Posted on February 3, 2014 by Paula Alves
Managing a data center and therefore Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) is by nature complex. Each vendor has a slightly different twist on the definition and no two data center operations managers are the same — each may require different pieces to best manage their facilities and IT infrastructure. With these sometimes divergent viewpoints no one vendor may exactly match the needs of each organization. Understanding what you want from your DCIM implementation will be key to choosing the right data center tool vendor and having a “successful“ deployment.
So how do you begin to discern your choices?
In an analyst report, Gartner stated that “DCIM tools provide data center operations managers with the ability to identify, locate, visualize and manage all physical data center assets, simply provision new equipment and confidently plan capacity for future growth and/or consolidation. These tools can also help control energy costs and increase operational efficiency.”
With this definition in mind, vendors have created data center tools based on their core competencies. Some vendors have created tools from the facilities side, while others have created based on their IT experiences. Some may be stronger in monitoring while, others offer more feature rich asset management functionality. No one data center management tool is right for everyone.
So first, you need to understand what you want from a DCIM tool and then which potential vendor meets your requirements. Using the Gartner definition, here are some key areas to consider:
After you have reviewed the functionality of the data center tool, look at the soft considerations. Areas such as vendor experience, integration and service offerings, and customer focused activities such as support and user groups. Don’t be afraid to ask for a demonstration to prove capabilities.
Choosing a data center tool provider is not easy. Remember to identify and focus on what is most important to you as you look to distinguish marketing from reality. To be most successful, it might be best to start small and grow as you need.