DCIM & ITSM: Are they integrated


What is ITSM

The backbone for every modern business is Information Technology (IT). The processes in which the IT is maintained in a robust and reliable way while aligning with the need to support the entire life cycle of a product or service is termed as IT Service Management (ITSM).

Why is ITSM growing in importance?

An ITSM is defined by IT status function which consists of various data storage repository and processes. These processes govern the entire work flow in definite steps across the product life cycle. Usually ITSM is automated and is controlled by software that follows a model as ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) or internally developed best practices.

What is DCIM?

DCIM is Data Center Infrastructure Management which is a convergence building facilities and IT in an organization. The ultimate aim of DCIM is to provide users with a birds-eye view of the performance of data centers by which the utilization of energy, floor space and equipment can be used effectively

The DCIM was started as a component of BIM (Business Information Modelling) software. This was used by facilities manager for creating digital schematic diagrams. Allowing data collation by administrators, storing and  analyzing the power and cooling related data in real-time are some capabilities that DCIM tools bring in.

Thus a DCIM tools are used for the 3M – Monitor, Measure and Manage and also to control data center utilization and energy consumption of all IT equipment, facilities infra components  and CRACs (Computer Room Air Conditioners). The IT equipment includes servers, storage, switches and facility infrastructure components include the power distribution units.

Advantages of ITSM and DCIM integration

The major reason of failure in ITSM is while implementing changes. There is always a risk of failure when people, processes and the data that is being managed collide. This is one of the strong reason why the convergence of ITSM and DCIM is important. Below are some of the benefits if ITSM and DCIM are together:

  • Increase in the data center’s life
  • Bringing down of cost of operations
  • Improving process efficiency and
  • Increase in accuracy of the data.

Can ITSM and DICM be connected?

The central repository of ITSM is called the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) and has the information that you may find in a DCIM database. Both of them share a same a common ticketing process to manage change requests and thus it leads to a similarity in implementation  of:

  • Status of system elements
  • Process requests to implement changes
  • Tracking of process steps
  • Single point of control for change request ticket logging

There are various methods to approach DCIM (Data structure Infrastructure Management) and its methodologies for integrating into a larger management & ITSM(IT Service Management) solutions. DCIM encompasses everything from small solutions to a full-fledged management consoles.

DCIM delivers right information that leads to successful IT management. Using the entire data available would be ideal but practically it is not feasible. Extracting information from data and relating to other IT infrastructure derived data is the key.

Is it easy to integrate the DCIM solutions with existing IT tools

The answer would be “not that easy” as DCIM tools cross the divide between facilities management and traditional IT. But thanks to DCIM vendors who have started addressing this issue by providing a set of tools and services or a direction connection to the IT management platforms from big vendors like BMC & HP but the smaller vendors are in distress as there is a lack of integration with larger systems. The smaller vendors when questioned about how they plan to resolve this, we get a common response we have an open API and it is at the customer end for the integration which implies that you need to deploy few lines of code to integrate with the product you use which ultimately does not build confidence in the users.

With customers demanding tighter integration between these tools, the technologies of DCIM and ITSM are converging. With this integration the ITSM solutions can be used better for service delivery analysis and also determine effective ways to deploy, configure and manage the load within the IT center.

This integration gives customers various choices and gives the flexibility to implement stage wise the end-to-end solution.

Companies like CA technologies who started the DCIM business in 2012 with CA Data center infrastructure management product have been working to develop a full-fledged management product- CA Unified infrastructure management. This tool does not require CA products at every level, thus enabling its users to maximize their investment in management and operational tools.

Schneider Electric started working with HP to provide tools with better look further up the stack. This integration means that the automatic asset identification and analysis by HP One View Advanced can perform when a new device is added to network is directly passed to Structure Ware software of Schneider Electric which means customers can see the derived information from both the products.

Comm Scope chose to partner with Converged Management Consulting Services of HP. The company uses the DCIM solution – iTRACS to deliver to customers who are looking to build a DCIM in HP infrastructure. They provide consultation to the clients based on the needs and tools available in the project.

Nyle has developed a connector framework that offers a direct integration. This is one of the most aggressive approaches taken taken to integrate DCIM with ITSM. The framework offers direct integration with 3 important ITSM offerings. It has developed its own editions for HP ITSM, BMC ITSM and for Service Now ITSM. Not just that it has developed infrastructure for rapid integration with any platform available in the market. The company claims that the process developed takes only few number of days unlike other integration which takes several months.

And there are many other companies that are taking steps for the integration in their own way. Nevertheless whatever the approach has been taken it is clear that ITSM and DCIM are on the convergent paths that will enable customers to deploy end-to-end solutions with operational efficiency.

Author Bio:  Maria Thomas is Content Marketing Manager and Product Specialist at GreyCampus with eight years rich experience on professional certification courses like PMI- Project Management Professional, PMI-ACP, Prince2, ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), Big Data, Cloud, Digital Marketing and Six Sigma.