What are the most important aspects according to our customers?
Perf-iTs DCIM solution has been build up from the bottom. Each feature we added had its roots in specific customer requirements. We covered many individual requests by data centre operators in bespoke projects. Despite the fact that each data centre is unique we came across these six key requirement in every wish list. These have become the basis of our standard DCIM solution. We sum them up for you to give you a handle when you are setting up your own list.
Please let us know if it was helpful or whether you think we missed out on something.
1. Platform Independence
Each data centre has its own IT-platform and a DCIM must be able to adept to the existing situation. For that reason Perf-iTs DCIM is a software solution that is virtually independent of its hardware platform. You can run it on a stand-alone server or run it on a virtual machine for which we support multiple VM-platforms.
DCIM systems contain critical information and perform automated tasks to ensure the availability of the data centre services at all times. When the integrity of this data is voided it means that the existence of the company is at risk. We have based our system on the Iconics™ platform which has a reputation for its security. Organisations like the Pentagon and Schiphol Airport use the Iconics SCADA suite to monitor their operations. That should give some reassurance.
3. Brand independence
Anyone who has been caught in a situation where he/she lost the freedom of choice because of a proprietary system knows why this is of great importance. Many DCIM providers try to force you in their ‘broad range of solutions’ or have limited capabilities to communicate with other systems. This so called ‘vendor lock-in’ is a very cynical form of doing business. We take pride in being able to communicate with 1500 (!) protocols. And if you are still able to find something our system cannot communicate with, we make sure it will! Connect which ever device or sensor and communicate with any other system.
Many DCIM providers like to show of their 3D visualisation capabilities. However, 3D imaging do not necessarily contribute to a better understanding of your infrastructure (ask anyone who actually used it). Perf-iT uses graphic representation when it increases the understanding of the data. We think it is more important that images give access to the underlying data. That is much more meaningful than having a ‘virtual walk-through experience’. By using different colours we increase the speed of interpretation as well so you immediately see what the interconnections are between your assets.
Alarming is a challenging aspect of each DCIM. It seems so simple, but in real life it can be very complicated. You need to have a clear log of what alarms were raised, when and how. Who did respond and what escalation followed on a non-response? This information could easily clutter your screens in your monitoring app but Perf-iT makes sure that all information is presented in an easy to understand visualisation. Colours and clickable items differentiate between the various urgencies and reveal the underlying sources of the alarms.
Many data centres have already ticketing software in place. We made sure that our system can communicate with these ticketing systems so you don’t have to cope with yet another system to keep track of your tickets
Last but not least, all clients want their DCIM to be an ‘open’ system. Many times we are asked to put the source code of the software in an ‘escrow’ so that it becomes available to them when the continuity of our company would be jeopardised . They are usually positively surprised when we tell them there is no need for that: we give the source code at all times to our customers. They always have the option to move elsewhere when they want. We wouldn’t want our customers to stay if they are not happy with our services.
Another ‘open’ aspect of our software is that it can communicate bi-directionally to other databases or tables. If your software wants to have access to the data in the DCIM there is no restriction whatsoever.
We hope that the above makes clear that we take our customers point of view when it comes to develop our products. In our opinion every DCIM should comply with these six requirements. If yours doesn’t, you should ask yourself why you can afford to miss out on that specific item. Bare in mind that an investment in DCIM requires a long term view. Many things can change in the course of say ten years. This is the minimum period that you want to spread your DCIM investment. Mergers, acquisitions or bankruptcies… anything can (and will) happen in a decade. Be sure that you cover all eventualities when making a decision on your DCIM.