Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cloud Computing and DCIM

Cloud Computing and DCIM

Cloud Computing and DCIM By Lindsay Powell

If you work on the internet, have spent a vast amount of time stumbling or surfing its pages or have seen Microsoft's television commercials recently, you probably have heard of The Cloud. From their witty, silly and memorable commercials about being bored in an airport, copying and pasting imperfect photos together for the perfect family photo, and sharing special and comical childhood moments with family and friends.

But What is The Cloud?
The cloud is actually just a little nickname or aggregation for cloud computing. Cloud computing is something that people are using daily if they are using the internet or a database for work or for pleasure. Cloud computing is actually the resources required by a computer network, such as databases, applications, e-mails, and files, that are accessed by a consumer or customer from a separate location such as a home or business. Oftentimes there is no software or data requirements for the consumer or customer in order to obtain the information from the cloud, requirements might include a web browser or a minimal operating system. Plus, cloud computing reduces the cost of maintenance and resources for customers and consumers because they are using a shared resource from a distance and therefore do not have to deal with hardware, software or technical issues; thus freeing the customer and consumer from mundane hassles that might prevent workflow or internet surfing capacities.

The image diagram below, from Wikipedia, might help with understanding what cloud computing really means. As you can see from the image, there are various computers that are connecting to The Cloud at one time and they are all able to share information and obtain information simultaneously.

Cloud Computing and DCIM
Cloud Computing & DCIM

Where Did "The Cloud" Come From?
The term "cloud" comes from the shape of the diagram generally drawn when referencing the internet. The idea behind creating the cloud is that any person connected to the internet can access a variety of files, software, music, entertainment and more without having to carry around a storage medium such as thumb drive, CD or external hard drive.

Why is "The Cloud" Important?
Without their knowledge, cloud computing is used by hundreds of thousands of people daily. Every time you use an e-mail provider such as Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft Outlook or even a company owned e-mail program, you are accessing your e-mail files from a remote location, and those e-mail are stored at the company's headquarters under your login information. With all of the various companies transferring their information to cloud computing, and building their companies around cloud computing technologies, the need for data center management is growing by the hour.

For cloud service providers, Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) should be one of the key management solutions. A DCIM solution gives cloud service providers the ability to manage off-premise services through a single, unified solution, delivering optimum benefit for both providers and their customers.  A data center software solution allows cloud service providers to maximize their capacity for service provision while minimizing operating costs.  Optimally placing data center assets to make the most efficient use of power, cooling and space can enable a reduction in operating expenses. DCIM solutions also help drive improved performance throughout the data center, facilitates the monitoring and collection of low-level data to aid infrastructure analysis, helps understand well in advance the cascading effects that every change will have on the environment, plus provides advanced integrated analytics needed to properly plan and forecast future data center capacities.

For organizations looking to move to the cloud, a Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) should also be one of the key management solutions used to manage on and off-premise services through a single, unified solution.  To deliver on cloud promises of better resource efficiency, availability on demand and environmental performance, users need to be able to dynamically leverage the scalability and shared resources as and when required.  A DCIM solution and data center services can help manage the entire IT, power, space and cooling infrastructure at a cloud level.  By providing detailed information about the entire IT infrastructure including asset utilization and power consumption, a DCIM solution can be used to help organizations model the potential benefit of moving to a cloud solution and plan for a move to cloud computing.  Once a migration to the cloud is complete, a DCIM solution enables cloud applications to be tracked and managed on an on-going basis.  This gives users complete visibility of all applications managed or hosted in either private or public clouds regardless of location.  Many users will have a hybrid approach to their data center infrastructure and applications, with some hosted on premise and managed internally and some hosted in the cloud.
About the Author:

Lindsay Powell is a young professional improving her writing skills and finding inspiration around her.
Articles Source: Cloud Computing and DCIM