Bill Kleyman

May 11, 2015

5 Min Read
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Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, and with offices throughout the U.S., Modius, Inc. is a provider of data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software for optimizing the infrastructure and operations of critical facilities. Founded by Craig Compiano in 2004 (with the product, OpenData, in production since 2006), Modius has customer deployments across the Americas and Asia. Modius' flagship offering, OpenData, is a software application that actively integrates power and environmental intelligence with other management applications.

“Our secret sauce is data collection and Big Data analytics,” said Mark E. Stumm, vice president of marketing and product strategy. “We are well positioned for the Internet of Things (IoT) in that we collect, analyze and act on data produced by every device in the data center (networked and serial). We use this real-time data collection to make smarter DCIM decisions than our competitors that are using plate values and theoretical models to manage their infrastructure.”

Having been in the market for a long period, Modius has had time to craft its DCIM solution to evolve with the modern data center. Customers range in size and span the globe to include: Charles Schwab, USC, Lawrence Livermore Labs, XIOLINK, Cologix, ISWest, Virginia Tech, Plantronix, and Qualcomm.

“We have seen a significant increase in companies looking to establish DCIM capabilities in their data centers over the past 12 months,” said Compiano, CEO of Modius. “Many factors including a stronger economy, rising energy costs, and a maturing DCIM market have fueled this spike in DCIM adoption. Companies have previously been challenged to cost effectively improve operational efficiencies in their facilities, but now are realizing that DCIM products like Modius OpenData can provide Real-time Operational Intelligence (RtOI) to drive operational improvements by leveraging data from the Internet of Things (IoT).”

At Modius, the idea is to provide the holistic monitoring and real-time decision support that organizations need to better manage availability, capacity, and efficiency across their entire data center operations. Its DCIM solutions aim to provide operational intelligence for the extended power and cooling chain - from the grid to the chassis.

OpenData software solutions by Modius are completely vendor neutral and highly scalable with no coding required to add new devices across multiple sites. Finally, OpenData's ease-of-use and flexibility are taking the data center management process to a new level where users can easily configure their own dashboards and reports with the power of advanced OpenData analytics at their fingertips.

Modius OpenData DCIM Solution Details

Modius Inc. is a leading provider of DCIM solutions. Founded in 2004 in San Francisco, California, the company offers DCIM solutions to simplify complex and diverse IT facilities’ management systems for improved performance efficiency. The company has customer deployments in the U.S. and Asia. OpenData is a powerful DCIM software offered by Modius that integrates power and environmental intelligence into management applications. Here is a comprehensive evaluation of OpenData.


Asset Mgt

OpenData provides accurate accounting of every asset of a data center. It uses a single database to accurately house all physical asset data, including power infrastructure, data center layout, IT &telecom equipment, end-to-end network cables, power cables and HVAC devices across the infrastructure and multiple sites. The asset information can be visualized to understand the relationship between each asset. However, it doesn’t automatically discover assets.

Power Management

OpenData provides real-time monitoring of a data center’s energy consumption to help you understand how it is affected by the physical environment. It provides visualized information related to the PUE and DCIE values. You can check the PUE value for a mixed-use or a stand-alone data center or calculate the partial PUE of certain groups or zones. Using various protocols, OpenData collects energy and performance data of all cooling and power equipment. With critical power information and power chain dependencies on hand, you can quickly resolve power anomalies and improve the system’s efficiency.

Thermal Management

OpenData provides visibility into system and device-level performance factors that affect environmental conditions. The application continuously measures all data points from environmental sensors. It lets you understand how humidity and temperature values go up and down with changing climatic conditions. The real-time view in the dashboard helps you to monitor the device performance together with environmental conditions throughout the day. PUE and DCIE values can be effectively monitored and controlled. With OpenData’s operational intelligence, you can gain deeper insights into your facility’s infrastructure and make changes accordingly.

Space Management

OpenData monitors the entire energy profile and IT equipment utilization to help you manage and forecast implementation of new services, applications and throughput. It captures performance data of the cooling and power chain from the chassis to the grid to provide realistic resource consumption details. It provides a visual representation of the entire infrastructure to let you conveniently monitor and control assets.

Visual Modeling

OpenData visualizes real-time monitoring and data-driven analysis using rich graphics for improved resource management. It leverages data from as many sources as possible and provides a real-time dashboard for reporting and analytical purposes. The intuitive interface is easy to use and user-centric. No technical knowledge is required to use the interface. You can quickly learn to adjust thresholds, add or remove new devices or view daily performance trends of devices across the infrastructure. However, there is no native graphic creation platform. Visualization is created on a third party platform and imported into the system.

Hypothetical Modeling

OpenData enables you to effectively manage and forecast energy and data center performance requirements. By understanding the energy profile of the data center and the extent of IT equipment utilization over time, you can safely determine where to add new equipment without overloading the facility.It is easy to use the dashboard to analyze energy usage and performance trends across the infrastructure.

Access & Control

OpenData supports basic protocols. It communicates with other network equipment using SNMP, BACnet, Modbus and wireless protocols. It can capture data from any device regardless of the vendor. It can collect data from building and environmental management systems. It easily integrates with other infrastructure management solutions including RFCode, SAP Business Objects and Schneider StruxureWare Operations. A serial-to-network gateway is used to communicate with devices that are not accessible on the network.Only IP-based remote access is natively provided.

Reporting & Alarming

OpenData provides device-level analytics and reporting. It offers a broad range of templates to quickly generate reports. You can use pre-defined report templates or customize them. Reports can be generated for a data center’s operational status, efficiency and capacity at device-level or network-level. OpenData takes a unified approach to alarm management by tracking the performance of the entire equipment against a single threshold policy.Alarms are sent using a centralized notification engine.


About the Author(s)

Bill Kleyman

Bill Kleyman has more than 15 years of experience in enterprise technology. He also enjoys writing, blogging, and educating colleagues about tech. His published and referenced work can be found on Data Center Knowledge, AFCOM, ITPro Today, InformationWeek, NetworkComputing, TechTarget, DarkReading, Forbes, CBS Interactive, Slashdot, and more.

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