There’s so much information out there about data center infrastructure management (DCIM), and there’s a lot of confusion about its value. Misinformation is one of the reasons data center operators hesitate to deploy a DCIM solution. Let’s debunk some of the common myths surrounding monitoring and alarming and set the record straight.

  • Myth #1: All you need is DCIM software to monitor your data center.

    If a DCIM vendor is telling you this, run the other way. A DCIM solution is not meant to replace your BMS, EPMS and other systems. Instead DCIM rides on top,
    and pulls pertinent information from them. For example, DCIM provides a clear picture of what your cooling equipment is doing, but doesn’t offer control. A DCIM solution helps enhance your other building systems.

    You can enhance your ability to make informed business decisions further with data center service management (DCSM), which adds an additional critical layer of asset and workflow products. With DCSM and DCIM, you’ll be able to gain a holistic view of your data center.

And there’s the opposite myth:

  • Myth #2: You don’t need DCIM. Your BMS/EPMS can monitor everything you need to know about.

    BMS (in just about all cases) doesn’t monitor down to the branch circuit very well. It can control generators, fan speeds and other features, but DCIM is the over-arching umbrella of BMS that can grab information from multiple systems for monitoring, alarming and analysis. DCIM is the quicker and more nimble means to gain a complete picture of your data center: BMS just isn’t built for that.
  • Myth #3: Auto-discovery will solve the problems of knowing your monitored devices.

    We hear this all the time from people who don’t want to go out into their vast data center or multiple data centers to count and identify all of their devices. And we completely sympathize with this sentiment. Since not everything is on the network, auto-discovery won’t be able to locate and pinpoint all equipment, such as CRAC units. There are plenty of things that would be beneficial to monitor, but if the equipment is not on the network, you won’t find it. For instance, if it’s a Modbus device, it’s likely on a separate network than your corporate network.

    On the flip side, even after you find these devices, you would need some sort of reconciliation. There may be discovered devices that you don’t want to monitor. What are these devices? Do you even need them anymore?

Don’t miss next week’s blog, which will address the next three myths.