HP envisions the holistic data center

Hewlett-Packard wants to help organizations save money by helping them manage their data centers

Hewlett-Packard has launched a set of services designed to help organizations manage their data centers more efficiently, using the principles of DCIM (data center infrastructure management).

The rising costs of power, along with the ability to move workloads around more easily through technologies such as virtualization, helped spawn the practice of DCIM. DCIM involves extensively instrumenting and monitoring data center operations in order to gather information that can be used to reduce inefficiencies and make more accurate assessments in planning for future capacity.

Historically, different aspects of data centers have been managed by different people. The data center facilities have been managed separately from the IT equipment. Combing data from these separate operations could provide a more comprehensive view of what money is being spent to run a data center, and where money could be saved by consolidating or reallocating resources.

"The ideal data center for today's IT ... should operate with all the harmony and perfect timing of an orchestra," wrote Chris Coggrave, HP IT infrastructure services director, in a blog post announcing the new HP services. "When the business, IT and facilities are truly working in concert, real operational convergence and alignment can be achieved."

The services are based on the company's set of DCIM best practices, called the Converged Management Framework.

One HP service is a workshop to help organizations understand DCIM and how it could help their operations. The HP Converged Management Workshop brings together IT, facility and operations folks to hear about relevant technologies, use cases, and best practices.

A second offering, the HP Converged Management Roadmap Service, will analyze operations of the IT and facilities departments to identify areas that could be reconfigured for greater efficiency. It will also provide short- and long-term activity plans for reorganizing the data center.

Once an organization decides to adopt DCIM practices, another offering, the HP Converged Management Design Service, will provide a detailed plan of how to architect the data center.

Finally, the HP Converged Management Implementation Services will help an organization implement the DCIM design. HP will integrate all the different elements and provide software -- such as HP OneView -- for managing operations.

Analyst firm IDC predicted that DCIM would be a growing practice among data center operators in 2014.

HP is not alone in its efforts to help organizations adopt DCIM. Nlyte Software offers a set of DCIM tools, including tools for orchestrating workflows, predicting workloads, asset management, and for monitoring power usage. Cisco is also gearing up for the DCIM market by putting more management capabilities in its UCS (Unified Computing Systems) Director suite.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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