Effortlessly Manage Colocation Challenges with OpenData® DCIM

Effortlessly Manage Colocation Challenges with OpenData® DCIM

Colocation hosting is a thriving successful business model that is seeing sharp growth worldwide. While this is an excellent business with outstanding growth opportunities, it brings with it several challenges for managing your data center colocation customers. There are significant challenges in resource tracking for billing and ensuring data transparency. While these challenges vary based on customer size, a quality Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution like Modius® OpenData® simplifies resource tracking and bridges gaps in energy usage tracking and data transparency. 

When it comes to managing resources, billing, and data transparency for colocation customers, the challenges may vary depending on the size of the model. However, your DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) solution should make it easier to handle these tasks. It should simplify the process for hosting a hyperscaler that leases an entire data hall or data center, as well as for a single-server colocation customer.  

Resource Tracking. Tracking resources is a challenge, particularly billable resources for customer usage to provide visibility and billing capability. In some scenarios this may be straightforward – a long-term contract, with utilization tracking occurring at an elevated level, like a floor PDU. Often, however, tracking is not this well-structured. A customer may be consuming power from some group of breakers across multiple floor PDUs and UPSs, complicating the process. Tenants may shift over time, requiring tracking of utilization that shifts part way through a billing cycle. 

Data Transparency. Hyperscalers and some larger colocation customers require data transparency – access to their own infrastructure, but also to real-time data from infrastructure that is part of the data center. Often this involves transparency of equipment that is not inherently secure. (Many power distribution devices are weak on security as they are intended to live exclusively on a closed local network). 

Manage Your Data Center Like a Pro With DCIM 

A quality DCIM solution will ease the pain of managing resource tracking, by providing methods to simplify the process, with the best solutions even providing final billable results in a ready-to-use format. 

Some models of devices, like power meters, may track energy usage (accumulated power load) like a utility power meter. Other meters do not provide this capability, only providing power readings (instantaneous load). Bridging the gap between these devices can be addressed by the DCIM solution. Instantaneous power loads can be accumulated within the DCIM to provide an energy value (usage) when the device does not provide this reading. Ideally, you can access this in a manner that allows compliant and non-compliant device data to be viewed as a single overall status or report. 

Once you tackle energy accumulation, there can still be a challenge in addressing values when the billable customer for a device load changes. A common scenario — A customer assigned to a set of breakers is at the end of their contract, and another customer is already in place. You must be able to manage an arbitrary switchover point, regardless of your data center’s billing cycle. Your DCIM solution should support power provisioning – the concept of allocating power (and thus energy) against a specific (and arbitrary) period. While this concept predates DCIM challenges, the provisioning concept solves it nicely – if your DCIM solution supports this capability. 

Reports and API, the Right Solution 

If the DCIM provides the capability of determining and tracking these values, it must provide this information in an easy-to-consume format. Your DCIM solution should provide single-report access to this mix of data, resolving the differences and delivering an accurate unified view of energy consumption. They should be verifiable, trustable, and in a format that directly supports the billing of consumed resources by your colocation customers. 

In addition, both the underlying data and resulting reports should be easily available to the end customer. A rich API allows access to the underlying real-time data and fully rendered reports. This can then be shared directly or through a CRM or CMMS solution – providing end-to-end data transparency without special software, scripting, or third-party solutions. 

Modius OpenData Provides All This and More 

All this data is visible in reports, including our Smart Energy Usage report, designed for customer billing. This report provides a single list with uniformly presented consumption data, regardless of your device’s make and model. Raw underlying data and fully rendered reports in HTML are available via our API, eliminating these headaches from your colocation management challenges and greatly simplifying data transparency challenges. 

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. 

Share this article