Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) is still in early stages, and still trying to find a clear identity. 2013 was a big year in terms of customer interest, and 2014 looks to be very promising. Here’s a look at what’s ahead for next year.
Customers are beginning to understand the value proposition of DCIM. Much like with what occurred with cloud computing, the DCIM landscape will become much clearer in 2014.
“Many DCIM vendors will become much more articulate about what they do (their value) and what they can deliver now,” said Mark Harris, Nlyte. “Prospects will vote with their dollars and essentially force DCIM vendors to focus on what they can demonstrate now. This may result in a bit less confusion for prospective buyers.”
“Part of what’s happening in the market, as the market is progressing, is there’s more clarity in terms what the customer is trying to achieve, and what vendors can and cannot do,” said George Brooks, senior vice president of Enterprise Product and Market Management at CommScope.
“With so many DCIM vendors in the market, everyone is struggling to define the essential value bundle – that sweet spot between what customers will actually use and what they will pay for,” said Troy Rutman, IO spokesperson. “We’ve placed our bet on a true data center operating system to manage and optimize the data center based on the real-time needs of applications. In 2014, we will see organizations increasingly looking to comprehensive software to enable dynamic shifting of workloads, integrate legacy and modular capacity, and enable sophisticated data analytics.”
Toe-Dipping on the Part of Customers
While the capabilities of DCIM are robust, customers will ease into DCIM.
“Customer prospects will spend more time thinking about the specifics of what results they need from a DCIM solution now,” said Harris, Nlyle. “They may use the term DCIM as a main project title, but they will also have a set of very specific goals that they wish to achieve in short order. The two biggest goals that end-users will be looking for are capacity planning at the physical layer as well as workflow support for operations.”
The Year of Analytics
“We have already seen how IT operation analytics are taking the IT management market by storm,” said Suvish Viswanathan, Senior Analyst, Unified IT,ManageEngine. “Analytics are very important for DCIM as they allow for more accurate what-if analysis based on more concrete data and not on assumptions based on static historic values. Improved analytics would also help in achieving a better understanding of the total cost of ownership (TCO).”
“Data centers are one of the most complex interconnected entities, if not the most complex, ever created by humans,” said Willie Bloomstein, iTRACS.”Staggering amounts of data sits in that data center environment. Turning it into actionable, meaningful information is part of the value of DCIM. We tend to approach from a strategic and open perspective. What we’re seeing with analytics, what we think customers are looking for, is looking for access to a full robust analytics engine, in a very organic and intuitive fashion. We’re announcing in early 2014 myAnalytics. We’re going to provide personalized, role based access to individual data reports. We believe that’s where analytics needs to go – give you an engine.”