The U.S. government has mandated that their data centers become more efficient by 2018. To accomplish this, agencies are looking at methods to bring server utilization rates up to 65% (from an appalling 5%). At the same time, these government agencies are reducing their large data center footprints by at least 25%, and small data closets and other similar hardware areas by 60%.

This means consolidation of data center assets, as well as more efficient energy use. In order to perform this task effectively, the government is requiring all federal data centers to deploy a data center infrastructure management (DCIM) solution to help with energy monitoring and inventory tracking.

Here are six ways DCIM can help with data center consolidation:

  • Energy monitoring. Real-time energy monitoring is key to consolidation. DCIM solutions automatically extract current energy usage and accurately display overall trending information. This gives the operator a holistic view of energy consumption, plus a trending pattern to help spotlight areas of concern. Many data centers are designed with substantial redundancy to help ensure uptime — inefficiency is baked right in.
  • DCIM gives managers the ability to identify stranded, unused power, and space capacity so resources can be used most efficiently. In addition, it allows moves and consolidation to be accomplished without overload. Real-time energy tracking not only provides a means for better consolidation, but after implementing a DCIM system, many data centers are able to reduce their power consumption by 15-25%, and extend the useful life of the facility by up to five years.
  • Asset tracking. In order to make the most of assets, an operator has to know where they are, what they’re doing and how they’re connected. A DCIM/DCSM (data center service management) solution enables the user to follow assets throughout their lifecycle, from loading dock-to-decommission. Real-time, accurate inventory audits, with floor plan views facilitate consolidation and capacity planning.
  • Proof of improvement. In order to prove that a facility has effectively accomplished these reductions, an operator must first establish a baseline then record data over a period of time, showing improvement measures have been implemented. The proof of improvement is as simple as pulling the correct report. Note that this can be a large amount of data, so the DCIM solution chosen should be able to scale with demand.

Don’t miss next week’s blog, which addresses three more ways DCIM can help with data center consolidation.