Data center developers provide the bricks, mortar, power and ping to support their tenants. But they're increasingly finding the need to get into the software side of the data center business, offering tools to make management easier. The latest to do so is turnkey wholesale giant Digital Realty Trust, which today launched EnVision, a comprehensive data center infrastructure management (DCIM) solution.
Digital Realty says EnVision is a DCIM solution built by a data center operator for data center operators. The software will provide increased visibility into data center operations through a user-friendly interface, offering access to historical data as well as predictive capabilities. The EnVision rollout will begin this month and take approximately 18 months to complete across Digital Realty’s global data center portfolio, which consists of 122 properties in 32 markets.
"Up until now, data has been collected, but it has not necessarily been easily accessed or arranged in an intuitive manner that is helpful to a data center operator," said David Schirmacher, senior vice president of portfolio operations at Digital Realty. "The goal in rolling out EnVision across our global portfolio is to give our customers a common database that is structured around the specific needs of data center operators and can therefore manage the millions of data points that are found in today’s large-scale facilities."
Diversifying its Capabilities
The announcement further blurs some of the traditional lines in the data center business, and reflects Digital Realty's move to diversify its business to offer a broader set of capabilities. In recent years Digital Realty has expanded into colocation and dark fiber services. It's not the first infrastructure provider to develop its own management software (one early example is IO, which entered the DCIM market in 2011), but as the world's largest data center landlord, Digital Realty has the resources to be a player very quickly. To speed the process, last year Digital Realty hired Schirmacher, who previously worked at DCIM specialist Fieldview and helped automate infrastructure at Goldman Sachs.
The new product will let current and future Digital Realty customers analyze data located within specific racks, buildings, entire states and even up to the entire global portfolio, providing insight whether on a granular or high-level basis.
"EnVision links data center IT and infrastructure metrics in order to give our customers real-time, historical and predictive views into their operations," said Michael Foust, chief executive officer at Digital Realty. "This will benefit our customers in a variety of ways. For example, it will provide improved efficiency analysis and help operations teams to support future planning. We are excited to bring EnVision to market and feel that it represents the next critical stage in the ongoing evolution of DCIM solutions."
EnVision provides an organized view, not only saving time and adding efficiency, but it also addressing a key data management challenge by pulling together siloed, or stranded, data and presenting it in context, providing a complete real-time view into the environment rather than just a view into a portion of the environment over a "slice" of time.
Schirmacher will discuss Digital Realty's DCIM initiative tomorrow in one of the afternoon keynote sessions at The Uptime Symposium in Santa Clara, Calif.