We want to provide the best support possible and for our cloud offers that means moving the help closer to the product. That’s why we’ve introduced a new help center for EcoStruxure IT for all help articles for EcoStruxure IT Expert, EcoStruxure Gateway, EcoStruxure IT app, and EcoStruxure Asset Advisor.

The community remains the same and both EcoStruxure IT and StruxureWare questions, answers, and tips & tricks will still live here.

Articles for StruxureWare products (DCE, DCO, and links to NetBotz articles) will stay in the current platform.

What does this mean?

This means introducing a few new URLs. Don’t worry you’ll still get to keep all the functionality that you know and love – and we’ll set up redirects and help you get to the right place.

New URLs effective from Monday February 4th:

 

helpcenter.ecostruxureit.com

Help articles for EcoStruxure IT Expert, EcoStruxure IT Gateway, EcoStruxure IT app and web interface, and EcoStruxure Asset Advisor. 
You log in with your EcoStruxure IT credentials.

sxwhelpcenter.ecostruxureit.com 
Help articles for DCE and DCO, and links to NetBotz downloads and documentation, will live here. 
You log in with your existing help center profile.

community.ecostruxureit.com
The community will still host both StruxureWare, NetBotz, and EcoStruxure IT questions and answers. 
You log in with your existing help center profile.

ddf.ecostruxureit.com
Request support for devices that are not currently supported. You log in with your existing help center profile.

 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Community Manager Stine or comment below.

The Help Center is a support site for StruxureWare for Data Center and EcoStruxure IT users. The community is driven by people, you the users! Some of the people are Schneider Electric employees, some are data center professionals, all are aiming to get the most of their solution! With everybody's help we are building a library of reliable answers to your DCIM and EcoStruxure IT questions. 

Here’s a little overview of the people you meet in the community:

 

BadgeWhat does it mean
This person is a Schneider Electric employee.
This person has earned the DCIM Expert badge and can be trusted to provide some of the most valuable content and solutions on DCIM Support.
This person has associated StruxureWare Data Center Operation to their profile. *
This person has associated Data Center Expert to their profile. *

 

Some people will not have a badge and that’s fine too. If you want to see somebody’s reputation you can visit their profile and find details of points, answers, and accepted answers.

The Community Manager is me, Stine. You can always call my attention to something by adding me (@shansen) and I’ll make sure to take a look.

 

If you have any questions regarding the community – don’t hesitate to reach out.

*Here's how to associate a product for the first time, or make changes to what you already have:

  • Access the Help Center from the help menu in your DCE or DCO.
  • Associate manually if your software does not have access to the internet.

See you in the community!

 

Posting a good question

Tips for phrasing a good question:

  • Start with a summary
    Choose a title to your question that summarises the problem you need help solving before going into any details.

    Consider “Upgrade” vs “DCO 8.2 upgrade error”.

  • Provide the context and relevant details
    • Product name and version
    • Configuration details (licenses installed, cluster setup, etc.)
    • System hardware details (dedicated/virtual server, etc.)
    • Be specific (rack PDU or floor mounted PDU)

  • Upload any relevant screenshots (e.g. system error messages)
    Blur out any business sensitive data such a IPs and login credentials.
  • Upload relevant parts of log files, unless they contain business sensitive data

  • Describe what you have done to try to solve the problem yourself
    If relevant, provide steps to reproduce your problem.

  • Select a topic for your question
    Try to be specific. Choosing all of them wont get you an answer faster, but choosing the ones that apply to your question will get the right eyes on it.

When you get an answer...

...and it solved your problem - remember to accept it! It's just a nice way of saying "Thank you" to the person who took time to help you and at the same time you're letting others with the same problem know which answer will solve it.

 

See you in the community!

 

 

We had a chat with Ed Tarento, a former colleague turned consultant, to see what he's up to at work and in his spare time.

 

Q: What is your role? 
A: G'day mates from down under in Australia. Late in 2016, I left Schneider Electric (SE) to return to my consulting practice.  At SE, I was a DCIM Specialist, providing pre-sales and subject matter expertise to the Pacific SE ITB Sales organisation and channel (e.g. providing sales advice, doing designs and solution configurations) as well as providing consulting, post sales advice and engineering services to SE Pacific clients. My company is now a certified APC Software Sales Partner and I hope soon to also finalise our SE Certified Service Provider status so that part of my role is very similar to what it was with SE.

 

Q: What StruxureWare for Data Centers products do you use?
A: Since joining APC in 2009 I've used just about all of the StruxureWare for Data Centers components, DCE, NetBotz, DCO suite, PME, SBO as well as many locally sourced components we built into our solutions where SE had no offer, e.g. SMS gateway, specialist screens, remote sensors etc. I now specialise in the DCO suite, integration and reporting but if I can add some value, I will try to assist where I can. I'm currently doing a StruxureWare for Data Centers DCO suite review for an Australian research organisation and, through SE, a migration from openDCIM to DCO for a global resources organisation.


Q: How do current industry trends affect you and your business? 
A: I've collected many “sayings” over my 35 years in the Network and Systems Management, IT Security disciplines and, over the last few years, with SE and DCIM. “Owning software gives you nothing” is as true today as it was when I started in IT in 1984. In Australia and many parts of the world, I think there is a shortage of the engineering and analyst expertise required to extract the ROI from customers' investment in software. I try to fill that gap.

In the data center space, the exodus from owner occupied to “data center as a business” providers continues, so I have more focus on colocation and service providers now than in 2009. These “data center as a business” clients are constantly looking for tangible advantage from their software investments, especially new revenue streams and better reporting. 

The owner occupier clients are stills struggling with the same challenges, lack of staff, budget pressures, increasing expectations and so on. Many are just trying to keep track of their assets.


Q: Five years from now, what do you think will be the most important  component in running a data center? 
A: I'm expecting the same pressures on data centers to continue, more of the same “do more with less”, better availability, less staff. Technically, I also envisage the Open Compute project and Lithium Ion battery technology will have a big impact on data center operations. I keep an eye on the KPIs used in data centers especially the Australian NABERS rating system

I'm also expecting the emerging trend for the facilities team, rather than the IT team, to take on more responsibility for server hardware which I think is going to shake up that world. This seems to fit right into the SE view of DCIM.

  
Q: What do you do when you’re not working?
A: My wife and I enjoy each other's company so we spend a lot of time together, which is lucky as we both work from home a lot. We're developing a website for her psychology business.
We travel a lot, both in Australia and overseas, enjoy movies, eating out and our kids and grand kids are a big part of our life. We regularly exercise including gym, cycling, kayak, swimming, tennis and we've recently taken up nordic walking. I love basketball, my gym recently installed a hoop so I shoot baskets when I can.

I have a soft spot for backgammon (I taught my wife who now beats me more often than not) and I once entertained a fleeting idea of competing, until I found what's required (a lot of brain maths), when I decided to just enjoy the thrill of the game.

Oh and I like to provide advice via the Support Community when I can.

 

Ed left Schneider Electric in 2016 to return to consulting. He is now a certified APC Software Sales Partner and remains a highly valued contributor in the Support Community. In his spare time he spends time with his family and exercises.

Together we can do more

In spring 2015 we launched StruxureWare Localization where we opened translations of products to the members of DCIM Support Community. As a multilingual user of StruxureWare products this was your chance to help improve and contribute to the translations of upcoming versions.

Now StruxureWare Data Center v8.0 is out. This is the first product to be translated with your contributions. And we’re proud to say it has been a huge success!

The project is fully translated and available in eleven languages. With your help we’re able to deliver a better product to the regional market. Thank you!


A special thanks to our top contributors:

 

Christian Stolte

Dominique Cuzin

Roman Osadchyi

Jorge Jimenez

Yoshinobu Suzuki

Fergus Wong

Ziqiang Wu

 

 

 

Thank you for your amazing effort in this!

You can read more about StruxureWare Localization.

 

How YOU doin'?

This spring we sent a survey to the most active users to see how you were doing, how you use the community, and what matters most to you. 

This is what you told us:

Thank you for answering the survey. All in all it seems that you get great value from the community and this matters a lot to us because helping you is why we're here. And to make sure we do this we need to hear from you - so if you have some questions or comments on how we do things please don't hesitate to reach out.   

We had a chat with Jeff S, Application Engineer, to see what he's up to at work and in his spare time.


Q: What is a typical day for you?

A: I travel a lot, so it’s more like a typical week. I am usually at a customer site during the week, and get home on Friday.

I mostly do DCO configuration, some DCE and some NetBotz. Typically there’s no hardware installation - I build out rooms in DCO and troubleshoot. I also do special projects, like developing training content for customers.


Q: What are your challenges in the field?

A: Secure sites have strict access policies. Sometimes I can’t see the room I’m building out, and rely on drawings provided by the customer. It’s more difficult to map out power paths when access to a room and breaker panels is limited.

 

Q: How do you get help when you need it?

A: I call in to the same line our customers use, and submit tickets like anyone else. Sometimes there is no internet access or mobile service. I can usually use the guest wireless, or the customer will give me a laptop on their network to use.


Q: How do you use DCIM Support?

A: DCIM Support is great for getting documentation all in one place. I also submit feature requests and request genomes. When I do software training, I show customers the site.

 

Q: What do you see changing in the data center world?

A: High density computing is becoming more and more prevalent even in smaller data centers.

Customers are investing in technology to make the most efficient use of their space. That can include everything from power/cooling systems, hot aisle containment (like EcoAisle), servers/storage, DCIM software to manage it all, and everything in between. Customers are becoming more aware of their energy costs and capacity, and are using our software to make the most of it.


Q: How can we best serve our customers on DCIM Support?

A: By being available. For me and for all of us, it’s important that customers use us as a resource and see us as their advocate.

Q: What do you do when you’re not at work? Any hobbies?

A: I like to cook and home brew beer. I’m a fan of the traditional styles pioneered by Trappist monks.

 

Jeff is an Application Engineer and spends most of his week on customer sites. In his sparetime he cooks and brews beer.

We had a chat with Jørgen Lie, data center manager, to see what he’s up to at work and in his spare time.


Q: What is your role? 

A: I'm the manager for Biogen's global Data Center Operations team, which supports 4 data centers between 1000 and 5000 sq ft, plus about 35 global affiliate offices with smaller 1-2 cabinet solutions.  The team is strictly focused on the data center technologies (Out of Band, UPS, cooling, RPDU, KVM), capacity management, asset management, and provisioning. Our data centers host systems used for biological manufacturing so maintaining a meticulously managed environment is our utmost important job.


Q: What StruxureWare for Data Centers products do you use?
A: We have Struxureware Data Center Operation supporting us with Asset Management and rack elevations, a tool we use daily both operationally but also as a tool in our capacity management.  Data Center Expert monitors our global infrastructure of UPSs, PDUs, cooling units, and environmental monitors.  We’ve integrated DCE with our Incident Management on-call scheduling tool to ensure proper escalation and faster response times.  We do have an instance of Portal up and running, but have struggled to create value added dashboards so we're not fully up to speed there yet.  Next steps for us may be further automation with PowerChute.


Q: How do current industry trends affect you and your business? 
A: Two current trends we experience today are Security threats and a migration towards more cloud based applications. The global security threats translate to a high volume of provisioning around the globe for our team, and heading for the cloud stresses our capacity management to carefully consider and evaluate current provisioning plans and trends.  Our objective is to avoid any expansion until we see our cloud initiatives translate to less footprint.


Q: Five years from now, what do you think will be the most important 
component in running a data center?
 
A: 5 years from now it will be about modularity of the entire technology stack and completely new and separate rationale towards hosting internally vs externally.  Operationally there will be a smaller shift in processes and organizations to support the complexity of the systems. Technologies are increasingly complex and changes within one technology will most likely impact multiple other systems or users. 

 
Q: What do you do when you’re not working?
A: When I'm not working I prefer to have fun with my family. It's so much fun with two girls (8 and 6) and a little boy (almost 3) in the house!  When it gets too noisy I head out for some Turfing - a great global GPS based game that runs for a month at a time and really helps motivate exercise and fun. More info at www.turfgame.com, and the app supports both iPhone and Android.

Jørgen Lie is Data Center Manager. In his spare time he's spending time with his family or heading out for some Turfing.

We had a chat with Oleksiy, system engineer and specialist in implementation and operation of software, to see what he’s up to at work and in his spare time.

Q: What is your role?
A: I’m monitoring the infrastructure of two medium sized data centers for a commercial bank. This includes implementation and operation of software products (Zabbix, openDCIM, Data Center Expert, and NetBotz) and operation of the bank department servers and data storage systems. My main specialization in this area is the Linux and AIX operating systems and all that belongs to them.

Q: What StruxureWare for Data Centers products do you use?
A: We use Data Center Expert and NetBotz appliance.

Q: How do current industry trends affect you and your business?
A: I feel that as a system engineer I’m part of the development of industry trends. Especially when it concerns operation of data centers and DCIM. When it comes to the banking industry, that I’m a part of, I’ve noticed that the banking sector is responding quickly and in my opinion very appropriately to industry trends both from a technical and financial point of view.

 

Q: Five years from now, what do you think will be the most important
component in running a data center?

A: I think that measurements of PUE, KPI, and other, will have even more importance. And the ability to save and spend money more effectively and focused, i.e. for the solution of specific tasks in a specific data center, will be the main driving factor here. I want to say, that business will pass from mass implementation of data centers to more effective use, i.e. from quantity to quality.

Q: What do you do when you’re not working?
A:
I’m a radio engineer – professionally and at heart - so I really like to repair various kinds of radio equipment. The first time I took a soldering iron in my hand I was seven years old :-). But for the past year I’ve spent all my free time on my first-born son. I hope that we’ll come to share interests and maybe even profession. 

Oleksiy is a system and radio engineer. In his spare time he spends time with his son and repairs radio equipment.

We want to get you the best help possible as fast as possible. If you'd like that too, then you can help us a great deal by letting us know a little about who we are talking to. 

To add more information on your profile:

  1. Click your profile picture in the upper right corner and select Profile.
  2. Click EDIT PROFILE and enter your personal details.

The information in the PERSONAL box will be visible for all community members. A title, an name, and a profile picture can be really nice and useful to have, when you are trying to help somebody.

Filling out information about your company is safe and will help us help you quicker. Only internal Schneider Electric support staff will be able to see the information in the COMPANY box.

We're looking forward to getting to know you better. And please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions or comments regarding this.

All the best,

The DCIM Support Team

2015 Year in Review

This year we hit the 2,000 members and 1,000 questions asked mark. It was also the year of superheroes and new features such as Add my device, Feature requests, and Share a tip. Take a look back with us.

Community activity

 

Time to first answer:

In January 2015 the average time to first answer was 22 hours. In December it's 8 hours! This is a number that you have great influence on. Let’s make it even better in 2016!

New sign-ups:

Since the beginning of the year 1,110 people have joined the community. This means that you have the knowledge of more than 2,400 people right at your fingertips.

Super Users 2015

All our users are awesome. No, stop it. No, you are. No, you! Anyway, sometimes one stands out a bit and we would like to honour that person here. In our community we have DCIM users, Schneider Electric partners, and Schneider Electric employees. The super users of 2015 are:

  • DCIM user: Wyatt Schleider for getting most upvotes on his answers
  • Partner: Rana Ajmal for being expert of the week in November
  • Schneider employee: Cory McDonald for going from 400 to 800+ points in just three months

 


Questions per topic

In 2015 more than 1,200 questions have been asked and answered.

677 questions were on DCO

476 questions were on DCE

136 questions were on NetBotz

Keep asking and answering. We're in this together!

Expert of the year

Thank you for all of your great work, Steve. You rock our socks off!


On Friday December 4 we released v2.3 (codename: Gunray).

The primary new feature we want to highlight is 'Add My Device' which is available from the top menu.

About Add My Device

StruxureWare for Data Centers supports tens of thousands of pieces of data center equipment across the Expert and Operation software. We are constantly working to grow our library of devices that we can model and monitor.

If a piece of equipment is missing, you can use this feature to request it and follow the progress on your profile page.

This feature is in beta: You can request support for devices that are not currently supported in StruxureWare Data Center Expert and/or StruxureWare Data Center Operation and see the progress of all devices requested since launch (4 December 2015). We have not yet added the full device library of everything that is supported in the software.

To get access to this feature you must be logged in and have at least one product associated to your DCIM Support Community profile. 

Other items in this release

  • Attach files to feature requests
  • Log-files auto-hide when uploaded

 

Enjoy, friends!

And don't hesitate to let us know if something can be improved or if you have ideas for new features.

Best,

DCIM Support Community Team

 

We had a chat with Ryan S, senior lead data center engineer, to find out what makes him tick at work, and in his spare time. This is your chance to get inside the head of a senior lead data center engineer.

Q: What is your role? 

A: I am a senior lead data center engineer in the infrastructure engineering group, managing data center focused projects. You could say I’m the man in the middle between the network, systems, storage engineering, and facilities groups. I make sure we work together as efficiently as possible, and that new infrastructure solutions integrate well. Our flagship product is used globally online, so high availability is very important. 

Q: What StruxureWare for Data Centers products do you use? 

A: I’ve been using DCE for over five years. It has been a pivotal product to gain insight into electrical and critical infrastructure using the monitoring and alerting features. From an analytics perspective, the historical data and usage data from DCE is very valuable. Lately, we have been exploring integrating DCO into our existing workflow and processes. 

Q: How do current industry trends affect you and your business? 

A: We are moving rapidly toward software defined networking, storage, and other solutions, and there’s a big push to build out competitive private cloud environments. It’s a big challenge to make sure all the solutions we implement both support our development groups and provide value to our customers. 

Q: Five years from now, what do you think will be the most important component in running a data center? 

A: The highest priority will be agility. We all tend to get complacent with traditional designs but business is moving faster and faster and demanding more. We need to deliver and implement our infrastructure quickly, for both existing installations and new environments. We also need to move towards more vendor agnostic infrastructure solutions to maintain that agility. Thinking outside the box is key. 

Q: What do you do when you’re not working? 

A: I love playing tennis and running! I’m an avid gamer, especially FPS games. The Battlefield franchise has always been my favorite. My wife and I recently started a non-profit organization focused on initiatives that can change the world in simple ways. 

Ryan is a senior lead data center engineer. In his spare time he is an avid gamer and has recently founded a non-profit organization.

Community Hangout

We are hosting a community hangout where you can meet other community members online and discuss a topic of your choice. This is a chance to start an in depth discussion, present a current issue, or simply pick the brains of your peers.

How does it work?

  • Let us know you are interested by commenting on this page.
  • If there is a certain topic you would like to discuss, put it in your comment.
  • We will send an invitation to those who have commented with details on the date, online meeting place, and agenda.
  • Remember, this is not a webinar. This is a discussion, so you have to bring something to the table.

Suggested topics: DCO configuration, DCE configuration, reporting, DDF and Genomes, etc.

We look forward to seeing you online!

 

Upgrading the small moon.

On Sunday August 16 we will be upgrading components on DCIM Support which will result in server downtime.

CET: 8am - 12am
EST: 2am - 6am

We apologise for the inconvenience.

All the best,

The DCIM Support Community Team