In our recent blog about workflows and improving operational reliability in data centers, we made the statement: “While DCIM and other monitoring packages have taken great strides in providing real-time, current-state information, they aren’t designed to help manage your equipment portfolio.” We’d like to use this blog to provide a little more support for our statement. Today’s DCIM systems do an amazing job with facility monitoring and have far surpassed conventional building controls or building automation systems in their ability to integrate with both mission-critical physical and IT infrastructure.
Navigator: The Big View
That last word—infrastructure—is the difference between DCIM and DCOM packages. Ascent’s Navigator platform is a DCOM (data center operations management) package. While DCIM packages focus on the micro—right down to the server level—our DCOM solution brings together all the macro views to manage your entire data center portfolio. The two are not competing platforms, but rather, complimentary systems that look at different sides of the same coin.
For example, DCOM platforms like Navigator provide key connections between facility teams, maintenance providers, and 24/7 operations center. In this way, Navigator streamlines the maintenance contracting, maintenance services, and invoicing processes, while capturing data to provide real-time, key information to facility managers and executive leaders for portfolio oversight and SLA tracking. DCIM systems provide key connections as well, although their strength is in the rack-level management of IT equipment, and the systems that supply power and cooling.
Customized workflows monitor service events, give operations transparency, and help control spending at a site and portfolio level. Navigator shows the maintenance procedures that are currently in process, those that have just been completed, as well as those that are still committed to the budget. It shows notification-to-creation and creation-to-escalation metrics that score vendor performance. Navigator also allows you to manage your facility spending and decision-making in real time so you can maintain your budget, all at the macro level. And at the micro level, DCIM packages allow you to monitor events at the rack and row level—giving you yet another perspective on your facility that, along with your DCOM, brings the whole system into perspective.