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A Single View of the Data Center Truth … Is That Even Possible??

on ‎02-27-2014 01:16 PM

Ever wander around your data center and see an Ethernet jack on the air unit control panel?  What you say?  Or ever installed a power distribution unit (PDU) in a rack and seen an Ethernet jack on it?  As engineers we always ask why … in this case, why in the world would someone do that?


In a previous blog (More network manageability on a single pane of glass) I wrote about single-pane-of-glass management of the network.  While that’s a persuasive and compelling idea, I could not help but wonder … there must be something just as compelling and persuasive for management of the datacenter as a whole, because … back to the question above. Why on earth is there an Ethernet jack on a chiller or air unit?


Walking by the HP water cooler (no Ethernet jack there…YET) I started asking around.  Sure enough I was connected to a guy by the name of Aaron Carman, who’s HP’s Worldwide Director of Critical Facilities Strategy.  So I posed the question to him … what’s up with the Ethernet jack on a chiller?  His answer was … persuasive and compelling.


Aaron introduced me to the concept of data center infrastructure management (DCIM). Yes, another new acronym … but this one completely changed my view of the data center. 


What? Why? How?


Well, picture this … you’re a CxO or a global data center manager … you have a new application coming online this quarter.  The application requires 12 racks of gear.  How do you decide where to put those racks?  Data center in China? The one in London?  Or Singapore?  Or…?? 


What metrics do you use to make your decision?  Data center manager is Singapore is struggling with skyrocketing costs.  London has cooling issues.  China might have a space issue, as other applications have yet to be fully retired.  Just pull the gear?  Oops … can’t do that because the network operations center is reporting traffic on the switch ports.


 DCIM Pic #1resize #2.png


UGGGG … what to do?


What if I told you there is an approach that gives you a single view of the truth?  No slanted opinions, no turf protecting, no lack of visibility at a rack level, no confusion from multiple tools that don’t talk to each other.

Too good to be true? 




DCIM now allows the CxO/Data Center Manager to see exactly what’s going on, starting with a global view, then a regional one, and so on all the way down to the server, network, chiller, air unit, power consumption and floor plan.  YEP … can you say holistic?  Pervasive?  Single pane of glass/single view of the truth? That’s DCIM baby!!!


                       DCIM #2.jpg                DCIM #3.jpg


OK Tim…really…you really buying into this?  I asked the service business unit lead Rick Einhorn if I could join his team. He said welcome aboard!  No…REALLY!!! I am managing the launch of a new set of services around DCIM.


Ugg…running out of room...BUT HP Technology Services is leveraging the skills of HP’s data center people and the power of DCIM to help data center managers make fact-based (truth-based) decisions.  Check the Converged Management Consulting Services (CMCS) webpage for more details, and get used to the DCIM – Truth!!! last thing...check this video from Aaron!!


Demystifying Datacenter Infrastructure Management (DCIM) 


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