Most organizations look to DCIM software when they realize they need to better manage their data center infrastructures. However, given the wide range of point-to-suite solutions, how can you know that the DCIM software solution is comprehensive enough to meet your needs?
Look for these five signs of a comprehensive DCIM software solution:
1. The DCIM software accommodates all users.
Multiple parties work in data centers, including data center managers and operators, IT teams, facilities teams, and remote managed services teams. Your DCIM software should provide an intuitive GUI that works for teams as well as individuals. It should require fewer clicks to see the information that addresses team objectives while also providing views of only the data relevant to individuals based on their roles and permissions. This type of functionality allows users to get immediate value from their information, enabling them to do their jobs faster and easier and driving user adoption and engagement. Meanwhile, using a single system where everyone sees the same information drives transparency and accountability.
2. The DCIM software collects the information you need in real time.
Monitoring the conditions in your data center is the key to identifying and addressing issues before they can become problems. With the real-time power and environmental monitoring of DCIM, you can determine how much energy your data center is consuming and how much is available so you never run out of capacity. You can also ensure that all equipment is maintained in a safe environment based on ASHRAE or manufacturer guidelines, significantly reducing downtime and enabling you to save money by not overcooling. Polling and data collection in real time with alerts for conditions that exceed the set thresholds help you react immediately to any changes in your data center.
3. The DCIM software provides visual analytics.
Collecting data is only part of the equation; to truly maximize the value of your information, you need to analyze and interact with your data to gain actionable insights. DCIM software enables faster, visual analysis through dashboards and widgets that display common data center management KPIs or custom data specific to your organization. 3D floor maps with reporting overlays for power, environmental, and capacity visualizations provide an additional dimension of analysis. A color-coded thermal map with time-lapse video enables you to identify hotspot formations in your environment and take the appropriate steps to avoid overcooling.
4. The DCIM software aligns with and enhances your processes.
One of the most compelling reasons to implement DCIM software is to simplify the daily tasks associated with operating and managing your data center. A comprehensive DCIM software solution should have workflow automation to streamline tasks such as work management, reservations, and auditing. You should be able to quickly understand the status of your work items and changes that have been made across all of your data centers. Additionally, DCIM software can help you ensure that the devices in your data center are configured and connected following the approved processes.
5. The DCIM software integrates with third-party systems.
A DCIM software solution's value to your organization is limited if it can't integrate with your existing third-party tools, like CMDBs, helpdesks, reporting, billing, and ticketing systems. Look for DCIM software that provides APIs, plugins, and other integrations tools that seamlessly allow data to flow between your different systems so users can complete their tasks faster and with fewer clicks.
If you’re not sure which DCIM components to look for, you could end up with software that is overly complex and bloated or that is too basic to be useful. As you investigate integrating DCIM into your environment, pay attention to the above signs. You’ll be on the right track to a comprehensive DCIM software solution that will meet your needs and help you optimize your data center management.