It’s 4 a.m.; do you know
where your servers are? Seems like a funny question to ask, but in today’s
large and complex data centers and IT facilities, it’s a valid one. Many
servers run for years without being touched by human hands. With the ever-changing
work force, it’s not uncommon for a new IT manager to not know where some servers
are physically located.
Some organizations provision
server names with location information and many use spreadsheets, but how can
you be certain that information is up to date? Did the facility change names
during a merger or acquisition? Did the machine get moved due to a rack-and-stack
operation? All these things happen every day and it’s easier than you think to
lose track of the physical asset and its associated cabling or patching.
If your organization is
using an AIM-based Intelligent
Connectivity Management solution – either on its own or as an integral part
of a Data
Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) suite – these questions are easy to
management (AIM) is an emerging ISO/IEC standard that defines
the management of structured cabling, patching, and network connectivity – one
of the most vital resources of any data center. An intelligent connectivity management
solution leveraging the AIM standard is an ideal tool to automatically track
patching activities and report all changes to the physical layer. Network
devices can communicate with switches and routers to update location-based moves,
adds and changes (MACs) as well as IP or server names based on the physical
layer information. This offers decision makers real-time visibility into the
status and disposition of connectivity changes as they occur.
An AIM-based intelligent connectivity
management solution should be considered an integral part of any best-in-class DCIM
suite to strengthen the intelligent, real-time management of physical
With a true DCIM suite solution,
users have comprehensive command-and-control over both IT and facilities
resources. Any data point can be fed into the suite or from the suite using
open, industry-standard interfaces and protocols. Data can be collected, aggregated,
managed and visualized in real time from virtually any source. It is a software
suite, unrestrained by hardware legacies or point products that constrain data
Is it time to count the
switch ports? Can you image going into work every day and having to count all
the open switch ports in the data center? That’s a real job and people do it
every day. As MACs take place in the data center, the IT organization must keep
track of switch port availability. One way to do that is to manually count
ports every day.
What if there was a better
way of documenting the physical layer? Why not let an intelligent connectivity management
solution automatically watch the patch connections and track the MAC work – working
either as a standalone system or integrated within your DCIM environment?
When commissioning a server,
why not let the system guide the technician where to place the patches? The same
applies to server decommissioning, ensuring the correct patches are removed. This
helps eliminate potential downtime issues due to human error while making sure
you no longer have stranded switch ports that are consuming valuable switch
What about a system that can
report when the switch port was last active so the IT team can be confident about
pulling a patch connection without disrupting service? The alternative is to
pull the patch and see which group complains about the outage.
Whether you need to repair
the asset or just comply with an audit, knowing the physical location of the
device will save hours of searching for it at 4 a.m. Life is better with intelligent
connectivity management and DCIM working together.
If you have a question about
how Intelligent Connectivity Management can help your organization track
connected assets in the data center – either alone or as part of a
comprehensive DCIM suite – please leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to get
back to you.
Also, be sure to check out this video for more
information about the advantages of using CommScope’s iTRACS® DCIM platform along with the imVision® Intelligent Connectivity Management solution based upon the emerging