As a CFO, CIO, CTO, or senior IT manager, have you had any of these experiences?
- It’s budget time and you have a huge pile of requests for new servers. The projects all sound worthwhile. But you barely got capex approval for last year’s servers. You ask the team how all the existing servers are being used. Can’t they do more with virtualization? What you’d really like to know is what applications are running on which physical and servers? Which business units, cost centers, projects, or departments are they assigned to? How much is each business unit, cost center, project, and/or department costing in IT assets?
- Your monitoring systems report that one or more servers are under stress or are down? While the team is figuring out what’s going on, you want to notify the affected customers or internal users. But the team doesn’t know what is running on those servers much less who the users are.
- Your servers are located in a colocation facility and you periodically run over your energy allotment. You’d like to turn down the power (without turning it off) to the servers running low priority jobs. But you don’t have any way to look at historical energy usage? (And you may or may not know which applications are running and are high vs. low priority).
- It’s annual audit time and the auditors want to know what users have write access to each server, database, and application. They also want you to prove that passwords have been changed every 3 months. How do you do that?
- You need to create disaster recovery and/or business continuity plans but no one knows which applications and users will be affected by losing which servers, switches and other devices.
These experiences and numerous other ones like them are common. But they are all unnecessary.
Interactions and dependencies of IT assets…
Think about all the assets in your data center. You likely have:
- Physical, virtual, and cloud servers
- Switches, routers
- Buildings, rooms, racks
- Spare parts (CPU’s, disk drives, RAM, …)
- Software applications, operating systems, database platforms
- Storage networks
- IP space, subnets, VLANs, VRF groups, MAC addresses
- Patch panels
- Miscellaneous assets such as CRAC’s, breaker panels, DMARC’s, fabric extenders, fax machines, filler panels, monitors, projectors, scanners, shredders, sensors, and so on
- Users and user groups
- Accounts and passwords
And these assets interact with one another. For example,
- IP addresses are assigned to devices
- Applications can be on physical, virtual, or cloud devices
- Customers and internal users are dependent on applications
- Passwords are assigned to devices and applications
- User and group need different privileges
- Assets are connected by switches and patch panels
- Assets are connected to and powered by PDU’s
Datacenter Infrastructure Management Software
Data center infrastructure management software enables you to track all your assets and track all their interactions and dependencies. From a finance perspective, data center asset management enables you to track the costs of all these assets and break them down by department, cost center, project, customer, and user.
When it’s time for capacity planning (e.g. adding locations, rooms, colocation cages and/or racks), you can save money by filling in the available U slots in existing racks rather than buying new ones.
At budget time, you can look at how much each department or cost center is spending. You can accurately cross-charge if that makes sense. You can help determine the profitability of each external customer you serve. You can analyze your virtualization usage. You can use this data to plan re-architectures and cloud deployments.
When you have outages or performance issues, you immediately know which customers (internal or external) are affected and take appropriate action.
You can analyze power utilization from individual PDU ports to individual servers to racks to rooms and even buildings and make adjustments as required.
At audit time, you can just run a report show which users have access to which servers, switches, and applications.
When you are doing disaster recovery and/or business continuity planning, you can just print out dependency diagrams for servers, network equipment, and applications.
Take Device42 for a test drive. Our free trial is fully functional and installs in minutes. No strings attached…
Device42 was created by infrastructure professionals that understand the day to day challenges of effectively managing IT infrastructure and operations. Our frustration with trying manage with various spreadsheets and disparate databases was a primary driver behind the development of Device42. We also found that while there were some good products on the market, none of them fully met our requirements, and all had price tags beyond justification.
To learn more about Device42, please visit: Datacenter Infrastructure Management Software
Device42 software is distributed as a virtual appliance and our free trial is production ready and fully functional. Download Device42 and start your evaluation today!