Data Center Journal

Volume 30 | February 2014

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Page 29 of 32

THE DATA CENTER JOURNAL | 27 t he legacies of early, over- provisioned data centers haunt us to this day. In the past, the absence of reliable informa- tion to act upon, led organiza- tions to divert excess resources to the data center with the goal of maintaining high availability. And although high-availabili- ty became a reality, the cumulative cost of devices, facilities, utilities, and people grew exponentially with little insight into just how much benefit was being drawn. But in today's enterprise data center, we now know that the age old practice of over-provisioning is simply not sustain- able. e growing demand for enterprise soware, mobile applications, and real- time data access has outpaced the frivolous use of energy and resources that was once status quo. Instead, the need to intelligent- ly manage resources while improving the bottom line is driving data centers to adopt a Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution. While the marketplace currently boasts hundreds of DCIM solutions that offer the means by which to achieve this efficient use of data center resources, implementing a DCIM solution requires time and resources in and of itself. And since obtaining a budget is one of the greatest barriers to starting any business project, it is important to understand what your return rate will be when compared to your initial investment. DeteRMine the Roi on DCiM Determining the ROI on a DCIM so- lution begins with identifying the greatest challenges and inefficiencies in your data center as it exists today. It may surprise you to learn that DCIM products offer solutions for problems that are as complex and intricately related as the devices and systems housed in your data center itself. Start by asking yourself: • How do I currently monitor, mea- sure, and manage data center costs? • How much of my costs are spent on powering equipment? How much on cooling? • How long does it take me to provi- sion a new circuit? Find capacity? Locate and troubleshoot a piece of failing equipment? • How much current capacity is wasted? Power, cooling, space, systems? • How much time and effort do I spend collecting and analyzing info for capacity planning? • What is the cost for downtime in terms of lost revenue and productivity? Perhaps you find yourself uncertain of the answers, or know for certain that you are spending far too much in any one area. For most IT and facilities manag- ers, the most common and costly issues lie within the realms of efficient energy consumption, effective infrastructure management, and maintaining high avail- ability. Luckily, a DCIM product can yield a significant ROI in each of those areas. effiCient eneRgy ConsuMption Whether it is driven by internal cost initiatives, government mandates, or sheer necessity from lack of capacity, efficient energy consumption makes sense. Energy costs have always been the largest ongoing expense for any data center. In the age of over-provisioning, power was thought- lessly sent to racks to power devices that were oen not used to their full potential, and overcooling of the data center was a standard, but essentially useless practice. A DCIM solution will provide real- time and historic energy consumption data for your all of your IT devices. is once absent, now present and actionable information, allows you to determine what underutilized devices can be consolidated, turned-off, or decommissioned. Fewer devices, and smarter use and powering of mission-critical devices, means power is consumed efficiently. e data that is amassed aids compa- nies in determining the data center's Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) or Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency (DCiE). Real- time information derived from individual devices down to the outlet level, as well as data from entire cooling systems, can single-out inefficiencies and help opera- tors to meet guidelines and set points for efficient power usage. Environmental monitoring also aids in efficient energy consumption for cooling systems. Sensors that monitor temperature, humidity, air pressure, and airflow around the data center feed information to your DCIM solution, giving you the confidence to raise the thermostat and make other adjustments, even turn off CRACs to save on your electric bill. In fact, Gartner has estimated that there is a four percent (4%) savings in cooling energy costs for every degree of upward change in the baseline temperature. effeCtive infRastRuCtuRe ManageMent During the age of over-provisioning, data centers sprawled out quickly and chaotically with little operational insight or growth planning. Operators blindly contin- ued to increase devices, systems, and real estate without understanding whether the existing infrastructure was sufficient for the needs of the business -- in the process creating more overhead and complexity for themselves. But DCIM undoes inefficiency and replaces it with optimal use of space and better capacity planning. Instead of expanding your current facility, or building an entirely new one (typically a multi-mil- lion dollar project), you will likely discover more capacity in your existing data center than you realized you had by understand- ing when you are reaching full capacity. Having enough capacity to accommodate future growth gives organizations the con- fidence to defer capital investments until they become a necessity. Additionally, a DCIM solution helps you to manage all of your assets. You will no longer need to rely on homegrown ap- plications to manually enter and maintain information on devices. DCIM solutions

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