Everyday I talk to company after company about DCIM topics. Even those of you that have been closely following the DCIM marketplace understand that it is a rapidly changing and progressing new category of management software and the discussions you may have had just 60 or 90 days ago may have changed. New discussions may have acquired a new flavor, new constituents or even a re-prioritized set of needs.
Two things I find today which are common regardless of who I am talking to. First and foremost, most IT organizations NOW understand where they REALLY are with regards to Physical Infrastructure Management solutions. They know the types of available documentation and spreadsheets and other materials which describe their data center. They also know that there are huge gaps in what they actually know regarding their physical infrastructure and what they actually need to make progress in optimizing it. Luckily, they also are becoming familiar with many of the concepts of DCIM and understand that DCIM starts with an accurate spatially-aware representation of all of their computing assets in highly granular fashion – and it doesn’t stop with the pretty pictures that represent that model! It’s about long term asset change management, business analytics, intelligent placement scenarios and overall data center resource prediction.
Secondly, the key players on their team are getting fairly articulate about these longer-term business management goals for the data center, and have a large amount of recently acquired executive-level oversight. Whereas the data center used to be a delivered services oriented ‘black-box’, it has become a highly visible and strategic corporate asset. Combining this knowledge, they understand that DCIM is the means to get to their next level of pro-active management. DCIM is a strategy, not a tactic.
Now we all know that the shortest path between any two points is a straight line, but in the case of DCIM, it is not so apparent how to draw that line. There are simply too many vendors with self-proclaimed DCIM offerings that are pulling customers left and right. Luckily for us all, the natural selection process is working. Some of these ‘DCIM’ startups are vanishing. Some startups are re-tooling and re-focusing their products & messages to be more tangible value oriented. Some are simply getting back to their knitting and stating more clearly what they actually DO without artificially connecting their value to DCIM.
In the end, the DCIM madness is beginning to subside. Sure there is still a lot of noise, but the volume of that noise is becoming bearable. Do your part and ask your DCIM vendor candidates the HARD questions, ask to SEE what they do, challenge their answers, be very specific. Here at Nlyte, we are proud of the last 10 years of development in our DCIM-specific solution. We even have a Patent on the intelligent placement of assets based on data center conditions. Ask NLYTE to demonstrate what we say!
As an industry, we are almost out of the rapids… I can see smooth sailing ahead!