Modern data center infrastructure management (DCIM) suites touch every aspect of the operation of a data center. They provide value in a number of different ways. Some of these ways have to do with controlling costs, some facilitate smoother and more supportable operations, and others make it easier to operate in compliance with government regulations.
Triggers to the acquisition and deployment of DCIM
DCIM is a relatively new discipline, but of course organizations have been concerned with asset management since the first data centers started operating. Early approaches to data center asset management were merely extensions of financial bookkeeping tools. Accounting systems were augmented by adding information about physical attributes of assets and who owned what. Some efforts went beyond that to include crude visualizations of rack and floor layouts. These early efforts added some value to the enterprise, but were not considered strategic, so they didn’t improve much with time. They were considered tactical tools and not critical. Everything changed when the financial crisis of 2007-2008 turned into The Great Recession. The price of energy skyrocketed, while the income streams for many organizations plummeted. Reduced customer spending caused the data center industry to look for ways to become more efficient. Luckily, some of the DCIM solutions at that time had risen to a level of maturity to answer those needs.