The Essence of Equinix Data Center Information Management


Data Center Information Management (DCIM) has always been a mission-critical function for enterprise IT organizations. However, the stakes are significantly higher when you’re a global colocation and interconnection company with more than 100 data centers in 33 markets in 15 countries, and you provide the DCIM platform to manage IT infrastructures for more than 6,250 businesses.

IT organizations face many challenges during the DCIM lifecycle, including: accurate measurement of energy consumption and power and cooling efficiency optimization, real-time reporting with actionable data, periodic calibration to reflect changes in conditions over time and proactive response to potential data center uptime threats.

A comprehensive DCIM architecture addresses these challenges and helps organizations in other ways, such as democratizing access to data and enabling data-driven decisions. It also provides operational efficiency and transparency and gives customers insights into their IT infrastructure that enable more efficient and accurate capacity planning and outage prevention.

To meet the enterprise-class operational requirements of our global customers while maintaining our 99.9999% uptime, we’ve developed an innovative, API-based DCIM architecture.

In this first article of our blog series on Equinix’s data center information management, we will provide an overview of Equinix’s DCIM strategy. In subsequent blogs, we’ll go in-depth about individual aspects of the Equinix DCIM platform.

The “essence” of Equinix DCIM is to enable our global International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center operations personnel and business customers to achieve the following goals:

Operational excellence that is attained through:

  • energy, power and capacity management
  • floor planning and visualization
  • automation of repetitive tasks
  • maintenance of infrastructure objects
  • optimized decision-making through notifications on events that may impact system availability and redundancy

Real-time “everything,” which includes:

  • systems and environmental monitoring
  • data collection from all devices, alarms and control systems
  • alerts/notifications based on business rules
  • insights via dashboards, reports, calculations and capacity analysis

A “single pane of glass view” across our data centers worldwide that provides a comprehensive view across data centers, incorporates standard interfaces and provides a reporting abstraction that pulls management complexity into a consistent set of user experiences. It also supports various underlying control systems and protocols, including automated predictive simulation and analytics. All of this is driven by:

  • machine learning-enabled stream processing to proactively identify significant events and/or trigger remedial actions
  • alerts and notifications
  • capacity planning insights
  • established, predictive actions for operational efficiency, including energy consumption and optimization

A rich customer experience that is achieved through:

  • transparency across global data centers
  • cage-level monitoring of power usage and environment
  • historical data access for reporting
  • a connected and contextual user experience for mobile devices and desktop
  • a customer-accessible API for custom development

Equinix’s DCIM architecture is built for global high-availability, scalability, extensibility and security. It is an open and extendable technology stack that features APIs, accessible data and standards-based integration. Equinix DCIM is based on the following building blocks that are supported by direct and secure interconnection:

  • infrastructure and capacity planning for enhanced efficiency and optimization
  • monitoring and access for proactive, API-driven management and control
  • analysis and diagnostics for greater operational insight and decision-making
  • presentation, automation and recommendations for system reconfiguration and failure prevention

Real-World DCIM Use Case

Equinix DCIM use cases are as varied as the ways our customers use our DCIM architecture and tools. Consider this use case in an active hurricane season:

There’s a hurricane hitting the New York City area and the IT operator can see that utility power is out in the IBX facility, but the backup generators are running. He can remotely see that his equipment is still drawing power and the temperature and humidity in his cage are within acceptable ranges. He continues to keep close watch on the power usage of his systems via his mobile phone, with the knowledge that everything is running okay.

In the next DCIM blog, we will explore how to maintain operational excellence inside all our worldwide Equinix IBX data centers.

Learn more about Equinix’s IBX Data Centers and Colocation Services.