May 14, 2020
At first glance all data center providers can look pretty much the same. They build and operate data center facilities. What sets one apart from the others? The answer to that question depends on your business needs, of course, but also on the broader set of solutions your data center provider can deliver.
Even if you think all data center buildings are the same – and they’re not – when you are selecting a provider to deliver a complete data center solution for your business, you need to know what sets data center operators apart, including how they manage and react to your needs, the scale at which they operate, and the tools they use and provide that help you manage your data center installations.
Key among these factors is the Data Center Information Management (DCIM) services offered by your data center solution provider. Because once your servers, data, network connections, and intellectual property are hosted in the data centers you’ve selected, you need to be confident that you can perform virtually any operational tasks with the speed, accuracy, security, and documentation you demand from critical business application.
So, what makes one DCIM solution better than the others? What should you look for while evaluating data center providers? How can you avoid buyer’s remorse when you realize your provider’s DCIM solution is good but not good enough?
Here are five things to look for in any DCIM solution you might evaluate:
Can you access the DCIM tool from anywhere, any time of any day? DCIM is not a 9-to-5 task, and you are not always going to be sitting in the office when you need to view an alert or use cameras to view ongoing works at the data center. In today’s world, the ability to remotely monitor and manage your data center assets is more important than ever.
Does your data center provider’s DCIM solution work the same whether your data center is 50kW or 100MW? Is it the same application for all of your data centers, in any market, in any country, on any continent? You don’t want three different logins to three different applications to manage your data center assets. Look for a solution that offers all of your needs behind a single application and a single pane of glass. And make sure that view is personalized to you, secure and private.
You want your DCIM to make your job easier, and you want your DCIM to give you the confidence of knowing that it can handle any task without forcing you to remember to complete different parts of different tasks in different applications. Monitor which personnel are at which sites, identify business lines or subcontracts, and understand the change management impacts to your operations from a consistent and comprehensive view.
Urgency is important, but so is turning data into useful information, improving your signal-to-noise ratio so you can react to every message appropriately and confidently. Your DCIM solution needs to know your business well enough to be able to tell the right people the information they need, when they need to know it, and not treat every notification the same.
Lots and lots of data. When you need to see your cabinet loads over time, CKT allocations, data center access events, temperature and humidity data in real time or in historical perspective. Is that data available to you? Easily obtained? Then, is that data used to create more efficiencies and operational excellence? A good DCIM product helps the operator help you. Do not overlook this step in your evaluation process.
Not all DCIM solutions are created equal. Make sure you know what you’re getting and how it can help you help your data center infrastructure be more reliable, accessible, consistent, and secure.
At EdgeConneX, we offer our next-generation DCIM solution, EdgeOS, to address all of these important considerations. EdgeOS is just one way EdgeConneX helps Empower Your Edge, with global, Hyperlocal to Hyperscale data center solutions. To learn more, download our EdgeOS Solution Brief or contact us.