Data center

Defending Your Data Center Against Downtime Risks

Sebastian Abbinanti Perspectives

As organizations demand more from their IT departments, new data center needs are emerging. These organizations need to ensure the right balance between capacity and availability. Many businesses now embrace virtualization and cloud technology and are adopting technology practices that require increased storage capacity and reliable 24/7/365 “from anywhere” access.

Data Centers Then

It really wasn’t that long ago that data centers consisted of a basic server room hosting equally basic business applications. However, as technology—and the demand for technology—has grown, data center needs have become increasingly sophisticated. They’ve also become more important and more prone to risk.

Data Centers Now

Today’s data centers must be able to accommodate the growing needs and demands from multiple departments within an organization—and from all of its many stakeholders–executives, co-workers, customers, and vendors alike.

A proliferation of mobile devices and experiences has created a climate where users expect data, information, and computing processes to be available to them with the same reliability, consistency, and convenience that they’ve come to expect from retailers like and industries like banking.

A role for DCIM

IT professionals have attempted to address the growing demands and expectations of those they serve. They’ve attempted to optimize datacenter use to control costs and environmental impacts. In doing this, they’ve increasingly turned to datacenter infrastructure management (DCIM) to help manage the complexity while minimizing downtime.

What is DCIM?

DCIM provides an integrated framework to manage the complexity through software that collects information about utilization across multiple locations and tools, even integrating with building management systems—a big benefit for organizations with multiple facilities to manage. DCIM is a software solution that can help to:

  • Improve capacity planning and management
  • Better understand power consumption across all equipment
  • Identify areas of high and low resource usage to better allocate resources
  • Provide flexibility

DCIM monitoring can help identify potential risks and provide alerts to enable proactive interventions. Because of the benefits, more IT managers in the education industry are turning to DCIMs. What do you need to know to ensure a smooth transition and reliable ongoing operations?

Best Practices

If you’re considering adopting, or modifying, DCIM, there are some best practices that can help you minimize disruption and maximize smoothly running operations:

  1. Start with an audit of your existing datacenter to identify both opportunities for improvement and areas that may represent challenges for implementation.
  2. Document current assets: where they are located and how they are currently connected.
  3. Review existing data to identify space, power, and cooling needs.
  4. Review existing data to identify space, power, and cooling needs.
  5. Evaluate vendor options—your current vendors can be a good starting point.
  6. Begin implementation, including ongoing evaluation of the need for people and process changes.

DCIM has grown and improved from its early years and now offers increased flexibility, better data gathering and reporting, and easy access from a wide array of devices, from control room consoles to mobile devices. DCIM delivers big benefits.