Cormant-CS & DCIM FAQs
Managing the Infrastructure
Cormant-CS is a mature, complete IT infrastructure management solution for use in the Data Center (DCIM), work area and campus environments.
Cormant-CS comprises a server, web and mobile components. The web is used primarily for activity and the powerful mobile platforms that Cormant-CS supports are used to record changes as they are made in the infrastructure. These include a new Android offline application as well as a feature-rich offline application supported on Windows Mobile.
The use of mobility means that changes are recorded in real time ensuring that all information is always up-to-date and trusted for planning and further change management.
Yes, absolutely. Cormant-CS was designed from the start to support the very largest global customers across all their sites. Cormant-CS is designed to run over global WAN connections.
Any organization with a significant installed IT base can benefit from Cormant-CS. For some customers, this may mean thousands (or tens of thousands) of racks in each of multiple data centers, or possibly tens of thousands of work stations that need to be tracked.
If a customer is using spreadsheets to track their infrastructure today they are a candidate for Cormant-CS.
For a start, Cormant-CS has the most advanced mobility/portability solutions available. This ensures that Cormant-CS data is going to be more accurate, as the data is updated when and where changes are made.
Cormant-CS is also one of the most flexible systems available. It is extremely configurable ensuring that what you specifically need to capture and manage can be defined.
Our philosophy has always been to allow all aspects of the product to be administrator/user-configurable. This means power users can define new equipment types or download them from our website; there is no need to wait for a vendor to deliver the template.
No, we are 100% agnostic as to vendor and we value our neutrality. This neutrality means we are guaranteed to support the equipment you have today and allows you total freedom of choice when making future purchase decisions.
No! The infrastructure in a data center is far more than just the power and cooling. To make sensible decisions on server placement multiple factors need to be taken into account. These include: data connectivity, VLAN, rack space availability, POD details (if used), server configuration, device power needs, current power to the rack or row, future planned work in that rack and even what equipment is available in store rooms.
Purchasing a system that cannot view the data center holistically means spreadsheet management will continue for data other than power/cooling. This is not what we believe should be the goal of purchasing an infrastructure management system.
Neither technologies are ‘silver bullets’ but both are supported across our mobile platforms (where supported by the mobile hardware).
Fundamentally a barcode or RFID tag are doing the same job, allowing you to identify the item, and this is what we use them for – to allow you to instantly identify an item (or in some cases cable) and view that item on the mobile computer. Barcodes are by far the more popular as all significant assets are already barcoded by the manufacturer (serial numbers, MAC addresses, etc.)
No, we don’t think that is a good idea. Most data center managers are overwhelmed with equipment to deploy without us making that worse. With our open C#/VB scripting we are able to talk to any networked device and this means we can gather environmental and other data directly from installed devices regardless of whether they are CDU power rails, switches or server blades.
In our experience, there are usually up to four power numbers that are useful for an infrastructure management team: plate power, plate power derated by an internal factor, current power drawn and historical power.
Cormant-CS is able to capture, store and represent all of these values for use in calculations and graphical representations of the data center.
Cormant-CS includes online applications for the Android and Apple smartphone and tablet platforms. The online applications require access to the Cormant-CS server and also require a Wi-Fi or 4G (or greater) data connection. They are full read/write applications and are designed for information review and light change usage.
The main mobile application, for heavy day-to-day use, is Cormant-CS on Windows mobile devices and Android devices with a built-in barcode or RFID scanner. These devices synchronize with the Cormant-CS server and work with a mobile database for complete off-line access to all data for full read/write access. The interface is richer and more complete than the online versions. It works offline because often in data centers and remote locations there is no online access option and that would mean no access to records, which we believe is unacceptable. We support devices from global suppliers such as Motorola (formally Symbol), Zebra and Intermec.
Mobility/Portability is critical for two key reasons the most important being – if changes are not recorded as they are made, it is likely that either the update will be made late, made inaccurately or often, not at all. This means that staff loses trust in the records and spends valuable time validating the data, which is not really the point of investing in an infrastructure management system.
The second reason why mobility/portability is important is so that staff have access to all the records when reviewing the infrastructure or troubleshooting a problem. Records stuck back on a desktop are useless to assist a user.
It is best to see a demonstration (click here to arrange one), but in a nut shell it provides a similar UI to the desktop and web applications.
The mobile application supports create, read, update and delete of all information, plan views, rack views (including rack totals), asset and attribute data – including all connectivity, has full access to work orders and has an audit module for times when an audit maybe required. There is even a custom report writer for quick summary reports. It is designed to support all the day-to-day activity a user undertakes away from their desk.
Managing the Infrastructure
Because a set of disconnected spreadsheets is not a management tool. They don’t record historical data and are limited in their ability to assist with planning change. Usually, multiple spreadsheets are managed by various people or departments and are silos of data with little sharing. Instead, the goal should be a single repository of infrastructure data that everyone can use and where all changes are seen by everyone who has permission.
Security is obviously important and therefore Cormant-CS supports user roles with access down to attribute level; something else that’s hard to do with spreadsheets.
Yes, absolutely. With configurability, mobility and no special hardware to install, Cormant-CS is ideal for existing sites. Data can be imported from existing records and then audited against the live infrastructure to produce accurate, trusted records. Data can even be captured over time by your staff simply using the mobile computers daily.
Follow this link to see our offer in getting your current data into Cormant-CS.
Cormant-CS has features specific to data centers including rack elevations and bird’s-eye views of the data center. All of this is data-driven and, from within Cormant-CS provides historical data, planned work data and information about power, heat, connectivity and space utilization.
Because this information is accurate and trusted it is useful when troubleshooting and will interface with systems such as NMS applications to provide location and deployment information.
Cormant-CS is also used to verify equipment has been deployed correctly using verification attributes that show when the equipment was verified as ready for live use as well as who verified it.
After equipment is deployed, related power and environmental data can be gathered to provide a complete infrastructure picture.
Cormant-CS can record building MDF/IDF locations, all equipment and connectivity, as well as distribution points that may be in floor locations. All desk and/or work-space equipment and even people/user data can be stored to ensure a complete picture of all assets is seen. This may include normally non-connected devices such as Wi-Fi devices. When a user calls for support, having accurate asset data reduces support time and user frustration as support technicians have full information readily available.
Beyond the usual data center and work-area functionality Cormant-CS also supports conduits and ‘pits and pipes’ for campus environments so all inter-building data can be recorded and represented. This can even include GPS coordinates from GPS equipped mobile devices.
Cormant-CS has full read/write web services using SOAP and RESTful API. It provides secure access to all data. The Cormant-CS API is used as the sole access method for our own web and online mobile devices so you can be assured it is a real, robust working API.
All of them! Cormant-CS is ideally suited to provide a holistic view of all of these items with its significant flexibility in set-up and configuration it’s possible to.
Yes, Cormant-CS supports a fully user-configurable attribute system to allow anyone who uses Cormant-CS to define the data elements they want to store. Cormant-CS does not force pre-defined attributes on you.
No. While Cormant-CS is sold on a buy as you grow model, there is no limit to what can be managed within the license. Any asset you can imagine can be represented (we have seen some strange ones).
Well, of course, it’s up to you, but we believe that having visibility of what power and data connections are in place and are unused is a necessary part of the planning process for new equipment. If you have a system that can’t document the power and/or data channel (end-to-end) we believe you will often end up doing another physical audit.
We have dashboards for current and historical data that are configurable by user or role. We provide rack views; building, campus and data center plan views with overlays of current or historical data; and views of connectivity regardless of how long the channel maybe.
Yes. Cormant-CS discovers new equipment as it is added and removed from the network and provides alerts when these changes occur. It can automatically update the location of an asset-based on SNMP traps and stored connectivity information.
Yes, we excel at audits and data validation. A Cormant-CS audit is as simple as scanning a barcode or tapping an Android device with a barcode scanner. It is able to determine and report on discrepancies between the infrastructure recorded in Cormant-CS and the actual physical assets in the facility.
Different types of audits can be conducted on assets and infrastructure recorded in the database, and/or on connectivity records. Audits can be pre-scheduled and assigned to specific staff members if required.
Yes, historical data is stored in a separate database (clearly it can get quite large) and you can define what to capture, how often and how much to keep with automatic purge functions provided. From there specific historical views can be combined and displayed for any part of the infrastructure.
Yes, the inbuilt C#/VB scripting can communicate to these types of devices using SNMP, WMI, XML or even command line.
Cormant-CS has a report writer built into the application. This means reports can be written to provide exactly the information required. Once a report is written it is available via web links (no more shared location copies) and can be scheduled for export or email on a defined basis.
Cormant-CS is simply priced using a pricing model that allows you to grow your license over time and ensures that the larger the infrastructure being managed, the lower the unit price.
There is no charge for the number of mobile devices or users accessing Cormant-CS. The solution also comes complete – there are no additional modules to purchase, ensuring you understand the total price up-front.
Cormant and the Cormant-CS partner network are able to provide a full range of services from implementation planning, software set-up and configuration, through to auditing, process documentation and if need be, ongoing move management services.
Yes, there are a full range of training courses available. Most often, the first one taken is a combined implementation training and workshop with the output being a post implementation process document that is used to guide the entire implementation and ensures that the final, implemented solution delivers exactly what you need.
Cormant-CS also has Administration/Configuration, User and Scripting courses that ensure all aspects of Cormant-CS are trained.
The training is usually conducted on a customer’s site.
There is no getting away from the fact that, regardless of who implements an IT Infrastructure Management solution, there is a cost involved. However, we believe that Cormant-CS provides the lowest costs to implement in the industry (not to mention the lowest ongoing run-costs).
Why do we believe we are such good value? The unique portability combined with very flexible imports, standard and scriptable discovery means that data can be rapidly acquired. The Cormant-CS portability is a vital part of the implementation process as any changes to data that are required are made as they are identified in the infrastructure on the off-line handheld. They are recorded once and done. There is no double handling of paper updates as there are with many other systems. The Cormant-CS handheld includes a powerful audit module for quick, accurate audits.
We support scripting within Cormant-CS that can be written in VB/C#. These scripts allow customers to read/write to equipment accessible on the network, perform changes to internal data and also add custom ‘right click’ functionality to any piece of equipment to perform a function or launch a local program, such as Ping, SSH or https for device access.
Cormant-CS is windows based and supports Windows server 2012/2016/2019 as well as SQL 2012/2016/2017. A virtual machine is recommended. Depending on the site’s size, a dual core CPU, 16GB RAM machine and upwards is required. Cormant-CS also supports SQL clusters for the database.
For the web application Cormant-CS supports IE Edge, Firefox, Chrome and Opera. Cormant-CS supports offline mobile devices from Zebra (Symbol) and Intermec (and others on request) and Apple/Android online devices.
Not at all. Cormant-CS supports mobile devices from Zebra and Intermec. These are off-the-shelf devices and are used by companies around the world. Cormant-CS partners can supply the devices to you, but you can also purchase them off the shelf from multiple sources.
Most customers choose barcode reading devices as almost every asset has a barcode that can be read. RFID scanners are also supported for those customers who require that. This is usually when a customer is implementing a larger RFID project. For near field activity, barcodes are usually just as good as RFID, much cheaper and are, of course, ubiquitous.
Installation and Support
Yes, Cormant offers an annual support plan that includes support desk access and all major and minor upgrades to the application so you stay up-to-date. All support plans include local partner access for support from people who are knowledgeable about your business.
We have 24 x 7 support access using toll-free numbers, IM and email.
Cormant has a secure web site that provides access to updated templates, icons and software releases as well as best practice tips.
No, not to your equipment. As Cormant-CS does not require any physical equipment to be installed anywhere in the infrastructure, there should be no downtime.
No. Barcodes are on almost every asset supplied to you already (think of serial numbers) so these can be used if desired. However, if you never used a single barcode, you would still be able to use Cormant-CS application.
Some customers add barcode to cables, or their vendors or cable manufacturers add the barcodes. This enables super easy tracking of connectivity channels, but it’s not required to support connectivity documentation.
Yes, it continues to be developed as it has been for 15 years.
Contact us! After an initial consultation to ensure we can help you, we provide a cloud version of Cormant-CS and offer a local partner that can help you get the most out of a trial. Most trials are 2 to 4 weeks in duration and in that time you have access to a fully functional version of Cormant-CS.
Yes, you can install and configure it yourself. There is an excellent installation guide. No part of the product requires Cormant configuration. However, we find that most customers are too busy with managing the “day-to-day” to actually find the time to do it all themselves. Cormant and our partner network offer both configuration and audit services in consultation with you to assist with configuring and ensuring the information in Cormant-CS are accurate. Cormant and our partner network also offer training services.
About Cormant and Our Customers
Yes, please click here for a partial list of customers. We are happy to provide reference customers during the evaluation process. Our customer base is diverse and includes multiple Fortune 100 companies, smaller specialist IT users and government, military, education and healthcare from around the world.
Cormant has been developing and selling Cormant-CS worldwide for over 15 years. Our heritage and knowledge of IT Infrastructure Management are second to none in the industry. We focus exclusively on infrastructure and remain proudly independent.
Contact Cormant for a personal evaluation of your needs and tailored live product demonstration.
Cormant’s dedicated staff can help tailor the right package of software and services for you and will then deliver a fully implemented solution to your enterprise.