infoTECH Feature

September 29, 2014

Gartner Releases First Magic Quadrant Report on Data Center Infrastructure Management

Data centers are becoming such an integral part of the world we live in, they now have to be considered as valuable as other infrastructures such as electricity and water. The value of these facilities will continue to increase as cloud technology becomes the preferred method for individual and organizations to access their IT needs.  Recognizing the importance of data center infrastructure management (DCIM), Gartner (News - Alert) released its first Magic Quadrant report in this market highlighting the positions of several DCIM providers across the four quadrants of leaders, challengers, visionaries and niche players.

Gartner points out even though there is a lot of interest in DCIM, customers are having difficulties in determining where to start to acquire the services providers are offering. The goal of this report is to provide customers clarity into the market by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of companies in a DCIM marketplace Gartner considers fairly young.

The report looked at 17 players, and it named Schneider Electric, Emerson (News - Alert), CA and Nlyte DCIM leaders; Raritan (News - Alert) and iTRACS as challengers; Comant, Panduit, FNT and IO as visionaries; and ABB, Device42, FieldView Solutions, Geist, Modius, Optimum Path and Rackwise as niche players.

Customers looking for DCIM services had indicated to Gartner the price point is still considerably high, but typical DCIM licensing costs per rack have declined significantly over the past three years.  According to Gartner, the cost only represents a small percentage of the overall total cost of ownership for the data center, making it a worthwhile investment.

The value DCIM offers according to Gartner are:

  • Enabling continuous reoptimization of data center power, cooling and physical space usage to help defer capital expenses for expanding existing data centers or building new ones.
  • Integrate IT and facilities management of a data center to help bridge the gap between the IT manager and the facilities manager by supplying each with information and analysis, bringing back together these two interrelated positions.
  • Achieve greater energy efficiency. With energy being one of the largest operational expenditures for data centers, energy cost savings alone are often enough to make a business case for justifying the purchase of DCIM tools.
  • Model and/or simulate the data center, enabling the IT manager and the facilities manager to assess "what if" scenarios.
  • Enhance resource and asset management by showing how the resources/assets are interrelated.

Overall the DCIM market is managing around 425,000 racks globally, representing only seven percent of the racks in data centers most suitable for this solution, which are data centers with an area greater than about 1,000 square feet. Gartner forecasts by 2017 DCIM tools will be deployed in more than 60 percent of large data centers in North America. Service provider data centers including colocation and telcos, financial services, high tech, healthcare, and federal governments will make up the bulk of customers using DCIM.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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