As the demands on data centers dramatically increase, energy has become a growing concern for data center operators. For many data centers, it’s a top concern; for many others who have reached maximum energy capacity and “out of power”, it is a critical concern. As a result, an extraordinary amount of focus has been put on Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM). With many different types of vendors in the marketplace rebranding themselves as DCIM providers, there is some confusion surrounding what the difference is between them and how do they help solve the real issues of data center operators.
Energy management is not the primary function for DCIM and its energy capabilities are typically very limited, if they exist at all. DCIM is a planning tool for the all of the needs of the data center (In which slot, in which rack, should my next server go?). If you’re a data center operator planning for the needs of your data center in the future, DCIM is what you’re looking for. However, if your real concerns are addressing the challenges you face with energy usage (How do you get your energy usage under control with the servers you already have?), Data Center Energy Management or DCEM is what you truly need.
The recently released Data Center Market Insight Report on DataCenterKnowledge.com contained a list of the Top Ten Concerns/Challenges of Data Center Operators. Of the Top Ten, four of the concerns are classically considered to be the domain of DCIM but are very directly addressed by effective DCEM implementations in the data center.
- Capacity Planning
- Running out of power
- Running out of space
DCEM allows you to quickly address current challenges of your data center while also giving you the data to assist with future planning, whereas DCIM is primarily dedicated to future planning. JouleX Energy Manager for Data Centers has been developed with FULL integration into DCIM in mind. With JouleX Energy Manager you can automatically track energy usage and server utilization. But our solution goes much further than that by providing the ability to control the energy of the devices in your data center, enabling reclamation and recovery of wasted energy use.
Capacity Planning is a main component of all DCIM solutions. It’s important to remember, however, that energy plays a large role in Capacity Planning. Data center operators need to know the true energy draws of the all assets in the data center in order to accurately address future capacity needs. Through DCEM, the ability to get full visibility and control over energy usage, server utilization, virtualization, and asset retirement/upgrades makes capacity planning more effective and efficient.
Reclaiming and recovering inefficiently utilized energy, server capacity, and existing space within the data center is a key component of DCIM. This aids in Scalability and Capacity Planning, in addition to addressing insufficient power and space availability. When looking at solutions for the challenges in your data center environment, never confuse DCEM with DCIM. Fully optimized DCEM solutions will not only help address current concerns of data center operators, but will also contribute to the effectiveness of any DCIM implementation.
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