DCIM Making Headway in Minnesota

by | Jan 8, 2014

Minneapolis skylineThe Twin Cities area in Minnesota has some data centers using aspects of data center information management (DCIM) and consultants heralding it. Only a few companies are actually developing tools, according to Finance & Commerce.

In 2013 the world’s data centers were responsible for 2 percent of global carbon emissions, according to the Department of Energy. And while nearly 6 million servers a year are installed, at least 10 percent of them are consuming power even though they are not in use, according to statistics from the Beaverton, Org.-based Green Grid. DCIM monitors, measures and manages cooling and power use in data centers.

A recent report by Navigant Research predicts annual spending on DCIM software and services will jump from $663 million in 2013 to more than $4.5 billion globally in 2020.

DCIM combines software and well-designed hardware installations to tweak energy efficiency to its fullest potential, but does not automatically decrease power usage.

Another reason for DCIM’s growth is that data centers have become increasingly dense with servers, requiring tighter control of the environment. Each rack requires 5 to 12 kilowatts, four to six times as many as just a few years ago. Bad power management — wasting power on cooling too much or too little, or mishandling humidity control — ends up costing money.

Many of the problems he sees in data centers involve overcooling of areas, humidity problems, and poor mixing of cool and hot air. Clients also want to hang on to older servers because they’ve paid for them even though they use four to 10 times as much power as newer models.

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