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FOCUS DCIM


Issue 17, August/September


WITH RATIONAL MANAGEMENT The Data Center Infrastructure Management market is being compared to the Enterprise Resource Planning market of the early to mid 1990s. This should be a warning to all, says Ambrose McNevin


ERP: two decades ago these three little letters launched a thousand failed projects and a thousand more consultancies to rescue them.


Enterprise Resource Planning became synonymous with large complex software implementations, inflated promises and dubious returns. The shorthand figure was that for every $2 spent on ERP software, $8 was spent on consultancy to make it work. An interesting twist on the 80/20 rule.


ERP meant corporate disruption on an


unprecedented scale as business attempted a giant leap from several hundred years of paper-based processes into the digital age. Its ambition caused many failures but those that took the pain will today happily espouse the journey as the best they have ever taken and a destination worth the effort.


Are data centers about to undertake similar disruption? The consensus is that data centers are in desperate need of management. Server virtualization, power over-provisioning, processor under utilization, compliance and


regulation, dynamic loads, high density and pure old ‘good governance’ demand that data center operators adopt better management practices.


While Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) is analogous to ERP, there are key differences. The DCIM market, for example, has no single dominant player, whereas SAP came out of Germany and invented an entire ERP software industry.


With DCIM there is not one but two very large


energy management companies,


namely Schneider Electric and Emerson Network Power, already doing some very public proselytising. These companies have developed their own approach to DCIM, though both say they can manage everything from the building to the server.


The developments of Trellis and Struxureware, the respective Emerson and


R


KEEPING THE DATA CENTER SANE


DCIM could grind to a halt without the right planning


Alongside these behemoths, and with other giants such as IBM, HP and CA Technologies also staking a claim to this market, there is a growing list of software, monitoring, infrastructure and IT companies throwing their hats into a crowded ring (see box below).


Schneider WARNINGS AND GUIDANCE


Electric offerings, (see pages 56 and 52), have, in many ways, validated the market for DCIM.


THE DCIM MARKET TODAY: WHO’S IN AND WHY


Zahl Limbuwala, CEO of Romonet, says the debate of what DCIM is or isn’t, and who should be included or left off any list of DCIM products and players, is one that will continue


Does DCIM already need sub-categorization? Is it about instrumentation or software? What are the strengths and weaknesses of all of these start ups?


The DCIM category will split between those that are plumbed into the data center offering management through instrumentation and those that are providing an approach that doesn’t rely on thousands of sensors.


Romonet has been placed in the DCIM category for its Prognose product — a predictive modelling and planning tool which Limbuwala delivers as DCPM, or Data Center Predictive Modelling.


Among the other players are SynapSense Corporation, which recently raised US$16m in Series C round financing to expand company operations. Synapsense has a proposition focused on understanding the environmental side of data center operations, temperature, air pressure, airflow and humidity.


Cannon Technologies’ Data Centre Manager software enables organizations to control their data centers from anywhere on the planet


Dick Philips is technical director of CANS, a Dutch software company in the DCIM space. He has some warnings and guidance for those


via one IP address. Users control the configuration of data center, power usage, security access, environmental control and fire suppression systems using one suite of dedicated software. Previously all these functions would have to be controlled by a series of separate software programs, according to Cannon which adds that its software can be linked to uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems to ensure optimum uptime for servers.


DCIM from FieldView is the “only non-proprietary and vendor neutral, web- based reporting tool that includes baseline facility profiles, preconfigured energy reports as well as a customizable report revealing a global view of all data center efficiency program results.”


Raritan’s DCIM proposition dcTrack software can give up-to-the-minute views and granular details of every device, along with their connections across multiple data centers, including servers, networking and facilities elements. It also provides real-time views of a data center’s power consumption, heat dissipation, raised-floor space and rack elevations.


Other DCIM players include: AssetGen, Concurrent Thinking, Eaton, HP, Geist Intelligent Facilities, Joulex, Modius, Nlyte, No Limits Software, Panduit, Power Analytics, Power Assure, Racktivity, Sentilla, Viridity and VMware (see page 62).


Visit www.datacenterdynamics.com/focus/archive/2011/08/focus-17- dcim for detailed descriptions of more DCIM products


48 www.datacenterdynamics.com


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