Planning for data center capacity? Sick of playing, ‘eenie meenie minie mo’ everytime you need to lay down a new piece of equipment? You’re not alone. Most data centers have slowly grown up over time. They’re like an old farmhouse: things are tacked on here and there as needed. Data centers have quirks…and sometimes these quirks lead to problems.

If Data Center Managers don’t have detailed insight about their Data Center facilities, how can they know where to even begin with data center capacity?

What exactly does Data Center Capacity mean? According to TechTarget, data center capacity planning is “the establishment of a strategy that ensures an IT organization’s computing resources, power load, footprint and cooling capacity will be able to meet the workload demands of its users and customers.” So, how can you identify current data center capacity before you plan for more…and ensure you’re using what you have?

Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM)! With DCIM software, you can answer questions such as, “how can we ensure we optimize the capacity we already have?” DCIM gives you the views of your data center that you need (floor plans, rack usage, server usage, and connectivity information) to ensure you’re not overspending money and overcommitting space. With DCIM’s insights, you can unlock your data center’s hidden capacity and ensure you keep growth at right-sized levels: as a result, you save money on space, equipment, and power.

Let’s take a closer look at how DCIM assists with capacity management capabilities to maximize the utilization of your IT resources…

DCIM’s Visualization Unlocks Hidden Capacity

The information you input, import, or discover into your DCIM solution allows it to visualize every physical object in your infrastructure.

Example of a data center floorplan in netTerrain DCIM software

This means you can see what you have and where it all is. You can understand how devices are configured and connected, where racks are, and what’s in each rack. Quickly, and easily, locate open rack space, excess connections, and PDU capacity. Need to know how many ports are available on a per rack or data center room? With a good DCIM solution, it’s easy.

DCIM’s Reporting Unlocks Hidden Capacity

Good DCIM software gives you dashboard and management-style reports that provide you with actionable capacity insights. Capacity planning dashboards, such as the ones our DCIM software netTerrain provides, help you ensure that your growth (and the costs) stays right-sized and helps you efficiently plan for future capacity.

netTerrain’s DCIM solution centralizes all your data, including cable connections to provide the ability for you to find, place, and reserve resources (from reserving ports, rack space, and more).

Example of a rack capacity dashboard in netTerrain DCIM software

DCIM reporting and dashboards give you information such:

  • top rooms by # of racks
  • rack utilization
  • rack weight utilization
  • nameplate power
  • average temperature
  • port and card usage
  • and much more

You can use these reports to avoid both over, and under, utilization and stop overspending on space, power, equipment, and racks. DCIM software helps you visualize available rack space, floor space, power availability, weight availability, and connectivity.

DCIM’s Environmental Monitoring Unlocks Hidden Capacity

As mentioned above, DCIM helps you control power costs. With it, you can also identify zombie servers that draw power but don’t perform any functions. netTerrain DCIM’s built-in power monitoring, for example, has a feature called ‘Low Utilization Servers’ and will find the servers that draw minimal power and not doing any functions (so you can either re-use the server or decommission them).

You can also sidestep the nameplate power recommendations — which is a standard catalog attribute for netTerrain’s catalog of objects — and reduce power expenditures by basing it from what you actually use. You can even create power capping policies to oversubscribe the number of servers in a rack — and save money on equipment and space.

Bottomline? By using DCIM for capacity planning, you improve operational efficiencies and can offset or defer costly data center builds or expansions by extending the life of your existing data center. If you’d like to see how netTerrain DCIM can transform your data center capacity, click here to get a demo and a free trial.

About 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.