DCIM and the Data Center Talent Challenge

DCIM and the Data Center Talent Challenge

In an era where skilled labor shortages plague data center operators, Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) tools emerge as a pivotal solution. By streamlining operations, reducing dependence on specialized personnel, and automating workflows, DCIM solutions not only mitigate staffing challenges but also enhance overall efficiency and reliability, ultimately ensuring uninterrupted service delivery in our data-driven landscape.

The shortage of skilled labor is a growing challenge for data center operators. Fortunately, DCIM tools can help bridge this gap.

Turnover rates and staffing shortages for experienced technicians are some of the biggest staffing challenges at a data center. This leads to the additional challenge of onboarding, specifically training. Understanding power distribution systems, hardware behaviors, system designs, and infrastructure monitoring policies leads to longer training periods and increases the likelihood of human error.

Technician Staffing

A DCIM solution can offer a comprehensive approach to data center operations. Data normalization, device normalization, unified alarms, and intuitive displays can reduce the dependence on highly specialized personnel, making it easier to maintain peak performance and increase efficiency, and reducing the need for judgment calls that lead to errors.

A flexible alarm system helps ensure that infrastructure issues are given proper priority. As mentioned in prior blogs – a flexible alarm system can improve alarm categorization. For example, a device temperature threshold alarm when combined with other aspects, like whether a fan is running, can clarify the severity of the alarm. These advanced capabilities reduce the need for the technician to understand the implications of a given device state.

Simplified displays (dashboard and graphical displays) can show the status and relationships of the underlying data, reducing training time and the dependency on highly experienced technicians.

An integrated workflow can automate processes, and an advanced workflow can provide a guided process through a given procedure – preventing many errors. This further reduces the reliance on employees to remember the details of a process. For example, when the task is to add or remove power connections, the workflow task action can limit the user option to just adding or removing connections to prevent interactions that are not part of the process.

Audit capabilities ensure visibility when a policy or procedure is not followed, from alarm acknowledgment to asset tracking tasks. Every user action in OpenData is logged for every device, every asset, and every attribute. For value changes, the original and new values are both logged, providing total visibility of the action. This history is available via quick inline displays when looking at a specific object or via our advanced analytics reports.

A well-built DCIM with an intuitive interface can fill in the gap for these challenges, making it easier to onboard new employees while maintaining processes that are followed accurately and completely.

The Power of AI (Artificial Intelligence)

AI can be a major advantage for operators. For example, Modius recently announced the availability of its groundbreaking OpenData® AI. This development provides unprecedented insights and capabilities to operators. The OpenData AI system self-trains to understand and recognize the “normal” behavior of the data center. The AI platform can then detect anomalies in one or more monitored features, empowering operators to proactively diagnose problems, thereby enhancing operational efficiency and minimizing downtime.

One of the perennial challenges in machine learning is the availability of relevant data for analysis and action. Modius addresses this challenge by combining advanced algorithms with the rich datasets collected by OpenData in data centers. This synergy enables operators to proactively find and mitigate potential threats, improving operational efficiency and ensuring uninterrupted data center performance.

OpenData AI will help speed the transition from today’s world of scheduled maintenance to the next generation of condition-based and predictive maintenance practices. Both next-gen options leverage the large datasets employed by the machine learning capabilities of OpenData AI to help optimize maintenance budgets and reduce downtime.

And Let’s Not Forget…

Beyond the NOC (Network Operations Center) technician challenge, these advantages translate to easier management of the data center. They ensure uniform behavior, and accuracy of data within the system, making the manager’s job easier even when dealing with staffing challenges. This leads to better resource utilization and fewer operational errors.

The Takeaway

We believe that the right DCIM such as Modius® OpenData® can empower operators to be more efficient, reduce their reliance on scarce skilled labor, and ensure uninterrupted service delivery in our increasingly data-dependent world.

If you are looking for a next-generation DCIM solution that can help you gain higher efficiencies, consider Modius OpenData. OpenData provides integrated tools including machine learning capability 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 (888) 323.0066

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