The three physical resources that have the biggest impact on data center cost are power, cooling, and floor space. The cost of power has been rising steadily, and as power consumption increases, the need for more cooling capacity increases right along with it. In addition to requiring more power and cooling capacity, floor space in the data center must be treated as a precious commodity because it is finite in nature.
The cost to add space to the infrastructure is enormous. High quality space is actually hard to come by. Power is available in most locations, but at a cost that continues to rise. And remember that for every watt of power that is used by IT equipment, another watt of power is used to cool that equipment. The analytics functions of data center infrastructure management (DCIM) installations show where and how these physical resources are used and predict future needs based on existing trends.
DCIM can also point out equipment that’s drawing power but contributing little or nothing to the productivity of the data center. Sometimes, equipment continues to run just because it always has. DCIM can identify equipment that is no longer needed and, using its workflows, can enable the decommissioning of that gear, thereby saving power and space. Up to onethird of all devices on a data center floor may be unnecessary.
DCIM can also pinpoint older equipment that must be refreshed to realize the modern economics of more efficient models.
Re-engineering business processes
Traditionally, data centers have operated on the principle of “high service levels at any cost.” Today, with tighter budgets, this mantra has been transformed into a planned and predictable approach where the question is asked, “What is the value and cost of each service?” Individual service value and cost have now been added as considerations. IT organizations are being asked to document their existing approaches and then evaluate whether those practices still make sense. Many organizations find that their existing practices impede their ability to streamline their operations.
DCIM software enables organizations to create baselines from which they can author new optimized workflows and manage their assets over long periods of time. With DCIM, organizations can capture current business practices and then modify them to optimize performance and improve efficiency.