The industry is increasingly recognizing the need for an open approach to DCIM. It’s not hardware constrained, nor software or modular constrained; “DCIM needs a bi-directional exchange of information,” said Bloomstein. “Proprietary solutions won’t be able to compete if they don’t integrate and play nice with the rest of the DCIM ecosystem.” That leads to the next prediction:
7. Ecosystems Will Form Around DCIM
Strong ecosystems will start to form around DCIM. There are so many vendors that offer very specific functions or pieces of DCIM that there needs to be an aggregation point. A lot of integration needs to happen for all these moving pieces to work together properly.” Unless they get two engineers working together, it’s just a marketing relationship,” said Harris. “How do we physically spend to make it work together? It’s a matter of putting the interfaces together.”
“It’s all about the data – the quality of data you have in DCIM will drive the success,” said Bloomstein. “For this you need bidirectional movement of data. At the heart of the true potential of DCIM as a strategic tool is the data.”
8. Visuals Will Take a Backseat to Capabilities
During these early days of DCIM, a lot marketing and flair is being used to attract customers. Customers will be able to look beyond visuals and focus primarily on capabilities as time progresses. A lot of vendors tout great-looking solutions, showing complex visual representations of infrastructure. What is now a differentiator will quickly become standard in the industry, vendors predict. Glossy interfaces will take a backseat to the true value of DCIM, which is the leveraging of information across all systems in a meaningful way, extending capabilities deeper.
9. Real-Time Data
The ability to collect data in real time is important, but is only part of the answer. The big vendors are strong in this area, but they’ll need to do more. Getting all the pieces working together is the ultimate goal.
10. 25 Percent Market Penetration?
Mark Harris from Nlyte had an interesting and exact prediction: “June of 2013 is when 25% penetration will happen.” He sees “many, many customers doing something.”
What needs to happen?
Most vendors agree that the biggest hurdle is “understanding,” and making several parts of an organization comprehend the value of DCIM. Although the toolset can span facilities and IT, there are actually a number of organizations that need to have “buy in” and understanding. That includes the finance department, in addition to facilities and IT. The fourth group that needs to buy in is those involved with corporate social responsibility.
The data center is often the largest asset of an enterprise. It costs a ton of money. The key to success is really about making the organization understand. It’ll be about the delivery of smarter business alignment.
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