DCIM and Digital Twins – More Than Just Buzzwords

Digital twin is one of the top buzzwords in the industry today. In this blog, we will explore what digital twin really means, how DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) plays a role, and why it’s important.

What is a digital twin?

A digital twin is a virtual representation of a physical object, system, or process. It is a digital counterpart that provides a detailed and dynamic simulation of its real-world counterpart. A digital twin allows you to lay out proposed changes at a detailed level and provide a result that matches lockstep with how the actual gear will respond. That is the value of a digital twin, and anything less falls short of the objective.

You hear “digital twin” a lot – but giving you a 3D image or prettier interface that still just shows current data, is not a digital twin. Digital twin is only achieved when you have a system that lets you examine responses to changes in a virtual model of your system.

A true digital twin allows you to model a real-world scenario, in depth, mimicking the behavior and response of an actual system. This allows you to accurately test scenarios and changes with accurate, true to real-world behaviors and real-time data – rapidly, inexpensively and without risk to your actual systems.

How a true digital twin adds value

A true digital twin is a virtualized model of your data center, including the behavior of individual assets like power distribution gears. It is based on virtualizing objects, typically assets, at the lowest and simplest level, like the behavior of a power strip or PDU. These objects are then interconnected to create a high-level virtualization where each component has a defined, known, trusted behavior.

A digital twin must be built on top of this highly functional model. If the model works first, then the digital twin is just an extension of that model. This results in a true digital twin of your physical infrastructure. If a virtual PDU exceeds total capacity, it should fail, just like your physical PDU.

That is the power of a true digital twin, an advanced modeling of your infrastructure and the ability to predict behaviors and results.

How DCIM plays a role

A DCIM solution based on a digital twin can supply your data center with the ability to analyze your infrastructure, highlight potential issues, and provide highly accurate details on the impact of proposed changes − viewable as your monitored values change. Watch an ATS or PDU view with the power load reflective of your changing value and your plan. Watch a power load peak during a fail-over, with your plan changes applied to the real-time data.

Power management with digital twin capabilities can simulate the failure of a device or load change and accurately model the effects of that failure, including triggering failure over to redundant partners, and cascade failures.

A DCIM solution that has digital twin capabilities can provide an analytics report of your infrastructure to identify risk areas. For example, a nightly report that identifies power distribution gear that represents a single point of failure that would de-energize equipment like servers or network switches and impact customers and SLAs.

A planning module based on a digital twin model and these capabilities will not only show simple details, such as additional load, but also mimic when a device will fail, rerouting load in the virtual model to redundant partners, and showing the effect on those devices as well.  This is where a true digital twin adds much more value than a simple adding or removing of load.

Historical and future data

A digital twin can even expose trigger points for cascade failures that a simple analysis will not. You should be able to apply your plan across a range of historical data. Remove, add, or move a real load, then look at the history of the gear in question to see the overall effect, past and present. Would it not have failed last week if you had made this change during a peak? Or would it have failed in a moment it did not if you had made a proposed change?

Modius’ OpenData DCIM solution has handled power management this way for years. The OpenData Planning Module utilizes virtual assets as a real digital twin to provide an accurate model of your planned changes and their effect on your infrastructure. Accuracy in planned changes and the ability to analyze against monitored data ensures you have the most accurate results, helping ensure the success of your planned changes.

Consider Modius® OpenData® DCIM

If you are looking for a next-generation DCIM solution that can help you better understand your data center’s status and opportunities efficiencies, consider Modius OpenData.

Let us show you how to build a real digital twin of your infrastructure that goes beyond basic store and display DCIM solutions and can predict the behavior of your deployed hardware – finding weak points and providing a true what-if analysis for planned adds and changes.

OpenData provides integrated tools to manage the assets and performance of colocation facilities, enterprise data centers, and critical infrastructure.

OpenData is a ready-to-deploy DCIM featuring an enterprise-class architecture that scales incredibly well. In addition, OpenData gives you real-time, normalized, actionable data accessible through a single sign-on and a single pane of glass.

We are passionate about helping clients run more profitable data centers and providing operators with the best possible view into a managed facility’s data. We have been delivering DCIM solutions since 2007. We are based in San Francisco and are proudly a Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB Certified). You can reach us at sales@modius.com or  +1 (888).323.0066.