Asset information is an important aspect of DCIM software. All asset information needs to be maintained including make, model, ratings and any such information, which would be characterized as static information supplied by the manufacturer. When an asset is deployed and functioning, the live data from the asset is captured by DCIM for alerts and reporting. Assets, however, rarely work in unison; they are interconnected and dependent. Some examples of asset relationship are given below:
• Assets may be connected in a logical or physical form.
• Power is distributed from source, e.g. a HT transformer through various distribution units to racks :
• The above (power chain) needs to be monitored with checks for redundancy.
• A sensor/PAC may monitor/cool certain zones or rack(s).
If temp is high, we need to know which zone or racks may be impacted.
If a PAC is non-functional, we need to know which racks are impacted.
• A rack will host devices (physical relationship)
From a DCIM perspective it is crucial not only capture asset information but asset relationship information as well. Asset relationship information helps in answering many questions, which are key to reliability of data center operations. DCIM should ensure that it is easy to capture such relationship with providing features such as:
• Create Relationship between two assets
• Remove relationship between two assets
• Edit relationship
• Bulk load relationships
Having asset relationship information, helps DCIM in answering many queries:
• If an asset is out of service or need to be de-commissioned, all assets which could be impacted should be pointed out
• We should know which downstream devices are serviced by an asset, e.g. in a power chain – which racks are supplied power through a PDU
• Impact of a non-functional sensor/PAC on devices.
• if a rack is added will the devices in the chain have the capacity to bear the load?
• What if I bring additional racks with load(X) in this aisle?
• From the source to the PDU must support additional load, all nodes in that path must be inspected
• What if this PAC fails?
• Auto suppression of alerts
• If a device fails and there is no redundant path to downstream devices, all alerts from such downstream devices should be suppressed
• Helps in RCA.
Configuration Management Data Base( CMDB), which is recommended for ITIL processes, encapsulates a similar notion of asset relationship. Asset relationship for DCIM has a similar role and benefits. Hence, it is an important feature of any DCIM.