In IT management, there’s a lot of chatter about the idea of the ‘single pane of glass’. The concept of the single pane of glass is […]

Is DCIM’s ‘Single Pane of Glass’ a Myth?

In IT management, there’s a lot of chatter about the idea of the ‘single pane of glass’. The concept of the single pane of glass is […]

In IT management, there’s a lot of chatter about the idea of the ‘single pane of glass’. The concept of the single pane of glass is this: instead of IT staff being left to sort through various tools and incompatible systems across departments, an organization’s entire IT staff can trust just one platform to deliver the network’s truth.

DCIM’s Single Pane of Glass: The Why

You may hear the term ‘single pane of glass’ mentioned in discussions about Service Desk Configuration Management Database (CMDB), Business Intelligence, and DCIM software (click here for a crash course on DCIM). Why is having a view of data from any number of data sources to hopefully create a trusted place to view your IT data important?

IT is one of the largest capital expenses for enterprises: having a centralized view and data helps with mission-critical activities such as: capacity planning, troubleshooting, resource allocation and purchasing.
We often hear from companies who say their data is fragmented, out-of-date, or even inaccessible. Disorganization directly affects the quality of decision-making and the ability to maximize available resources…which ultimately affects the bottom line. For example, are all of your IT inventory being fully utilized or are they underutilized? Are they even accounted for?

DCIM’s Single Pane of Glass: The Reality

Not knowing what you have, where it is, and what it’s doing leads to unnecessary purchases, longer troubleshooting times, and inefficient capacity planning. How can companies manage a system they don’t understand? They can’t.

This is where DCIM comes in. It is supposed to grant visibility across the network: resources can be uncovered, services can be integrated, users can collaborate, needed information can be pulled up in just a couple of clicks. Sounds almost utopian, right?

It sounds great…until reality sets in. The more pain there is in integrating your existing tools with the platform that’s supposed to serve as your ‘single pane of glass’…the less likely you are to get the actual single pane of glass (and the more likely you just bought pricey shelfware).

The problem is that buying a DCIM system does not, out-of-the-box, provide a single-pane-of-glass (unless your network miraculously fits in a shoebox). Crucial to the success of the single-pane-of-glass model is the ability to bring in your data and connect to existing databases…in real-time.

DCIM’s Single Pane of Glass: The Answer

A DCIM platform that does not play well with others, and allow easy integration with both your existing tools (from spreadsheets to network monitoring tools such as Solarwinds to any homegrown systems you may have), won’t ever be able to live up to the pane-of-glass promise.

Early on, DCIM developed a bad rap. Folks said it was hard to adopt, shared nightmare stories about implementation, an inability to connect to data sources, and, ultimately, shelfware. To avoid the pitfalls of DCIM, and to succeed in obtaining that single pane of glass view that your organization most likely needs, be sure to write down the systems that you currently access and which have data pertinent to populating your DCIM solution.

Whether you choose netTerrain DCIM or another solution, your DCIM system needs an easy way to connect to your data sources, or you won’t achieve that single pane of glass view (unless you really don’t have any data sources and are starting from scratch, like just importing data from spreadsheets and Visio diagrams).

netTerrain DCIM can be used as a visual CMDB: it provides a single point of web visualization for a company’s disparate repositories of complex data in a an-easy-to-understand graphical format. Companies can utilize the netTerrain Collector’s APIs and pre-built 3rd party connectors to feed netTerrain data from multiple sources and map out the IT infrastructure. Some of the data sources that can connect to netTerrain, for example, include: AWS, Azure, Observium, ServiceNow, Solarwinds, Spectrum, and VMWare vCenter.

To sum up, a single pane of glass is achievable. To achieve it, you need a solution that makes it easy and possible to bring in all of your disparate data sources to one system. We recently published a new White Paper that a Customer recently wrote about this exact issue: feel free to access it here.

Fred Koh
Fred Koh
As a seasoned sales executive, Fred Koh serves as Director of Sales and is responsible for Graphical Networks sales and channel partner program, marketing strategy, and operations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *