CA Visual Infrastructure - Best practices to model a datacenter using spreadsheet import

Document created by NestorFalcon Employee on Dec 10, 2014Last modified by Melissa Potvin on Jul 13, 2016
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CA Visual Infrastructure - Best practices to model a datacenter using spreadsheet import


Customer scenarios – what do we need



To model a datacenter in CA Visual Infrastructure we need to have a list of ALL the physical assets to be represented in CAVI. This list should contain, as a minimum:
     1. Model, vendor and device name for all assets.
     2. Asset position in the DC (Floor, hall, row and column for floor mounted assets and rack name, rack U or enclosure slot ID for mounted assets).
     3. If cables are to be modelled, the list should contain this data for each cable:
          a. Target and Source device.
          b. Target and Source port.
          c. Cable name and type (fiber, cupper...)


This information should be provided by the customer and it can be:
     1. A collection of spreadsheets (xlsx)
     2. An export of a third party App, CMDB or inventory solution.
     3. None of the above. For this case, an auditory needs to be done to compile an inventory of all assets in the DC.
We must perform a data sanity check to verify we have all the relevant information to build/model the DC.


Recommended steps to model a DC



Several spreadsheets will be used during the modeling of the DC. It is recommended to split the data by Hall, Room or Areas of the DC. This means we will have a different folder of spreadsheets for each zone of the DC (e.g: Hall1, Hall2, Lab1…).
Then, for each zone, we recommend to follow these steps:

     1. FMA Import: Import all FMA (floor mounted assets) first. This includes racks, CRACs, PDUs, electrical boards, Chillers, Generators… and any asset that occupies a physical space on the floorplan. The location information of these assets is given by a Room, row and a column.
     2. Mount Asset Import: Import all assets that are mounted in the racks. These are servers, switches, rackPDUs, enclosures, patch panels…
          The location information of these assets is given by a rack and the U-position.
          Import all sensors during this step too. Sensors are normally “attached” to the rack doors, walls or columns.

     3. Blade Import: Import all assets that are mounted inside of enclosures. These are server blades, switch blades, onboard administrator cards,…
          The location information of these assets is given by an enclosure and a slot-ID.

     4. Connections Import: Import all cables during this step.
          The cable definition and target/source device and port are needed for this step.
          Optionally, you might need to create additional ports to the existing devices. This can be done via spreadsheet, tab “Ports”.

*NOTE: See different mount types in the end of this document.

The set of spreadsheet to import all devices will look like:



Best practices to import cables



The import of connections means to manage a massive amount of data. It is strongly recommended to divide the process into phases or “sections”. Define several sections of cables; each of these sections will be a spreadsheet that has the same kind source and target devices.


     1. For power cables we can have:
          a. From generators to ATS
          b. From ATS to UPS
          c. From UPS to electrical boards
          d. From electrical boards to PDUs/FDCs
          e. From PDU/FDCs to rackPDUs
          f. From rackPDUs to servers/switches.




     2. For network cables:
          a. From backend router/switch to backend patch panel.
          b. From backend patch panel to satellite patch panel (this can be pre-cabled)
          c. From satellite patch panel to end device in the rack (server, enclosure…)




CA Visual Infrastructure Mount types









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