Data center asset management is the practice of maintaining an accurate inventory of data center assets such as servers, storage, networking equipment, rack PDUs, patch panels, and even applications to enable real-time capacity and change management to optimize the availability, utilization, and efficiency of the data center.
A traditional IT configuration management database (CMDB) may be used by IT teams to track all corporate assets and their configurations as logical objects. The goal of using a CMDB is to better align IT with the business throughout the product or service lifecycle.
A data center CMDB, part of Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software, expands upon a traditional IT CMDB's asset management abilities and includes other important information about physical data center infrastructure. It maintains an accurate representation of all IT assets in the data center along with the supporting infrastructure assets with relationship mapping down to physical port levels and up to virtual machine and application levels.
Parameters that should be tracked for complete data center asset management include:
- Asset identification and description
- Hardware/software that resides in the data center, along with their configuration and asset lifecycle
- All physical data center infrastructure (racks, rack PDUs, patch panels, structured cabling, patch cabling, UPSs, busways, branch circuits) along with their physical relationships/connections
- Detailed physical location of data center assets (e.g., site location, cabinet location, and U position)
- Rack elevation views with high-fidelity front and back images
- Measured power and temperature readings, trending, and alerting
- Dimensional, weight, and physical data/power port information of assets
- Physical relationships and connectivity for power supply and network interface cards along with capacity of all physical port types
- Utilization and capacity of data center infrastructure resources (e.g., power, space and cooling)
- 3D visualization of assets and logical connectivity between equipment
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