How Asset Vue came to be an innovator in Data Center Infrastructure Management
Our team has lived in data centers for 70+ years collectively, serving as either as an advisor or the end user leading a data center team. 18-months ago we were discussing some best practices and tools with a client and they started to express some frustrations around their DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) tool. The tool itself was not the problem per se, they had done their homework and the tool was the right tool for their needs, but the initial setup and ongoing upkeep was not the Promised Land they had expected.
The client was interested in talking to others in similar situations, so we invited him to a local Data Center User Forum we conducted a few times a year to bring his concern to the group for some answers. Turned out that his plight was far from unique. There was some consensus amongst the group who collectively had used a half a dozen different DCIM tools. For as valuable as the tools were (not one member was willing to give up a DCIM tool), they created their own sets of problems:
- Commissioning - Initial setup was arduous and often cost as much money to implement as it had to purchase.
- Inventory – There was no magic bullet to make the initial data collection any easier.
Many felt they had a “good inventory” only to get into implementation to find 20-40% inaccuracies making them revisit their project plans and adding a costly step.
Those who could afford it outsourced their inventory, but you had to be ready to immediately populate the DCIM to be effective.
Alternately, they sent their staff off with clipboards and print outs, but rarely could anyone devote the time to push through and do the inventory in one pass, so before the data ever hit the DCIM tool it was typically outdated, making the first audit that much more critical.
- Audit/Validation – Once the DCIM was in place and the data all inserted, you still need to validate. Even in the most regimented of organizations with good change control techniques the data would get out of date as data centers are constant sources of change. So the same employees or consultants were called in regularly to manually audit the data center assets and update the DCIM.
So we set out to make these tasks easier…
- Services - Developed a network of qualified “Smart hands” and DCIM experts that could make short work of setting up the tools more efficient.
- Quick inventory tool – By making an easy to use and fast data collection application that ran on a laptop, we eliminated the double entry as well as the inaccuracies that a 2 step data collection inevitably brings with it.
- RFID based audit tool – Utilizing passive RFID we can audit a rack in roughly 1 minute. That translates into a full audit of a 10,000 square foot data center could be complete in less than a day. Previously an audit of that magnitude was running 14+ days.
- Smart Move - Migrating out of an older facility or from a colo, etc. is a costly experience. Using the Asset Vue Migration license we cut the time to inventory the assets you plan to move (a critical step to verify you know where the products are before you are at move day and panicked to get everything done in the time you have allotted).
- Asset Secure – Assets are moving in and out of data centers at an unprecedented pace. Move to/from colo, switch colo's, DR sites, back and forth from production and staging areas, decommission, etc. Tracking the history of the moves, seeing "last seen" to know which area it was last recognized, even who was near the equipment as it moved and notifying a data center engineer an asset is on the move or creating a change ticket in you CMDB are all available "out of the box".
DCIM tools are one of the most important technologies an operator can implement to make their data center more efficient, and Asset Vue is dedicated to making the processes required to make DCIM work streamlined, fast and efficient. Come join us on our journey!