Data Center Infrastructure Management Software (DCIM)
FNT's Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution is a central resource management and optimization software for the data center. It covers documentation, planning, and management of all data center resources and facilities throughout their entire lifecycle. Businesses that use our DCIM software are able to streamline processes and optimize utilization of building infrastructure (power, cooling, floorspace), IT infrastructure (networks, servers, storage), connectivity (cables, patches) and services (software, applications). Our DCIM solution provides consistent, up-to-date, and easily accessible data that is vital for informed decisions on deployment of data center infrastructure resources and capacities. It is a field-tested solution based on the powerful FNT Command Platform that delivers a comprehensive and integrated view of all data center resources. From recording and monitoring live power consumption and temperature values to planning the entire data center, our DCIM software will keep your data center operating with maximum efficiency.
What is DCIM?
DCIM is the abbreviation for ‘Data Center Infrastructure Management’. It refers to a set of tools, processes, and technologies used to monitor, manage, and optimize the physical infrastructure of a data center.
Why should I use DCIM software?
DCIM solutions can help data center operators to manage power and cooling resources, track the location and status of equipment, monitor environmental conditions, and plan for capacity and resource utilization. Some solutions also provide real-time and historical data on energy usage, server performance, and other key metrics, which can be used to identify opportunities for cost saving and efficiency improvements. DCIM software can be used to manage data centers of all sizes, from small server rooms in edge data centers to large enterprise data centers, and ensures that infrastructure is operating efficiently and effectively.
Why not use BMS software or spreadsheets?
Both these potential alternatives lack critical features needed for proper management, team cooperation, and optimization of capacity usage.
Building Management Systems (BMS) manage and control mechanical and electrical systems in the data center, such as cooling, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, and power. These solutions are designed to optimize energy usage, improve operational safety, and reduce operating costs, but they are completely unaware of most parts of the data center infrastructure such as racks, servers, switches, cables, or the network. Also, they lack process support needed to optimize white space usage, resilience, and reliability of IT operations. BMS tools complement DCIM solutions but cannot replace them.
Spreadsheets such as Excel are often found as documentation and planning tools in IT and data center management. However, as they lack features to validate data entry and useful method for tracking changes (history, change log), and they do not provide useful support to larger teams or satisfy legal documentation requirements.
What are the main differences between DCIM systems on the market?
Most solutions cover similar aspects of data center management but emphasize different feature sets. The following function domains are typically covered to some degree: Asset management, Power and cooling management & Environmental monitoring, Automation and orchestration, Capacity planning, Analytics and reporting.
To avoid comparing apples and oranges, users looking for a suitable solution should identify their needs and the business value they want to achieve by implementing a DCIM solution before comparing alternative offerings.
For more details on the different tool types, see our free White Paper "Rethinking DCIM".
What makes a DCIM tool future-proof?
The needs for data center management are evolving constantly and the move to colocation, virtualization, and hybrid infrastructure adds new aspects to management processes. DCIM should therefore be selected not just by looking at todays’ needs, but with the future of data center operations in mind. Features such as planning, including cable management and network aspects, or vendor-agnostic support for all equipment models are critical for the long-term value of a solution.
For more details on next generation tool requirements, see our free White Paper "Rethinking DCIM".
Is it difficult to implement a DCIM solution?
While projects will be delayed or fail on occasion, we can clearly state from our experience with over 2.000 DCIM implementation projects that difficulties can be minimized or outright avoided. Problems implementing enterprise management software most often arise when the implementation method does not match the organizational structure or other project requirements. As a best practice, we suggest making the implementation planning part of the tender phase and vendor selection process rather than delaying planning tasks to the project phase after awarding a contract.
For more details on implementation best practices, see our free White Paper "IT Infrastructure Management Tools".
Does DCIM really pay for itself?
The short answer: Yes, with one caveat: when it is used right.
Much has been written about this topic by analysts, experts, and vendors that clearly demonstrates the value of DCIM. From reducing time and effort for planning, minimizing outage risks, and speeding up root cause analysis, DCIM contributes to reducing OPEX with a wide range of cost reduction aspects that clearly justify the investment.
Advantages of Our DCIM Solution
Highlights of our DCIM software
Footprints, or graphical representations of entire data centers or zones within them, help to better understand the real situation in a data center. Racks, floor tiles, cable trays and climate zones, etc. can be placed and arranged. Use a footprint to store a floor plan of the room as a background image and lay a grid of floor tiles on top of the floor plan. Additional grids can be defined individually for each footprint.
Utilization diagrams provide information on all available reserves by room or data center. Easily create diagrams showing usage of air conditioning, power, and floor space. In the floor space view, create pie charts displaying the relative percentages for different types of space: occupied with device, unoccupied, maneuvering, traffic, and blocked.
Real estate documentation of a data center is structured hierarchically, starting with the property and getting increasingly granular with the campus, building, floor, and room. The structure and number of zones can be configured as needed, and zones can be linked within or between hierarchical layers.
Encompasses all cabling, including back bone and patching inside the data center and between sites. Manage all patches (non-fixed cabling) and patch panels for copper and fiber cabling. Various display options show connections, including the graphical view inside cabinets. Signal tracing allows fast analysis and tracing across the entire signal chain from any selected port. All devices and cables on the physical layer – whether in actual or planned state - are displayed schematically in the form of a block diagram.
Record every change in the database throughout the entire lifecycle of an object. A History function documents a range of parameters for every CI, such as location, attributes, links, users, and type of change. This information can be evaluated for one or more CIs using comprehensive reporting functionality.
Plan and manage power distributor systems, consisting of power distributors with the associated power buses and rails. Fuses are placed in the outgoing lines on the respective power rails and connected graphically with the corresponding terminal devices.
Graphic representation of the rack enhanced with a photorealistic imagery, 2 and 3D representations of entire rooms, and a 3D footprint view. These powerful views provide facility managers with a fast and comprehensive overview of current and planned conditions within the data center.
Would you like to see how our DCIM solution works? Request a demo today.
DCIM Software - Screenshots
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