Data Center Infrastructure Management or DCIM refers to the point of convergence between IT and the functions of the building facilities. DCIM initiative is generally aimed at providing the operators or administrators of datacenters with a holistic view of the performance of the data center in order to ensure the efficiency of use of the datacenter’s floor space, energy and equipment.

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In the beginning, the concept of Data Centre Infrastructure Management was simply a component of the building information software that was used by managers of the facilities in order to develop digital schematic diagrams about the facilities which they were managing. With the use of DCIM tools, it is possible to bring these similar capabilities into the modern datacenters and these allow the administrators of these facilities to collate, store and also perform analysis of data that pertains to the power and cooling requirements of the facility. A lot of these DCIM tools allow for managers to print out diagrams or schematics of their facilities. This is an especially important capability when maintenance is being carried out in the building by the administrators of the facility or when the managers need to carry out installation of new equipment.

With the use of the DCIM tools, administrators will be able to easily look for and also identify the relationships which exist between the facility building and the IT systems installed in the building. For example, it is possible for administrators to install energy sensors along with supporting hardware on all points of the facility’s power infrastructure. Such capability will allow the DCIM software in the datacenters to accurately aggregate and analyze the data centre’s facility’s power usage effectiveness or PUE. It will also be able to analyze the efficiency of the facility’s cooling system.

Organizations use DCIM along with various other technologies in order to optimize system placement and the air flow in the system. The end result is that these organizations are able to reduce their costs. For example, coupling computational fluid dynamics with DCIM will result in the reduction of the cooling expenses.  In the datacenter parlance, this is called continuous modeling which allows network engineers and operators to quantify the causes and effects of changes in the infrastructure before any investments are made in the changes.

DCIM has contributed towards the transformation of IT ecosystems. It integrates a host of functions including the management of the physical infrastructure, systems management and facilities management. A true DCIM solution can help organizations in managing various challenges such as energy management, availability management, asset management and risk management. It can also help in managing IT automation, service management and supply chain management.

The world of the datacenter management is seeing increasing convergence and for most facilities, the physical layer of the data infrastructure serves as a single point of entry in ensuring operational dependency of IT infrastructure. DCIM offers a natural solution for this need for convergence in the infrastructure. Most data centres are now treating the physical layer with same importance as the logical layer and convergence through DCIM makes this possible.

For more coverage on Data Centre Infrastructure Management, check out the latest posts on the Data Center Journal. Go to http://www.datacenterjournal.com/.