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A tenth of datacentre managers shun use of DCIM tools, survey finds

The findings of a new report by Siemens and Intel suggests datacentre managers are taking a reactive approach to keeping on monitoring and managing the health of their infrastructure

Nearly one in 10 datacentre managers have no means of monitoring the health of their server farms, despite the financial and operational toll downtime can have on the organisations they work for.

That is according to The State of Datacentre Health Management Strategy report, co-authored by Intel and Siemens, which also revealed a third of companies surveyed in the study appear to be adopting a reactive, rather than proactive, approach to protecting their facilities from downtime.

In the study, featuring responses from 200 US and UK datacentre managers, a third of respondents said they only introduced systems to manage and monitor the health of their facilities either under duress or in the wake of an outage.

As such, 11% of respondents said they only deployed Datacentre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) tools after being pressured by the C-suite to do so, while 19% said they did directly after an outage directly or seeing another organisation suffer one.

In a similar vein, 53% of respondents said they do not regularly check the health of their datacentre infrastructure or only do so when something goes array.

“IT executives, managing tens of thousands of data assets will have their fair share of system failures or problems. Alternatively, a successfully DCIM solution will have the potential to help businesses automate, plan and address issues that occur within their system,” the report stated.

“The system’s benefits are therefore invaluable to helping an organisation run as smoothly as possible.”

Read more about datacentre downtime and outages

In nearly half of cases (47%), respondents cited the roll out of new technologies led to follow-on investments in datacentre health monitoring, and 22% said an increase in budget and resources paved the way for their deployments.

The research also found one in five datacentre managers are still employing manual checks to keep tabs on the health of their facilities, which include walking tours of their sites to check for faults and using spreadsheets to log issues.

This is despite the fact software exists that could automate or minimise the amount of human intervention needed to take care of their facilities, which, in turn, could reduce the risk of human error-induced downtime.

“This manual approach therefore suggests that datacentre managers are not yet reliant on or fully understand software capabilities, with more than half still using a hybrid of software and manual checking when assessing datacentre health,” the report concluded.

In organisations where DCIM tools have not been deployed, budget was cited as the biggest barrier to adoption by 35% of pollsters. Just under a third of respondents (29%) said their datacentres are fine as they are, and that they prefer to deal with infrastructure health issues when they arise.

“Another 8% reported that a management system was not needed, and 12% said they simply did not have the time for an added process,” the report added.

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