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Before data center infrastructure management (DCIM) solutions entered the market a dozen years ago, IT managers and facilities managers used separate tools to operate their environments. DCIM emerged as a way to unify these disciplines and gain greater visibility across the data center.

In the early days, DCIM lacked a clear definition, and that ambiguity continues to hamper DCIM adoption. Most organizations understand generally what DCIM is supposed to accomplish, but they have not mapped those capabilities to specific needs and objectives.

DCIM products integrate features of IT service management (ITSM) and building management system (BMS) platforms, but it doesn’t necessarily replace those solutions. DCIM is concerned with the relationships between physical infrastructure assets and the capacity of the data center to support IT requirements. It provides monitoring and reporting on equipment, resources and environmental conditions, creates visual documentation, and tracks moves, adds, changes and other workflows.

When selecting a DCIM product, however, it’s important to look beyond feature sets to pain points that can be resolved with DCIM. Otherwise, the solution may only be utilized by a select group of people or, worse, just become shelf-ware. Rahi’s engineers work closely with customers to define DCIM success in order to maximize the ROI of the implementation.

What Does DCIM Success Look Like?

Organizations sometimes scramble to implement DCIM because they’ve had a major outage. They recognize the need to get better monitoring and intelligence around their data center infrastructure to avoid another downtime event.

In other cases, organizations have a legacy DCIM product or perhaps some DCIM capabilities as part of their ITSM stack. They are looking to move into a more advanced solution. Or, organizations may have a DCIM product that doesn’t meet their evolving requirements. They want to get more out of DCIM to take their IT and facilities operations to the next level of maturity.

The Rahi team sits down with customers to help identify specific needs that can be filled with a DCIM solution. Does it help reduce risk? Does it help reduce labor? Does it help with capacity planning decisions? Does it help defer capital expenditures? Or does it simply issue alerts when something goes wrong? 

If we’re responding to an RFI or RFP, we like to have a conversation so that we can better understand what’s driving the initiative. Often, these documents will include a matrix of “critical features” that are common to the top DCIM products. We want to understand why those things are critical. Getting organizations to think about their challenges allows us to hone in on the right solution.

The Value of Rahi’s DCIM Expertise

Rahi’s value-add does not end with consulting. The Rahi team includes multiple engineers with specific knowledge of DCIM solutions, including Vertiv Trellis, Nlyte and EcoStruxure. This enables Rahi to take a vendor-agnostic approach, matching specific capabilities to the customer’s needs and requirements.

Rahi also has expertise in the rest of the ITSM stack, including ticketing, incident management and asset management, and network monitoring and management platforms. We can write the APIs that enable DCIM to talk to those solutions, providing the kind of interconnects that add significant value to the DCIM platform.

DCIM has been around for more than a decade, but organizations still have trouble pinpointing what they hope to accomplish with the technology. Rahi can help you define success for your DCIM initiative, and ensure that the implementation meets your business and IT objectives.

About Bill Evanger

Bill has been in the IT industry for about 30 years. The last 20 years of his career has been focused on data center operations, both on the operator side and on the presales and engineering side. He spent the last 12 of those years dealing with DCIM and other monitoring-related technologies.