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Old 05-20-2008, 06:12 PM
rplunket rplunket is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2
Question Need some suggestion for data center planning software

Hello All,

I have joined this forum in an hopes of receiving some insight into your planning processes as to find a better solution for our current methods.

Currently we document most of our connectivity and assets with excel in conjunction with autoCAD 2004. The method has worked but now we are hitting a wall in which we are unable to maintain accurate documentation which has set our planning of a second data center months behind schedule. We need a method to maintain accurate data for all of our assets and better integration between our floor plan drawings and our spreadsheets!

What methods are you using for documenting and/or planning for your data center?
Have you used any software package?
Do these software application have big learning curves?
Are there certain programs to stay away from?
Is there a software solutions that can help and not hurt our budget at the same time?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

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Old 05-20-2008, 09:19 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2
Default Data Center Planning Tool

For connectivity, we use Obtain 24-7. It is a relatively inexpensive, straight forward product. I have also looked at Rackwise and it is pretty good, but is more expensive than Obtain.

Obtain does have a learning curve to overcome, I have found that it is best to have two or so people who are responsible for the Obtain application (along with their other tasks). That way you only have two people who are in their making updates and changes so there is less opportunity for mistakes.

In my opinion Aperture is the Cadillac of the Data Center Management tools, but the price for their package makes it a hard sell to the accounting folks.

No planning tool will work for long if you don't have rigid policies in place to ensure changes are documented. My policy is every fiber or copper run must be designed out in Obtain and a print out created prior to any physical work. They take the printout to the data center floor and work from it, if they find that there is a cable already plugged in along their installation path, they stop the installation and research and corect the anomolie before proceeding.

The bottom line is you must be obsessive about how you track installations and changes. You can spend a half million dollars on the best package available and if you don't enforce the policies your data will be as worthless as if you kept up with it on a scratch pad.
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Old 05-21-2008, 03:45 PM
rplunket rplunket is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2
Question Obtain 24/7 Data Center planning products


I had another person suggest Obtain too the other day. I googled their name and found their site easily.

I liked some of the features they offer, like Location View and Workorders. AutoCAD 2004 was too much CAD for what we need to do and we never fully used the product anyways.

DCENGINEER, have you used any of there other products or modules?


HCD Import might be usefully every 3 or 4 months or so. Power Manager sounds like it would be a great addition too. I like the fact the data would be tightly integrated from module to module. I have downloaded a trial version of Obtain 24/7 and it looks very promising.

It seems like this program has some good path diagrams to display logical and physical pathways and they have several options to output assets and their connectivity relationships.

Thanks Again for the quick suggestion.

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Old 06-05-2008, 02:34 PM
Blast Blast is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 45

WHat about contacting a data center consultancy that specializes in both layout, fire prevention and everything else under the son. This way you get professional advice rather than guess work.
USA Wants These People
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:25 AM
molly00000 molly00000 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 47

You can use Aperture VISTA which provides the visual management of equipment, space, power, cooling and overall data center capacity. Additionally, it gives the user a complete view of power consumption, allowing for the management of three-phase power, power connectivity and the full power distribution network. It also offers users the ability to handle emerging technologies by managing the provisioning of blade servers.
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Old 06-10-2010, 05:36 PM
Karl Karl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1
Default Another good alternative to Data Center Infrastructure Management

For those of you interested in a visual package of the Data Center + Inventory Management there is a new version of netterrain, a DCIM product (www.graphicalnetworks.com)...


May 3, 2010, GAITHERSBURG, MD - Graphical Networks LLC, today announced the release of netTerrain 2.8.

Graphical Networks' flagship product, netTerrainTM, is the first automated and visual software product that can provide a single “visual pane of glass” for Data Center Infrastructure Management and IT Inventory Management. Feeding from multiple sources and utilizing automated processes to map out the Network infrastructure, decision makers gain access to a set of real-time diagrams and reports that help reduce costs, improve service levels, mitigate risks and ultimately align IT investments with business objectives.
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