DCIM Opportunities No. 3

A hen is only an egg’s way of making another egg.”
Samuel Butler

Three days ago, we discussed the similarities and differences between DCIM (Data Centre Infrastructure Management) and OSS. In it, we indicated that Data Centres (DCs) tend to have a higher proportion of virtualised assets than traditional CSPs.

This isn’t so much an opportunity, but a clear direction for the future of communications assets whereby traditional OSS must find a way of modelling virtual assets to remain relevant in the worlds of SDN, NFV and beyond. Many OSS probably already have enough flexibility to be able to represent assets like devices and ports, whether logical or physical, without a need to model them much differently in their inventory management systems.

However, from the perspective of root-cause analysis the OSS of the future will need to have flexible data models that can support hierarchies such as:

  • A physical device to
  • Hypervisor to
  • Virtual Machine (VM) and Operating System (OS) to
  • Logical device to
  • Logical network interfaces to
  • Interconnectivity between logical interfaces

Your OSS’s data model may also need to inter-relate physical devices with other assets such as storage, physical network interfaces and interconnectivity between physical interfaces.

Equally challenging is that management platforms could also be running on VMs on the same physical devices that the virtualised network is running on and that the management system is managing. Sounds like a chicken or egg scenario to me!

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