When a customer asks whether a DCIM vendor’s software integrates with the customer’s IT service management system, the vendor has to say ‘yes.’ Very often, however, that ‘yes’ is an uneasy one.
If the customer happens to be using an ITSM system the vendor has not already built a connector for, that ‘yes’ means there will potentially be months of programming work and tons of money spent on consultants.
Nlyte, a San Mateo, California-based DCIM vendor, says this is a problem it no longer has. The company’s ITSM framework, announced Wednesday, gives it a way to plug its DCIM software into any ITSM solution in a matter of days, Mark Harris, Nlyte’s vice president of marketing and strategy, said.
ITSM-DCIM integration no longer optional
ITSM is a process-oriented approach to providing and maintaining high quality of IT services by an IT organization to its customers, and there is a multitude of software solutions built to enable it. The two most common ones are Configuration Management Database and workflow systems for change management.
Just about all customers that undertake modern DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) implementation want some kind of integration of DCIM with these systems. “Almost every customer buys more than one of those integrations,” Harris said. This means vendors who want to stay competitive in the space have to say they can do it.
Hard-wiring DCIM with ITSM is a bad idea
Every other DCIM vendor he has heard of takes what he calls a “brute force” approach to integration, using vast programming and consulting resources and taking a lot of time to hard-wire their software to customers’ ITSM solutions. As soon as one of the hard-wired systems changes, however, say through a software update, programmers have to roll their sleeves up again, Harris said.
With its ITSM framework, it is now a lot easier for Nlyte to say yes to those integration questions. “It makes our ability to create connectors much, much simpler,” Harris said.
Nlyte knows this because like others it has spent years building and releasing various hard-wired ITSM connectors.
After about six months of work, the framework started shipping as part of Nlyte’s software last month. Delivered as a module in the DCIM solution, it can talk to internal and external programming interfaces used in ITSM systems and understands how to deliver information between them and the DCIM software. It is essentially an orchestration module.
Connector licenses will cost the same
Nlyte licenses connectors for different ITSM and server virtualization systems separately from the main DCIM software license. It charges per rack and the list price varies, depending on the connector, ranging between $50 and $200 per connector per rack.
The ITSM framework should reflect positively on Nlyte’s bottom line, since connector pricing will remain the same, but the company will not have to spend money on consultants and thousands of programmer hours.
Correction: A previous version of this article erroneously said the price for Nlyte's connector licenses ranged between $50 and $100 per connector per rack. The range is actually $50 to $200. Data Center Knowledge regrets the error.