How do I get started?
Software for Data Center Infrastructure Management
One of the challenges Data Center Managers face when implementing a DCIM solution is controlling the costs and complexity of migrating their current processes to a DCIM. While a system covering all or even some of the aspects of a DCIM - Asset, Capacity, Change, Power, Environment, and Energy - might be the ultimate goal, it is not necessary to implement it all from day one to receive a positive ROI.
Implementing a DCIM solution in phases can be just as cost-effective, and in fact might yield a quicker ROI than waiting to start using DCIM once each solution set is ready. For instance just moving from spreadsheets to an automated asset management solution, with the ability to get visual/textual information on your space and assets from a centralized database, can save tens of thousands of dollars in record keeping and processes.
Below is a suggestion on how one might achieve ROI, while implementing DCIM in a phase by phase approach. The phases and order in which a DCIM is to be implemented should be based on first deploying what will provide the greater improvement or fix the most pressing problem, without a major rip and replace.
DCIM Capability Maturity Model
Meets the Challenge & Question
|Gain insight into what I have: Floor Plan, Cabinet elevation, RU capacity||Asset management, Dashboards and Reporting Tools|
|Plan and Manage Power Chain, Power capacity, Network Trace, Fiber/Copper Capacity, Relationship Mapping||Capacity, Power and Network Connectivity Management|
|Improve processes - Best Practice Data Center management||Change/Workflow Management - Ticketing|
|Drive energy efficiencies, understand the cost and carbon footprint||Power and Energy Management, Environment Monitoring|
|Ensure components within the Data Center are up and running; alerted to issues/problems before they happen||Power and Environmental Monitoring|
|Leverage existing data, systems and processes||Integration through APIs, CMDB, 3rd Party Ticketing and other standard protocols (ODBC, SNMP, Modbus)|
Keep in mind that the DCIM chosen should allow for additional improvements without undoing or redoing past fixes. Recognize that while implementing a single solution set is a great way to get started, you may eventually want to adopt further capability. Make sure to scrutinize the vendor you select to ensure there is flexibility in their DCIM architecture, as this is the vendor you will be working with for the long run.
Sunbird’s Customer-Centric Focus is Featured in IDC’s New Vendor Profile
Learn why IDC says “Sunbird has taken a very customer-led approach to DCIM, and its solution meets a critical need in the market to improvement the management of critical data center resources.Download the Report
451 Research: Sunbird Finds Sweet Results for Data Center Operators
Learn why “Sunbird has carved out a sizable part of the market as a stand-alone DCIM vendor amid strong competition for conservative buyers on tight budgets,” according to 451 Research’s analysts.Download the Report
Proof-of-Concept: Don’t Skip This Critical Step
The process towards choosing the right DCIM software can have a significant impact on your organization's success or failure. We've learned from the multitude of customers that have “Switched to Sunbird” from competitive solutions that engaging in a Proof-of-Concept (POC) with your prospective vendors is critical to deployment success and tool adoption. In a POC, you can methodically vet each vendor's capabilities using your own data to evaluate each vendor's ability to address your unique pain points.
Evaluate each vendor in terms of:
- Completeness of functionality. Test features in a real-world environment, ensuring that the solution meets your requirements. Confirm that all features are available out of the box rather than sold individually as modules.
- Ease of use. Determine the intuitiveness of each platform and assess which ones are easy to install and upgrade and let you get your work done with fewer clicks and less mouse movement.
- Support. Assess each vendor's level of knowledge and responsiveness, as well as their training material and documentation, to identify who is most focused on your deployment success.
- Interoperability. Test each platform’s ability to integrate with your other systems (i.e., CMDB, ticketing, and BMS) to ensure that they deliver real-time data exchange that reduces manual effort and drives cross-functional collaboration.
Versus just gathering compliance to a checklist of features, the POC process mitigates risk, lets you make the most informed decision, and sets you up for a successful deployment that leads to easier and faster data center management.