Our 500-server data center is growing quickly and my manager has started investigating using a specialized Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) package to help manage constraints.
DCIM software aims to do everything: capacity planning, asset, config, change management, power & cooling monitoring, network monitoring and alarms. Some of the products she is looking at are dcTrack, DSView & nlyte. They are all proprietary and (IMO overly) expensive. Has anyone had experience with these types of systems?
We currently use Nagios, Cacti & RANCID extensively. We need to improve asset management including tracking cabling - the other DCIM feature my manager is sold on is being able to model power & cooling requirements by dragging servers between racks.
My position is that we are most of the way there with the tools we have and DCIM with all its bells & whistles is not good value, and will force us into inflexible practices that aren't necessarily best for us - not to mention vendor lock-in.
So what other practices, processes and OSS tools can you suggest to help manage a growing small-mid size data center?