st century solutions. Gartner predicts a significant increase in sales of DCIM tools because of the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) that focuses on sustainability in federal data centers to reduce costs and improve energy efficiency. The DCOI requires government data centers to have DCIM in place by September 30, 2018.