Come and join me August 16 for a panel discussion of “Do More Data Make DCIM More Effective in Designing and Managing Data Centers?”
Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) has been given a lot of attention in the past few years. I think we are moving from “What is DCIM?” to “How do we deploy it?” DCIM provides a lot of different functions, covering a wide range of areas in designing and operating data centers. There is no agreement on terminology or standards yet, but the functions may include inventory, change control, capacity management, simulation, and monitoring/reporting. And maybe more.
Let me take a different view here. Yes, functions are important, but functions require data available from a data center. In general, DCIM collects data associated with the infrastructure, i.e., power consumption, temperature, pressure, humidity, fan speed, and other data. What’s missing is logical and virtual data. Although facilities equipment for HVAC and power delivery have both physical and logical parts, they are basically very similar in nature. IT equipment, like servers, has two distinct parts: physical (hardware) and logical (software). DCIM has taken both facilities and IT equipment in designing and operating a data center. Moving ahead, we may want to consider how we can make DCIM even more effective. This is shown in the following figure.
Before virtualization and cloud computing, each application had a dedicated physical server and did not move away from the designated server, regardless of its utilization. As each application is virtualized and tied to a virtual server in the form of virtual machine (VM) and multiple VMs are placed on a single physical server, each VM may be created, killed, or moved from one physical server to another in real time. This is done to reflect application utilization. If an application is not used much, it may be stopped or killed. If enough VMs are removed from one physical server, it may no longer be necessary to run that physical server, and it can be shut down or put to sleep. If the physical server’s utilization is down, so is the cooling and power requirement for it. Facilities equipment for this may need dynamic adjustments in real time. So we need more tight integration of the virtual and physical sides of a data center for effective operation.
I will be moderating a panel on this issue, brought by BrightTalk at 9 a.m. (PDT) on August 16,
We have a terrific set of panelists, listed below. Please join me in the discussion
· Peter Gilbert, VP, Energy & Sustainability Solutions Strategy, CA Technologies
· Derek Schwartz, Deputy, IT Operations & Maintenance NIEHS at SRA International & Executive Director and Founder of The Green Data Center Alliance
· Robert Haggerty, Mission Critical Operations