Every industry wants productivity enhancing tools and reportable metrics, and of course the data center industry is no different. The premise of data center infrastructure management (DCIM) is the proverbial “single pane of glass,” which promises to alleviate the challenges related to the traditionally cultural and management issues of IT vs. facilities. Even the term “infrastructure” is at issue. If you ask different people in various domains of the mission critical environment what "infrastructure upgrade” means, you will get some diverse answers. To put things into perspective, facilities personnel are concerned if the pipes carrying the chilled water need to be upsized to meet the rising heat load. In contrast, the IT network staff may be wondering if the existing copper network cabling will continue to meet the rising bandwidth requirements or if they need to upgrade to fiber.
Nonetheless, there is a real need for a system that can collect and aggregate information from facilities and IT systems and then be able to analyze it and deliver a cohesive picture in a manner that is meaningful and correlates to some actionable items for everyone. Originally, most DCIM products were fairly basic and were more of a facility side power usage effectiveness (PUE) dashboard. DCIM programs have now gone through several generations and in their current iteration have become a far more sophisticated tool set.