Gartner has released its first Magic Quadrant (MQ) report on Data Center Infrastructure Management, laying out the market and positions for several DCIM providers across the four quadrants of leaders, challengers, visionaries and niche players.
While there is a lot of interest in DCIM, it’s difficult for customers to determine where to start. Understanding where a DCIM provider’s strengths are is a good thing in an often-confusing market.
The report adds some clarity to the market, analyzing strengths and weaknesses for 17 players. Gartner isn't the first to tackle the fairly young DCIM space. Its competitors 451 Research and TechNavio both have taken a stab at defining and segmenting the space.
Gartner defines DCIM market as space that encompasses tools that monitor, measure, manage and control data center resources and energy consumption of IT and facility components. The market research house forecasts that by 2017 DCIM tools will be deployed in more than 60 percent of larger data center in North America.
Providers often offer different pieces of the overall infrastructure management picture and use different and complicated pricing models. All vendors in the MQ must offer a portfolio of IT-related and facilities infrastructure components rather than one specific component. All included vendors must enable monitoring down to the rack level at minimum. Building management systems are not included.
The four companies in the Leaders Quadrant – those proven to be leaders in technology and capable of executing well -- are Schneider Electric, Emerson Network Power, CA Technologies and Nlyte Software. All but Nlyte are major vendors that offer several other products and services outside of DCIM, putting Nlyte, a San Mateo, California-based startup, in company of heavyweights.
Here is Gartner's first ever Magic Quadrant for DCIM vendors:
IO, the Arizona data center provider best known for its modular data centers, was named a visionary in the report for the IO.OS software it developed to manage its customers' data center deployments.
"We are very pleased with the findings articulated in the Garter Magic Quadrant for DCIM," said Bill Slessman, CTO of IO. "IO customers have trusted the IO.OS to intelligently control their data centers since 2012."
The other three quadrants are for challengers, visionaries and niche players, and it’s not a bad thing to be listed in any portion of the MQ. Challengers stand to threaten leaders; visionaries stand to change the market, and niche players focus on certain functions above others, though a narrow focus can limit their ability to outperform leaders. Being listed in the MQ is a win in itself.
DCIM value, according to Gartner:
- Enable continuous optimization of data center power, cooling and space
- Integrate IT and facilities management
- Help to achieve greater efficiency
- Model and simulate the data center for “what if” scenarios
- Show how resources and assets are interrelated