Value stacking with Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM)

Driving energy and capacity efficiency.

Organisations rely heavily on instant access to online information to support working processes, productivity and the security of data. Research shows that in 2014, 60% of enterprises suffered downtime with consequences including loss of revenue cited by 34% and loss of customer confidence cited by 29%. In fact, data losses and downtime cost of enterprises around the world amount to $1.7 trillion in 2014, with an estimated cost of $5,600 per minute. It has been predicted that by 2024, business servers worldwide will process each year, the digital data equivalent of a stack of books extending more than 4.37 light-years to Alpha Centauri, the closest star system to our Solar System.*  With this amount of data running through servers, it is essential that organisations are prepared for all eventualities.

Florence Burnoud, Head of Global Service Assurance for Atos, Managed Services and Philippe Heim, Siemens Global DCIM Portfolio Manager jointly delivered a presentation at Data Centre World 2016 that explores the motivations and benefits of working in strategic partnership to implement a mission-critical Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution that delivers real time cost and energy savings.

As a leading global IT services provider, Atos manages more than 100 data centers worldwide, taking the responsibility for ensuring the security, reliability and continuity of its customers’ critical business information and resources and providing fully managed services to clients across a wide range of industries. Atos, based on its competences and knowledge in running these data centers, has contributed to the development of a state-of-the-art Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution, in collaboration with their strategic partner Siemens, to deliver a single, consolidated view of both IT and facilities operations from a single workstation.


Divided data center operations

Florence and Philippe explain: “Data centers are challenged by multiple complex drivers; the need to ensure maximum uptime, reduce carbon footprint and improve energy efficiency, as well as increase process efficiency, accommodate rapid change and also the demand to increase IT service revenue.

“Sitting at the core is the natural division between IT services and facilities as each tends to function in a silo, with limited sharing of information. Yet bridging the gap between IT and facilities processes will transform data center operations, enabling both parties to improve the management of assets and workflows.”


The business case for Atos

Florence Burnoud outlines the scope of Atos’ own data center infrastructure requirements: “We wanted to improve operational performance with software that offered deep integration, with the capacity to manage IT operations and implementation skills, as well as manage energy and capacity efficiencies and incorporate the building and the critical systems to drive down power utilisation and to deliver a safe, secure and efficient data center.”

“Atos had a variety of different asset management tools, products and spreadsheets and we needed a tool that could pull them together in the right place to help make timely, accurate decisions. We also wanted to improve our asset management capabilities with better reporting of capacity and the ability to ‘model’ infrastructure, to enable better utilisation of data and reduced risk of downtime. To increase overall energy efficiency and reduce utility costs for our customers, the need for detailed, rack-specific power consumption data with real time temperature monitoring and heat map visualisation was vital”, Florence adds.

“We monitor success by asking ourselves what our DCIM offers to daily operations in
terms of risk mitigation, cost improvements, data center performance and agility”, she concludes.



A single solution for smarter decision making

To deliver integration and efficiencies across their data centers Atos co-invested in the Siemens DCIM solution. This solution, Siemens Datacenter Clarity LC, delivers a single, consolidated view of all of a data centre’s IT and facilities operations from one workstation. The core benefits of the technology include:

·         A single dashboard for Key Performance Indicators such as  PUE and floor / used space utilisation

·         Real-time monitoring and historical reporting of alarms and notifications, particularly with regard to power, cooling, smart PDUs and IT equipment

·         Infrastructure lifecycle management via pre-defined and ad hoc reports, benchmarks and dashboards and monitoring data in an integrated manner

·         High-definition asset visualisation to support capacity planning

·          Workflow and work order management that delivers information sharing across departments, the ability to audit access or changes, support for cross-team KPIs and cross-functional analysis

·         Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) create ‘what if’ scenarios, predict airflows and temperatures for both existing and new data centers

·         Power management enables the planning and resourcing of assets and cables, as well as the analysis of future-dated changes

·         Datacenter Clarity LC is based on Siemens’ tried and tested Product Lifecycle Management software, which has a proven 20-year pedigree

·          A data center manager can access Datacenter Clarity LC from any workstation around the world, giving the management team the agility and flexibility they need to ensure uptime and address upcoming issues.


Results so far

Florence Burnoud examines the current outcomes of the implementation of Datacenter Clarity LC in the Atos data centres: "Most pilot benefits have been realised in the three key areas of cost and risk, performance and agility. A key advantage has been usage based reporting and invoicing, as well as better understanding of resource, duration and the cost of data cleansing. Overall performance has improved as we can now identify and eliminate Single Point of Failures (SPOFs), which has led to increased availability and reduced downtime; in so doing we provide a better and more fluid service to our customers which has resulted in increased customer confidence. Furthermore, we have more accurate information on IT asset and M&E power infrastructure and the single view of the data center has meant improvements to our internal data center processes.”

“We anticipate future returns will be include further benefits in energy efficiency and a higher utilisation which will mean we are able to pass on reduced costs to our customers, as well as better deployment of data centre capacity through 3D modelling and ‘what if’ installation planning.”

Philippe Heim of Siemens concludes, “The operational challenges facing Atos have been alleviated by the adoption of robust, user based, modular integrated technology to ensure maximum uptime, resilience and sustainability. Datacenter Clarity LC combines information from vital sub-systems that traditionally operate in isolation into a single, powerful solution that monitors energy and building management, physical security, fire safety, power and communications, zones and raised floors, racks, servers and data storage systems, as well as switches and routers. Importantly, it prevents silos forming between IT and facilities processes, enabling both parties to share greater efficiencies.  IT and facility management integration is an essential component for business success in the mission critical data center environment and we look forward to working with Atos to further their business requirements.”

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