Data centers are complex and delicate environments.
They are made of thousands of different components performing different operations, from servers, network devices, storage, virtual machines, to cooling and power units.
All components interconnected through underground or top-of-the-rack cabling and connected to power distribution units.
IT managers & NOC Engineers struggle to keep control of every single detail in their data center infrastructure.
Most of the time, they are running their data centers with tools such as Excel and Visio.
But running a sophisticated facility with a spreadsheet is a recipe for disaster.
NOC Engineers need software capable of planning for capacity, inventorying, maximizing uptime, unifying visibility, automation, reporting, and more.
What is Data Center Management Software?
Data Center Management software allows admins to run their IT infrastructure efficiently, improve its uptime, and reduce costs.
This software is built to provide daily insights into the operations and health of the data center. Advanced management software can perform data center tasks automatically.
The software also provides a centralized platform for easy access and management of the infrastructure and services.
It can help different IT departments within an organization such as DevOps, Infrastructure, Networking, etc. to collaborate and work from a single platform.
The most common type of data center management software is known as the DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management), which focuses only on the infrastructure.
Other tools can be broader and provide information on other elements such as network, storage, virtual, applications.
These same tools can also give you access to alerting, reporting, automation, and more capabilities.
Data Center Management Software Services:
On a basic level, data center management software should be capable of providing the following:
- Node details:
Display device information such as status, vendor, IP, type, system name, etc.
- Unified visibility:
Get a centralized view across all the elements in the data center.
- Layouts and maps:
Get a graphical 2D or 3D representation of the data center room, its cabinet layout, and the cabling.
- Configuration and change:
Document and monitor configuration and changes.
Manage and monitor the power, and environmental factors of your data center.
- Automate processes:
Automate common processes like scheduling, backups, compliance checks, node discovery, etc.
Other comprehensive data center management software can provide additional information that popular DCIM products cannot, such as:
- Network management:
Monitor and manage different multi-vendor data center network technologies.
- Compute infrastructure:
Manage your entire on-premises physical and virtual computing infrastructure.
- Manage storage:
Keep track and control all your data center storage devices, such as DAS, NAS, or SAN.
- Manage applications:
Keep control of your applications deployed in your data center.
- Reporting and alerting capabilities:
Generate reports to gain insights into your data center and get alarms when there is a failure.
Best Data Center Management Software:
1. Solarwinds Orion
SolarWinds is one of the most comprehensive network monitoring and management tools in the market.
Its approach to data center monitoring is through a bundle of tools.
With this set of products from SolarWinds, you can gain full visibility into the computing, storage, VMs, infrastructure, and applications within your data center.
How SolarWinds Can Help you manage your Data center:
- Network Performance Monitor (NPM) for network monitoring,
- Network Configuration Management for automatic network configuration management and backups,
- Virtual Manager for VM monitoring and performance optimization.
- Storage Resource Monitor for storage management and performance monitoring.
With SolarWinds, you can get end-to-end management and monitoring for your entire data center, from a single console.
You can get all those SolarWinds tools, integrated into a central and single platform, and get a unified overview of all your components in the data center.
- Out-of-the-box reporting.
- Automated configuration and change management.
- Network health and performance monitoring.
- Physical and virtual infrastructure management.
- Manage data center environmental monitoring.
- And a lot more.
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2. ManageEngine OpManager
ManageEngine OpManager is a popular network monitoring and management solution.
It can help you keep track of all devices within a data center, from routers, switches, firewalls, wireless APs, VMs, etc.
OpManager monitors your data center’s network and provides a complete overview and control.
When there is a fault, OpManager can provide root cause analysis, so that you can solve the issue before they affect the end-user.
The OpManager Enterprise Edition offers a comprehensive data center management.
The unified web console helps you gain visibility over the entire data center, scale up as needed, and send automatic health reports.
How OpManager Enterprise Edition can help you manage your Data Center:
- Proactively monitor physical & virtual servers.
- Keep track of applications and bandwidth with Applications Manager.
- Monitor flow-based traffic.
- Check data center environment.
- 3D data center flooring views.
OpManager is available in four editions, Free, Essential, Enterprise, and Service Packs. For more information request a quote.
Get a free trial of OpManager Enterprise Edition for 30-days and start monitoring and managing up to 10K devices or 100K interfaces in your data center.
3. PRTG Network Monitor
PRTG Network Monitor is another comprehensive network monitoring and management solution.
It is one of the most popular and well-known products on the market.
PRTG Network Monitor can keep an eye on every component of your data center, from servers, the network, systems, traffic, applications, VMs, hardware, etc.
PRTG is based on monitoring sensors.
Each sensor keeps track of a component within a device, such as CPU, latency, memory, etc.
Sensors can also monitor overall aspects in the network, like traffic, bandwidth, environment, etc.
- Monitor applications and services hosted in your data center.
- Keep track of your data center environment.
- Unified monitoring solution for thousands of different vendors.
- Receive automatic alerts and notifications.
- Generate in-depth data center reports.
The price for PRTG500 starts at $1,600. PRTG500 allows you up to 500 monitoring sensors and one server installation.
Free PRTG100 available for up to 100 sensors.
4. NLyte Software
Nlyte Software is a popular DCIM tool that focuses on the management, planning, and optimization of your data center. The software can help maintain physical, virtual, or edge environments within a data center and optimize their utilization.
Nlyte software keeps a detailed inventory of your data center assets and monitors the environment. The auto-discovery process maintains an updated list of all equipment, and it also tracks changes in the configuration.
The software comes with powerful automation capabilities. It can automate processes such as the discovery of nodes, asset management, workflows, and reporting.
- Computing infrastructure management.
- Asset lifecycle management.
- Comprehensive dashboards and reports.
- Capacity planning.
- Real-time data collection.
For pricing information on the DCIM’s Nlyte product, request a quote.
Request a 14-days free trial of Nlyte and start optimizing your data center assets.
5. Datacenter Clarity LC
Datacenter Clarity LC is a real-time DCIM solution developed by MayaHTT (partner with Siemens).
The software is hyper-scalable.
It can track an unlimited number of assets at unlimited data centers.
IT managers love this software because it helps them optimize equipment placement and energy efficiency.
Datacenter Clarity LC can also help manage the data center infrastructure with powerful tools such as power consumption optimizers, equipment placement, and pictures of asset attributes in 3D.
Datacenter Clarity LC comes with a comprehensive data center lifecycle management and real-time monitoring that helps you keep an eye on the entire data center.
Its user-friendly web interface shows all managed devices and their locations through layouts and maps.
The software also sends alarms and notifications through email or SMS when a limit is reached.
How Datacenter Clarity LC help you manage your data center:
- Get high visibility with a floor layout and rack distribution.
- Real-time monitoring for Power Distribution Units (PDUs)
- Cable connectivity management
- Leverages Siemens PLM technology to deliver lifecycle management
- Real-time reports and analysis of the data center.
6. Kaseya VSA
Kaseya VSA is a SaaS-based remote IT management and monitoring software designed for large data centers in Managed Service Providers (MSPs), SMBs, and IT enterprises. Kaseya VSA was named in 2016 as one of the top 20 Data Center Tool Providers, by CRN.
This software is capable of supporting, managing, and protecting complex and large data centers.
With Kaseya VSA, you can manage the data center infrastructure, including the network and its endpoints, and scale up with its powerful automation functionality.
Its unified web console allows you to view the entire data center from a single centralized platform.
Kaseya’s VSA data center management features:
- Network and endpoint management.
- Audit and asset inventory.
- Deploy policy-based automation.
- Proactive remediation.
- Automate software and patching deployment.
- Anti-malware and anti-virus.
The price of KaseyaVSA is based on the number of endpoints. For more information, request a quote.
Get a 14-day free Kaseya VSA Trial and start managing your data center.
7. Optimum Path Visual Data Center
Visual Data Center VDC developed by Optimum Path is a flexible DCIM solution.
VDC is designed for capacity planning, utilization, asset management, and monitoring resources such as space, power, and temperature.
The software comes with the web and mobile client interfaces.
The interface allows you to interact with VDC’s dashboard and reports which show critical data center information, such as KPIs, trends, and predictive analytics.
The mobile interface allows you to run asset audits and unlock functionality while walking around the data center.
- 3D visualization of infrastructure.
- Advanced power management.
- Environmental monitoring.
- IP camera management.
- Change and configuration management.
The price of Optimum Path VDC is based on Floor Mounted Asset (FMA), but you can buy a different number of monitoring devices for different prices. Request a quote.
Request and schedule a demo.
Device42 is a comprehensive DCIM and network management solution.
It comes with powerful data center visualization tools that produce smart data center diagrams and layouts.
With its CMDB (Configuration Management Database) feature, Device42 can also provide an overview of all your configuration items so that you can easily manage them.
The software comes with IT asset management capabilities.
The auto-discovery feature finds all nodes in the data center, from on-premises, virtual, or cloud.
When the tool finds assets, it includes them in the inventory where you can change their details.
Device42 allows native integrations with lots of popular applications used in managing IT Infrastructure.
From tools like JIRA, Slack, Logstash, Zapier, Ansible, Puppet, Chef, and more.
- Insights into the computing environment.
- Application dependency mapping.
- Software license management.
- Agentless and continuous device discovery.
- Power and environment management.
- Data center room and cabling.
The license for Device42 is based on an annual subscription.
The pricing tiers vary according to the number of managed devices.
Device42 Core version has an annual price of $4500 and allows you to manage up to 500 devices and up to 5000 IPs.
Get a free trial of Device42
Zabbix is a free and open-source IT Infrastructure management and monitoring software.
It helps you control any component of your data center, from servers, network, VMs, databases, storage, applications, and more.
Zabbix is one of the only open-source products that can scale from small to large environments. Its features allow monitoring up to 100,000 hosts simultaneously.
Zabbix shows an overview of the IT environment from a single, visually appealing pane-of-glass.
Its native web interface integrates all visuals, from dashboards, graphs, network maps, slideshows, reports, alarms, etc.
How can Zabbix help you manage your data center?
- Distributed Monitoring: Monitor remote data centers or branch offices.
- Agentless high-performance monitoring. Keep track of different elements in your data center without any agents.
- Integrations: Out-of-the-box integrations of popular vendors, like Cisco, D-Link, Juniper, HP, Netgear, Huawei, and more.
Zabbix is a free and open-source software. If you want to manage large scale data centers, Zabbix Enterprise edition might be the best solution. For more information on prices, request a quote.
Get the free Zabbix open-source and start managing smaller data centers for free!
Last but not least is Nagios.
This solution has become one of the preferred data center management software for companies looking for an open-source platform.
Nagios can monitor many different components in your data center, from routers, switches, servers, storage, data center environment, VMs, etc.
Nagios Core is a free and open-source community-driven monitoring and alerting platform.
The engine of Nagios Core serves as a primary application where hundreds of projects are built.
The tool comes with nearly 4000 third-party plugins, which are standalone extensions that provide extra intelligence for managing anything within your data center.
- It monitors single points of failure.
- It finds and monitors SLA faults.
- It manages servers and their connections.
- It monitors environmental factors such as temperature and humidity.
Out-of-the-box, Nagios Core does not have a dashboard and a Graphical User Interface (GUI).
But you can install a GUI from the list of plugins. Nagios XI, which is the commercial version has extra features like reporting, web interface, diverse monitoring capabilities, and more.
Nagios was created for Linux operating systems, but it can also run on Windows using extensions such as Check_MK or Nagwin.
Data centers are complex facilities.
Some of them have hundreds to thousands of devices interconnected together through networking equipment and endless cabling.
But networking is not the only player in a data center; there are servers, firewalls, storage appliances, cooling and power systems, and more.
Some superhero IT managers are capable of keeping these sophisticated environments in place, through spreadsheets and diagramming apps, but the sky has a limit.
The DCIM and the broader data center management tools will help you automate processes, improve uptimes, keep things organized, plan for capacity, AND MORE!
There are way too many benefits in these platforms that it is hard to continue using traditional administration solutions.
Most of these tools have free versions of their software, and some others have fully-featured free trials for a limited time.
So there is no excuse to start managing your data center today!