When we talk to organizations that are looking for a Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution, we always ask this: are the pain and issues big […]

Need DCIM Software? 3 Questions to Ask First

When we talk to organizations that are looking for a Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution, we always ask this: are the pain and issues big […]

abstract image to show questions - fingers touch a tablet and questions pop out in 3D
When we talk to organizations that are looking for a Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution, we always ask this: are the pain and issues big enough to make the move? DCIM software, such as netTerrain DCIM,takes some time to implement and it’s an investment: moving to a DCIM software solution requires a commitment from your organization. Before you select the right DCIM tool for your organization’s needs, you need to first do some legwork — from determining your requirements and checking to see what data sources are available to import data into your DCIM solution.

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Before deciding you absolutely do need DCIM (not every organization needs it right now), ask yourself the following three questions:

  • Do you really feel enough pain to make the move?
  • How much is not implementing a DCIM solution costing your organization?
  • Do you need cable management as part of your DCIM software?

Is the pain great enough to move to a DCIM solution?
How much is this costing your organization?

In my last article, we looked at how to tell it’s time to finally ditch spreadsheets and Visio diagrams. We explored that because the majority of our organizations that come to us are primarily using these two tools and are looking for a better way to manage its data centers and networks.

Here are some of the issues that cause our customers to ultimately choose to implement DCIM:

  • Trying to manage your data center space capacity, power, weight, and cabling — without the right tool — is causing your organization headaches.
  • The lack of finding information quickly leading to longer troubleshooting time
  • Managing capacity in data center rooms and planning for future build outs, consolidation, is causing your mind to explode?
  • Not knowing how things are connected leading to excessive costs, etc.

Truthfully, I could go on and on about the need for a DCIM solution: ultimately, this is the big question: is the pain big enough in your organization that you have finally outgrown your spreadsheets and Visio diagrams?

If so, welcome to the next step: define your requirements.

What is DCIM to you? What is it to your organization? DCIM means different things to many people. I wrote an article about just this: click here if you like to read more about defining DCIM .

We also have a free e-book that you can download to help you with your DCIM journey too (you can access it by clicking here).

Do you need cable management as part of your DCIM software?

I had to throw this question in because of what I have been seeing lately. When defining your DCIM requirements, make sure that, if you will or may need it, it includes cable management!

Why?

I have seen customers who spent lots of time and money deploying a DCIM solution…and then come to us for cable management because their existing DCIM solution simply doesn’t offer it. Yikes.

In the past, I’ve talked about the importance of having an effective cable management solution, as this ties into capacity planning, utilizing your current equipment more effectively, and reducing zombie cables. To explore this further, please click here for an article on having a cable management strategy.

Wait…zombie cables? Yes: you could very well have ‘zombie cables’ lurking around…aka cables are cables that haven’t been fully decommissioned. They’re taking up space and resources — and could even lead to increased IT expenditures.

If you don’t want to end up buying an expensive solution that doesn’t fully meet your needs, make sure that you first identify if you need cable management capabilities — and, if you do, find solutions (such as netTerrain DCIM) that offer DCIM that give you the power to manage your cables.

image shows a circuit layout record in netTerrainExample of a Circuit Layout Record in netTerrain

To sum up: if the pain is great enough and you have management buy-in and approval, and once you’ve gone through vendor presentations, demos, pricing, testing your DCIM solution, it now comes to implementing your DCIM solution! To learn more about implementation, check out my recent article about successful implementation tips.

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.

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