Digital Twins and DCIM

Finding the right tools to manage data center infrastructure and IT throughout design and operations can be a tricky feat for any data center team. When considering the right toolset for your team, it’s likely you’ve come across DCIM or already have it in place. 

It is a common misconception that digital twin software and DCIM are competitors. This post examines instead how digital twins and DCIM are complementary toolsets. 

What is DCIM?

DCIM, or data center infrastructure management, is software that monitors and manages data center infrastructure and IT. DCIM uses monitoring, asset management and workflow procedures to manage the data center at the present moment. It relies on historical and present data.

What is the 6Sigma Digital Twin?

The 6Sigma Digital Twin is a 3D, physics-based, virtual model of the data center used to manage decision making in design and operations. The 6Sigma Digital Twin uses historical and present data, combined with powerful Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), to predict current and future data center performance.

How do the 6Sigma Digital Twin and DCIM work together?

Using CFD, the 6Sigma Digital Twin provides a unique visual representation of the entire data center ecosystem, including airflow and temperature distribution. The model contains all IT equipment and cabinets as well as the power and cooling infrastructure.

Through automated integrations to DCIM tools, the 6Sigma Digital Twin can import data, such as asset changes or live monitoring. This allows the 6Sigma Digital Twin to always stay up to date with your organization’s plans. This combination allows you to perform automated simulation on-tap whenever you want to check the impact of a future plan on data center performance. Together, the two can focus on future planning and implementation backed by physics-based simulation. It is important to note that 6SigmaAccess can be used on its own for those who do not have a DCIM solution in place.

Physics-based simulation can replicate the physical behavior of the data center under any operating scenario and can be used throughout design and operations. One of the highlights of data center simulation is the ability to test potential configurations to avoid making decisions that restrict your data center down the road. As such, the 6Sigma Digital Twin can be used on its own for data center management. 

Looking Ahead: DCIM, Digital Twins, and AI

The two technologies, DCIM and the 6Sigma Digital Twin, are complementary, easily integrated and make for a robust, resilient data center. 

Looking forward, Future Facilities envisions the data center of the future would use the 6Sigma Digital Twin and AI to create a self-sensing, self-regulating system. This data center would use real-time data and simulation to train AI systems to adjust data center behavior to make the best use of resources throughout the data center lifecycle. 

For another futuristic combination of toolsets, check out this post to learn how Thésée DataCenter embedded the 6Sigma Digital Twin into their Data Center Management System (DCMS) for a powerful, engaging end-user experience.  

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Blog written by: Mark Fenton, Product Manager

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10 September, 2021

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