Server ReviewsBest DCIM Software for Managing Your Data Center 2021

Best DCIM Software for Managing Your Data Center 2021

A Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) system is a way to have some kind of commonality of management between all aspects of the data center — including IT systems and building facility systems such as heating, cooling, and humidity control. The best DCIM software automates much of this previously time-intensive management.

Best DCIM Software

ServerWatch reviewed a great many vendors to find those best suited to offering DCIM for the data center. Here are our top picks, in no particular order: 

BMC

BMC Helix Operations Management with AIOps uses service-centric monitoring, advanced event management, root cause isolation, and intelligent automation to improve performance and availability. The software uses AI/ML-driven event collection and correlation to analyze very large numbers of events and group them, reducing event noise and providing visibility to the underlying cause of issues found.

Key Differentiators

  • Ingests, analyzes, and manages large volumes of operational data
  • Proactive, automated determination of root causes across business services
  • Monitors business services and visualizes status using heat maps and tile views
  • Uses out-of-the-box adapters to ingest metrics, events, and topologies from third-party solutions
  • Univariate and multivariate anomaly detection triggers events and notifications based on abnormal behavior 
  • Identifies opportunities for automation and automation brokering to take corrective action
  • Integrates with ITSM for automated ticket creation, enrichment, and routing
  • Monitors the health and performance of infrastructure and application resources across multi-cloud environments 
  • Works with the common data store and BMC Helix Discovery data for visibility to infrastructure, relationships, and services 

Serverfarm

InCommand offers control over IT infrastructure and provides insights to drive capacity planning, change management, life cycle management, and efficiency in day-to-day operations. It takes all the physical assets in IT, facility, and data center environments and presents them as a virtualized service. 

Key Differentiators

  • Creates management consistency, as well as process and staff discipline, through InCommand services
  • InCommand combines a portal with clarified processes and a team to help enterprises gain control over their IT and facilities infrastructure
  • Deployment and operations oversight 
  • Workflow administration
  • Accurate IT infrastructure records
  • Utilization metrics and KPIs
  • Recommended actions to maximize efficiency
  • Server asset life cycles
  • Cable management

LogicMonitor

LogicMonitor is an automated, cloud-based infrastructure monitoring and observability platform for enterprise IT and managed service providers. The agentless platform helps with the digitalization of applications and data center infrastructure. 

Key Differentiators

  • Includes more than 2,000 pre-built integrations with physical equipment and cloud environments 
  • Close integration with Cisco ACI and VMWare vCenter enables native monitoring of server, storage, and databases 
  • Provides IPFix, Netflow, and Syslog ingestion 
  • Alert management and ServiceNow integration promote automated incident management workflows 
  • Monitors cloud, on-premises, and hybrid environments in a single platform
  • Analyze logs and surface anomalies to reduce mean time to resolution (MTTR)
  • Monitors and alerts on applications, hardware, and OS metrics 
  • Performs on-the-spot service checks and enables synthetic transactions 
  • Monitors Kubernetes pods, nodes, containers, and other components

NetZoom

NetZoom is a hardware-agnostic DCIM software solution with a built-in Service Desk. It provides a holistic approach to managing IT and facility infrastructure resources for data centers. By centrally managing the data center infrastructure in real time, the platform helps to reduce costs, improve service, and increase operational efficiency. 

Key Differentiators

  • Provisions resources quicker, reduces MTTR, and lowers energy costs 
  • Efficiently manages capacity and reduces stranded capacity
  • Models and configures data center devices and rack elevations for reuse and quick deployment 
  • Manages data center inventory, assets, ownership, resources, and complete asset lifecycle
  • Simplifies audit compliance by collecting physical inventory with NetZoom Mobile Scanner and reconciling the differences in NetZoom DCIM
  • Manages power and network connectivity, including patch panels, fiber and copper connections, and inter-site connectivity
  • Eases completion of planned and unplanned moves, adds, and changes of asset inventory

DCIMPro

DCIMPro offers tools that allow administrators to monitor, collate, store, and analyze data in order to make more intelligent decisions about power, environmental factors, capacity, and planning management. The platform’s change management security features allow for fast detection, logging, and near real-time email notification of unauthorized network devices, as well as inadvertent or intentional disconnections.

Key Differentiators

  • Helps balance current and future IT requirements against resource consumption
  • Tracks thousands of assets, from servers, storage, and network devices to power and cooling infrastructure equipment 
  • Manages environmental factors such as cooling and heat
  • Power management provides a complete visualization of the power system, including utilization, dependencies, and real time monitoring
  • Offers infrastructure management solutions for servers, switches, and PDUs

Sunbird

Sunbird’s second-generation DCIM offers refined features so there is no bloatware and no additional modules to purchase. The vendor’s focus is on simple, fast, easy, and complete DCIM software that works.

Key Differentiators

  • Accurately track all assets across multiple data centers
  • Quickly see space, power, network connectivity, and cooling capacity
  • Manage, validate, and report on change requests and work orders
  • Boost energy efficiency, reduce costs, and drive energy-saving initiatives
  • Intelligent monitoring helps you maintain the health of your data center
  • Reduce downtime and find stranded capacity with complete power monitoring
  • See 3D views that display everything from a bird’s-eye view of the data center floor
  • Secure cabinets with electronic door locks, auditing, surveillance, and role-based permissions
  • Explore zero-configuration dashboards and visual analytics
  • Manage power and network connectivity with visual trace routes, cable measurements, and port connectivity

Raritan

This DCIM software gives data centers the ability to monitor power and environmental conditions at the rack, row, and facility level. It helps data centers to mitigate the risk of downtime by offering real-time alerts. Power IQ DCIM Monitoring Software enables data center and facility managers to closely monitor and efficiently utilize their existing data center power infrastructure.

Key Differentiators 

  • Data center health maps, power analytics, cooling charts, and reports alert you to potential trouble 
  • Understand real-time power load, trends, and capacity at all levels of infrastructure 
  • A configurable dashboard provides vendor-agnostic views of power capacity, environmental health, and energy consumption
  • Consolidate the names, polling status, locations, models, and firmware for all rack power distribution units (PDUs) onto one screen
  • See real-time power usage effectiveness (PUE) by automatically collecting data from building feeds, IT loads, and non-IT loads
  • Use the data to measure facility efficiency over time and compare with other internal and peer data centers
  • Map servers’ individual power supplies to outlets in rack PDUs so you can remotely power cycle for improved uptime, operational efficiency, or energy reduction, as well as extend battery life during power failure

Eaton

Eaton Visual Capacity Optimization Manager (VCOM) is power management software that provides business intelligence, monitoring both IT and facilities power infrastructure. Part of the Brightlayer Data Centers suite, this HTML5-based platform features capabilities designed to reduce data center operational expenses, improve system and application reliability, and mitigate risk through data analysis.

Key Differentiators

  • Capacity planning to understand and predict usage for future projects
  • Shows real-time, 3D digital renderings at all levels of the data center
  • Identifies problems for a wide array of IT assets, including physical servers, VM hosts, VM guests, switches, rack PDUs, UPS, and large facility devices 
  • Centralize your device data repository and utilize limitless attribute tracking to ease management of distributed locations
  • Power infrastructure monitoring
  • Rack-level analytics

What Is DCIM?

Webopedia says DCIM “generally refers to the management of the human resources and tools required to handle all physical assets and resources in the data center.” Typically, DCIM doesn’t stretch as far as building management systems (BMS), which are the mainstay of the facilities side. But the technology is gradually conquering more territory as it heads in that direction.

What Is DCIM Software?

There are many features available from the many vendors in the DCIM software space. Some of the key ones are: 

  • Enterprise monitoring and event management: Detect, analyze, and take action on events impacting the business. 
  • IT operations analytics: Use behavioral learning and log analytics to reduce MTTR. 
  • Broad and deep coverage: Out-of-the-box coverage for key technology vendors, and customizable integrations via SDKs and scripts. 
  • IT Service Management Integration: Integrate with ITSM for automated ticket creation, enrichment, and routing. 
  • Cloud-ready: Monitor the health and performance of infrastructure and application resources across a multi-cloud environment.

Benefits of DCIM

DCIM is one of many steps taking us toward more automation and digitalization. While laying a foundation for the future, it can bring rapid improvement in terms of efficiency, prevention of outages, lowered maintenance costs, and extraction of data for machine learning and deep learning models to glean greater value from operational data.

DCIM can bring many benefits: 

  • Reduced costs for infrastructure and energy
  • The assembly of full data enables management to make better decisions
  • Tangible support for the greening of data centers
  • Better management of space, cooling, and power
  • The automation of manual, time-intensive operations

Take the case of a semiconductor manufacturer that had drawn up plans to build two new data centers; its primary U.S. data centers were running at capacity. Instead, the manufacturer used the InCommand managed DCIM service from Serverfarm to determine the current state of data center operations, review failover requirements, and run what-if capacity scenarios. As part of the project, technicians inventoried 700 cabinets and 10,000 devices to create accurate records to upload into the InCommand portal.

Armed with this digital record, data center personnel could query and search all infrastructure elements and dynamically generate rack configurations. Power loads and thresholds became viewable from device to utility. Only then could accurate capacity planning be accomplished. With complete data available, the semiconductor manufacturer realized it could avoid tens of millions in planned construction by prolonging the life of its two main data centers.

Read next: Best Data Warehouse Tools & Solutions 2021

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