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Managing Company Growing Pains with a DCIM Solution

by Teddi Strassburger on June 12, 2019

(Check out this blog post to discover how Vertiv's DCIM system helped an Ohio-based insurance company achieve better control and visibility of their network. - Teddi)

How One Insurance Provider Gained Much More than Visibility into Its Evolving, Dispersed IT Network

Many insurance customers prefer to research or even make purchases via mobile or digital channels which is indicative of the rise in connectivity seen today in nearly all industries. Information technology (IT) networks must evolve to support this shift in customer interactions. The most successful providers will implement new technologies that enable operational efficiencies, allowing them to remain customer-centric. One such provider did just that by implementing the Vertiv Environet data center infrastructure management (DCIM) system.

As the Ohio-based insurance company continued to grow, its IT network became more and more distributed creating the need for better visibility and control of assets in its primary data center and across 25 edge locations. More importantly, the company needed a system that would enable integration of varied communication platforms from different vendors and one that would connect to the existing building management system (BMS). The Environet solution met these requirements and provided a holistic view of operational information from all of the company’s critical facilities. And following deployment, the technology lead for this insurance provider quickly found additional operational benefits.

No Downtime During Renovations

Shortly after implementation, this insurer was going through a construction phase in which the existing facility, built in 1955, was being remodeled and required that glycol lines feeding the computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units be relocated without a data center shutdown.

To accomplish this, the construction team installed a second glycol loop and gradually moved CRAC units out of the way. Environet allowed the technology lead to monitor the temperature in the data center in real time during these moves to maintain the desired levels. Because of its new monitoring capabilities, the insurance company experienced zero downtime during this major renovation.

Improved Response Time for Downtime Prevention

Due to the lower floor location of the data center, this insurance company takes potential leak risks seriously. It uses a leak detection system that is integrated with Environet to monitor water threats. The visual floorplan in Environet flashes where a leak is occurring. If the company were to experience a leak, the Environet system would provide immediate notification, allowing issues to be resolved prior to damage or downtime. And being in the business, the technology lead knows “it’s a good piece of insurance to have.”

Informed Hardware Purchases with Return on Investment Calculation

When the data center manager of this insurance company was asked to make recommendations on additional hardware purchases that could save on energy costs, he was able to use Environet to establish ROI. He used the system to research how many kilowatt hours the company was currently using on their storage area network (SAN) cabinets and calculated the current cost.

Using the specifications he was given for the preferred solution, the manager was able to show that although the vendor was saying he could save the company $1,000 a month, in reality, it was only a $230 savings each month. Ultimately, the Environet system allowed this company to make more informed purchasing decisions.

Increased Cooling Efficiency

In another example, the same manager was considering turning a section of the main data center into a cold aisle for improved efficiency. But, he needed to show the ROI to get the budget approved for the hardware purchase. Using temporary materials to contain the cold aisle, he turned off the nearby CRAC unit and tracked the temperature changes with Environet. With the information collected, the data center manager was able to show that implementing high-flow floor panels and putting doors on the end of the aisles would allow him to shut off an entire CRAC unit. He calculated that the purchase of the hardware would be recovered within 18 months of installation.

Smart Software with Intelligent Hardware

The ability to use Environet with intelligent power distribution units (PDUs) has given this insurance company better-than-expected control of their digital assets. The outlet-level control allows for prompt notification if anything gets unplugged. This functionality ensures that IT team members are aware of any system modification, giving them peace of mind that their equipment is maintained and operating as intended.

While not always apparent at the initial investment in digital continuity solutions, the benefits often far exceed the price tag. And in this case study, the benefits included improved uptime, increased efficiency, and better overall asset management. Not only can the cost savings generated by the operational improvements be invested back into the business, but most importantly, the IT network changes allowed this insurance company to support the digital applications often preferred by its customers.

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Topics: case study network vertiv dcim

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