Story image

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

11 Jan 2018

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 

Protecting data centres from fire – your options
Chubb's Pierre Thorne discusses the countless potential implications of a data centre outage, and how to avoid them.
Opinion: How SD-WAN changes the game for 5G networks
5G/SD-WAN mobile edge computing and network slicing will enable and drive innovative NFV services, according to Kelly Ahuja, CEO, Versa Networks
TYAN unveils new inference-optimised GPU platforms with NVIDIA T4 accelerators
“TYAN servers with NVIDIA T4 GPUs are designed to excel at all accelerated workloads, including machine learning, deep learning, and virtual desktops.”
AMD delivers data center grunt for Google's new game streaming platform
'By combining our gaming DNA and data center technology leadership with a long-standing commitment to open platforms, AMD provides unique technologies and expertise to enable world-class cloud gaming experiences."
Inspur announces AI edge computing server with NVIDIA GPUs
“The dynamic nature and rapid expansion of AI workloads require an adaptive and optimised set of hardware, software and services for developers to utilise as they build their own solutions."
Norwegian aluminium manufacturer hit hard by LockerGoga ransomware attack
“IT systems in most business areas are impacted and Hydro is switching to manual operations as far as possible.”
HPE launches 'right mix' hybrid cloud assessment tool
HPE has launched an ‘industry-first assessment software’ to help businesses work out the right mix of hybrid cloud for their needs.
ADLINK and Charles announce multi-access pole-mounted edge AI solution
The new solution is a compact low profile pole or wall mountable unit based on an integration of ADLINK’s latest AI Edge Server MECS-7210 and Charles’ SC102 Micro Edge Enclosure.