Story image

7 tips for successful DCIM deployments: A user’s perspective from Peak 10 + ViaWest data centers

11 Jan 18

I recently had the pleasure of having dinner with Dan Harman, Building Automation Systems Engineer at Peak 10 + ViaWest.

Dan’s has many years of first-hand experience with deploying data center infrastructure management (DCIM). 

In our conversation, it became clear to me that a successful implementation depends on much more than technology and project management.  I took away some key advice for anyone looking to implement a DCIM solution. 

Since it’s always good to hear what’s worked for others, and the fact that he’s happy for me to share the love via this blog, here are 7 tips:

Source through distribution channels

One of the primary reasons for the chosen DCIM solution by Peak 10 + ViaWest was that it could be procured through distribution channels as well as authorized integrator/ resellers.

The channel provides a more competitive pricing environment without any pressure from an integrator to perform an onsite assessment or pushing to sell services.

Be vendor agnostic

Peak 10 + ViaWest has a heterogeneous data center portfolio composed of both home grown data centers and those through acquisitions in different markets.

Consequently, the facilities are diverse in terms of design and equipment selections, demanding a data center infrastructure management solution architected to connect with, monitor, and communicate with a wide variety of different manufacturer’s products.

Start small

Peak 10 + ViaWest started the implementation with a small amount of funding (<$50,000).

Large DCIM implementation projects, sometimes costing millions of dollars, changes the game and brings with it pressure from upper management to minimize the risks and deliver results quickly.

If that’s not bad enough, you also must contend with resistance from facility managers who feel they are being forced and rushed into adopting something new.                                                                                                                                                                               

Begin by monitoring priorities

In this case the effectiveness of the cooling system was the priority, so Dan and his team installed temperature sensors in cold aisles (NB: water leakage sensors around the cooling tower came later).

This left enough of the budget to invest in other things like monitoring cards for the UPS’s and standby generators.

Be human and get buy-in

Implementing a DCIM solution successfully is largely about understanding human behavior.

Without genuine buy-in from the facility managers that use the software, any DCIM solution will eventually fail to provide the benefits it promises. So, never force a DCIM solution on your team. At Via West, one of the facility managers at first rejected the proposed solution.

An open and honest discussion revealed that a previous employer had imposed a new DCIM solution on the team without prior consultation resulting in resentment.

Share the knowledge around

Be prepared to demonstrate how DCIM can help the facility managers simplify their jobs and make them more effective. At Peak 10 + ViaWest, this meant Dan working closely with the team to overcome objections and work on the features that were going to be the most beneficial.

Communicate the quick wins

Quick wins will win over support for the new DCIM solution and will get facility managers to consistently engage with DCIM data.

At Peak 10 + ViaWest, one of the facility managers was tracking the rack temperatures of a high-density pod and noticed that every week, at the same time, the temperatures would be elevated.

This prompted an investigation that led to the discovery of a CRAH unit with a known bug that was turning the unit off.

Article by Victor Avelar, Schneider Electric Data Center Blog 

EU cloud adoption rising, but still far from mainstream
Cloud adoption is surging among some European Union (EU) nations but it still has a way to go to becoming commonplace across the board
Industry cloud market forecast for ‘unusual’ growth
The market for industry cloud solutions is in good stead with that growth showing little signs of slowing.
Dell EMC embeds security in latest servers
Dell EMC's 14th generation of PowerEdge servers has comprehensive management tools to provide security across hardware and firmware.
Businesses focusing on threats from within - survey
Over 50% of respondents reported that 100 days of dwell time or more was representative of their organisation.
The disaster recovery-as-a-service market is on the rise
As time progresses and advanced technologies are implemented, the demand for disaster recovery-as-a-service is also expected to increase.
Dell dominates enterprise storage market, HPE declines
The enterprise storage system market continues to be a goldmine for most vendors with demand relentlessly rising year-on-year.
The key to financial institutions’ path to digital dominance
By 2020, about 1.7 megabytes a second of new information will be created for every human being on the planet.
Is Supermicro innocent? 3rd party test finds no malicious hardware
One of the larger scandals within IT circles took place this year with Bloomberg firing shots at Supermicro - now Supermicro is firing back.