What is DCAM?

What is DCAM?

What is data center asset management?

Data Center Asset Management (DCAM) is a framework developed by the EDM Council to establish best practices for managing and analyzing data in an organization. Its importance lies in ensuring that organizations can get the most value out of their data by identifying gaps in their data ecosystem, creating a business case, and aligning the organization’s data management and analytics capabilities to support strategic goals. The framework provides a structured approach to managing data and analytics processes, and it streamlines compliance demands by ensuring that data is managed in an efficient and accurate manner. Examples of assets that can be managed through DCAM include data strategy, operating models, funding, and organizational collaboration. DCAM is a widely adopted framework that enables organizations to build a more comprehensive and effective data management program.

DCAM includes 38 required data management capabilities with 136 sub-capabilities, and it incorporates consistent terminology and definitions to ensure a consistent understanding of data concepts. 

Why is DCAM important?

DCAM is important because it provides a framework for organizations to mature their data management and analytics capabilities, ensuring that all staff and executives understand what the capabilities are and how they can be implemented. It incorporates consistent terminology and definitions to resolve differences in meaning and ensure consistent understanding of data concepts across lines of business and geographies. DCAM also provides objective metrics and peer group benchmark comparisons that can be presented to stakeholders to secure necessary funding for data management programs. Additionally, DCAM maps to many compliance and regulatory requirements, making it a valuable tool for ensuring accuracy and access to data.

What are the 8 DCAM Data Center Asset Management components?

1. Data Center Inventory

The Data Center Inventory component of DCAM involves maintaining an accurate record of all data center assets, including hardware, software, and network components. This is critical for effective management of the data center, as it helps to identify equipment that needs maintenance or replacement, as well as ensuring compliance with regulations and standards. An accurate inventory should include details such as make and model, serial numbers, location, and maintenance schedules. Methods for tracking and updating inventory records can include manual processes such as spreadsheets or automated tools such as barcode scanners or RFID tags. 

2. Configuration Management

Configuration Management is important because it allows organizations to maintain accurate records of their assets, track changes to those assets over time, and ensure that they are used effectively. The key sub-components of Configuration Management include asset discovery, which involves identifying all assets within an organization’s data center; inventory management, which involves tracking the location and status of those assets; and change management, which involves tracking changes made to those assets over time and ensuring that they are properly documented and approved. Effective Configuration Management is critical for ensuring the availability, security, and performance of data center assets at your company.

3. Power Utilization Optimization

While DCAM does not address power optimization in data centers, there are various strategies and tools that can be used to optimize power utilization, such as monitoring power consumption, identifying inefficiencies, and implementing solutions like virtualization, load balancing, and cooling management. These techniques help reduce energy consumption, lower costs, and improve performance in data centers.

4. Physical Infrastructure Assessment

The Physical Infrastructure Assessment evaluates the data center’s physical environment, including power, cooling, and floor space. Regular assessments are critical to ensure the data center is operating efficiently and effectively, as changes in technology and usage patterns can impact the physical infrastructure. Assessments can identify areas for improvement, such as increasing energy efficiency or optimizing space utilization, leading to cost savings and improved performance.

5. Facility Assessment

The Facility Assessment component of DCAM provides a structured framework for assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of data center facilities. Conducting a comprehensive assessment of a data center facility is crucial in identifying potential risks and opportunities for optimization. Key steps involved in the assessment include evaluating the physical infrastructure, power and cooling systems, security measures, and operational procedures. The assessment should also include collecting data on energy usage, equipment utilization, and capacity planning. This information can help identify areas for improvement, such as implementing more efficient cooling systems or optimizing server utilization. Overall, the Facility Assessment ensures that data center facilities are optimized for performance, reliability, and cost-effectiveness.

6. Environmental Conditions

Environmental conditions refer to the physical environment surrounding the data center, specifically temperature, humidity, and air quality. These conditions can significantly affect the performance and lifespan of IT equipment and infrastructure. The sub-components under environmental conditions include temperature control, humidity control, air filtration, and fire suppression. Maintaining optimal environmental conditions can prevent equipment failure, reduce energy consumption, and increase equipment lifespan. Temperature control prevents overheating and equipment failure, while humidity control prevents moisture damage. Air filtration ensures clean air circulation, which reduces the risk of equipment contamination and malfunction. Fire suppression systems minimize the risk of fire damage and equipment loss. 

7. IT Equipment Inventory

Accurate records of IT equipment are necessary to ensure compliance with industry regulations and to prevent data breaches. Conducting an inventory involves identifying and documenting all IT equipment within a facility, including computers, servers, printers, and other devices.

Create a list of all IT equipment, including make, model, serial number, and location. This list should be regularly updated to reflect changes in equipment ownership and location.

Common inventory tools include barcode scanners, RFID tags, and asset management software. These tools can automate the inventory process and provide real-time updates on equipment location and status. Management software can also be used to track equipment warranties, maintenance schedules, and software licenses.

8. Service Delivery

The Service Delivery involves the management and delivery of services to meet the needs of the organization’s customers. This includes defining service level agreements, monitoring service performance, and ensuring customer satisfaction


What is the DCAM Certification Program?

The Data Management Capability Assessment Model (DCAM) Certification is a program designed to provide individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to establish, enable, and sustain mature data management and analytics programs in their organizations. The certification demonstrates expertise in the strategic, organizational, technology, and operational capabilities for data management and advanced analytics. The program covers essential data management capabilities, including data strategy, business case, data management program and funding, business and data architecture, data and technology architecture, data quality management, data governance, data control environment, and analytics management. 

How do I become DCAM certified?

To become DCAM certified, you need to take a training course and pass the DCAM exam with a score of 70% or more. Unlike CDMP Certification, there is no self-service option for DCAM Certification. The training can be taken online through eLearningCurve or virtually through EDM Council Members. The eLearningCurve course is 5 hours and 15 minutes long and costs $1,250 USD, but has received negative reviews. The virtual course is instructor-led and more expensive, with member prices at $1,370 USD and non-member prices at $1,825 USD.