Creating a Data Center is not the first step! If you have not been following the wiki topics from the top down, then you have skipped over some items that could be a dependency. Sure, you can enter your Data Center first, but you will still need to go back and enter information like Departments and Contacts.
A Data Center can be organized in many different ways. You can think of it as a conceptual container, or a physical room, or even a subsection of your overall facility.
This methodology is most useful for someone that has to manage a large number of "closets" or other small rooms, and doesn't want to have to create a separate data center for each. As long as you come up with a unique naming scheme for each of your cabinets, there's no reason that they can't all roll up into a single defined Data Center, especially if you are using minimal features of openDCIM. If you decide to start out this way, you can also change which data center each cabinet is attached to, so it's possible to change your methodology mid-stream without having to enter everything back in.
This methodology seems to work best if you plan to utilize all of the features of openDCIM - especially the mapping overlay and the power panel reporting. These are optional features, but also some of the most useful. Simply create a data center for each physical room that you have, and when you begin adding cabinets, assign them to the appropriate data center.
This works similarly to the Conceptual Container methodology, except you are taking a HUGE room and breaking it down into smaller sections, rather than taking small rooms and grouping them logically as a single data center. The reason for doing this is strictly based upon preference, and driven mostly by the map overlay. At the developer site, the data centers are 20,000 SF of contiguous space, but when you try to map out that large of a space onto the web page, the cabinets are too small to really see any information, so it was split into smaller pieces that aligned logically with the equipment in the space.
The Data Center logical container information is stored in the database table fac_DataCenter, and does not reference any foreign keys. The DataCenterID field, however, is a foreign key referenced by power panels and cabinets.
- DataCenterID - Mainly invisible to the user, but is an auto_increment field in the MySQL database that ensures a unique key to reference each data center
- Name - The name that you would like to display on reports, and in any pick lists within the application
- SquareFootage - The number of square feet in the data center, used to calculate metrics such as W/SF.
- DeliveryAddress - Optional, but used to indicate the physical address of a data center
- Administrator - The data center manager for this particular space, and completely optional
- DrawingFileName - Shown as 'Drawing URL' in the entry screen, this is the name of the file uploaded to the drawings/ folder (relative to the web root) which houses a map of the data center. More details are available in the FloorPlan section.
- EntryLogging - A field used to identify a data center for visitor logging, which is a module developed at Vanderbilt University and not currently available as part of openDCIM.