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October 29, 2015

Risk adverse DCIM industry creating data centre false economy

News: Nearly half of UK/US data centres still rely on manual methods.

By Joao Lima

Four in ten (43%) data centres in the UK and US are still relaying on manual processes to undertake capacity planning and forecasting.

The study from Intel DCM’s State of the Data Center report also revealed that one in five data centres are relying exclusively on rack level thermal sensors and spread sheets to maximise cooling efficiency, while 63% use DCIM solutions for the same purpose.

The company said that 32% of those without DCIM lack enough actionable data to be able to make day to day decisions or long term forecasting.

Jeff Klaus, GM of data centre solutions at Intel, told CBR: "The DCIM industry as a whole is not accomplishing its mission. We are not making the investment in our solutions easy to implement, simple to use, and effective to extract value.

"We need to develop solutions from the customer perspective and not engineering solely."

Of the 100 British and 100 American data centre operators surveyed, 46% said manual methods were employed because they felt that the alternatives would be too expensive.

A further 35% feared they lacked the resources to implement a more automated approach. Whilst both these factors may seem reasonable enough at first sight, both might actually represent false economies in the longer run.

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In order to solve these challenges, Klaus said that one way is to start with a simple trial of the product.

"By trialling a product, it puts data centre operators in the game, realising how they can efficiently operate their environment, with some simple analysis and implementation, they can then choose to work with a partner to implement a more complete DCIM solution."

The survey also found that 50% of organisations spend over $25,000 for a single outage, and that in the past 12 months, 61% of organisations experienced a hardware failure, 57% experienced a thermal related failure, and 24% experienced OPEX lost due to unused resources or bad CMDB data.

Looking at what data centres operators are doing today, Klaus said that he does not believe they are doing things in the right way.

"Outages are quite common and there are tools to avoid certain situations. We probably need to dig deeper on the root cause of most outages to determine if the DCIM industry has the capabilities to truly help in this area."

He also said that if data centre operators are risk averse they certainly won’t go from monitoring to complete automation.

"But that’s the opportunity, to be aware of the capabilities around them and the new features they can access, try them, give feedback, etc., to make these solutions better."

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