IDC updates DCIM vendor evaluation for smart IT-enabled data centers

Oct. 23, 2015
New report by International Data Corporation (IDC) helps data center managers, facility managers, and CIOs understand and evaluate the data center infrastructure management (DCIM) vendor landscape.

To help data center managers, facility managers, and CIOs understand and evaluate the data center infrastructure management (DCIM) vendor landscape, International Data Corporation (IDC) recently published a new report, IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Data Center Infrastructure Management 2015 Vendor Assessment. The report evaluates 15 DCIM vendors, including ABB, CA Technologies, CommScope iTRACS, Cormant, Device42, Emerson Network Power, FieldView Solutions, FNT, Modius, Nlyte, Panduit, RF Code, Schneider Electric, Siemens, and Sunbird Software.

In putting together the report, the technology analyst's premise is thus: Data center managers are under increasing pressure to support 3rd platform technologies and IT projects, yet many are doing so with limited visibility and control over the critical facilities, as well as the physical IT and connectivity equipment that supports these workloads. Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) solutions have emerged as an essential tool to develop more efficient data centers. As the software-defined IT environment evolves, the underlying physical resource management has evolved to support it. However, the DCIM solutions on the market today are varied in their approach to improving management of data center resources.

According to Jennifer Koppy, research director, data center management at IDC, "To date, the most successful DCIM vendors have been those that have worked closely with end user customers to ensure accurate and complete collection of data in the deployment phase. As DCIM deployments continue to mature, IDC expects that a competitive differentiator will be the DCIM providers' ability to automate maintenance and management processes to support remote management and lights-out data centers."

As recently revealed* by's infrastructure industry chronicler Yevgeniy Sverdlik, IDC's analysis shows that "compared to revenues raked in by vendors selling other kinds of data center technology, DCIM software isn’t a huge market, but it is growing steadily. IDC’s forecast is that [the market] will reach about $576 million in size this year – up from $475 million in 2014. Koppy projects that the market will grow at a compound annual rate of about 16 percent between 2014 and 2019, at which point it will reach $988 million."

Sverdlik's reporting also discloses that, according to IDC, "Emerson [currently] has the largest share of the DCIM software market, and Schneider has the second largest...but a group of other vendors the market research firm considers 'major players' has moved much closer to the top three. Within this group are also some newer entrants with highly competitive solutions. Two of those newer entrants are the Swiss industrial automation giant ABB and the German conglomerate Siemens. The two companies have a special advantage if the data center market continues to move in the direction of greater automation."

IDC notes that vendors evaluated in the new report approach DCIM from several angles. Some are focused on addressing IT asset management and connectivity challenges in managing data center resources, whereas others are more focused on the critical infrastructure and building controls. Some are software-only, while others are highly oriented toward services. Selecting the most appropriate solution requires an honest assessment of internal skills and clear goals for the DCIM project.

In sum, considering the increasingly distributed nature of data center resources, with build-outs at the edge and equipment in both on-premise and co-located sites, IDC recommends that data center managers consider the following in choosing a DCIM solution:

* Ability to integrate and interact with the many other management tools in the data center.
From disparate and legacy building management systems (BMS) to cloud-based IT service management (ITSM) solutions, the ability for the DCIM solution to either feed data into another management solution or serve as the aggregator for disparate sources of data will enhance the usefulness to the entire organization.

* Scalability of the solution to encompass very large sets of data from many data center types (on-premise, edge, and colocated). As the data center evolves to become a distributed array of data center resources, the ability of the solution to reach across physical borders and aggregate real-time data in a secure way will be a competitive differentiator.

* Investment in predictive analytics and automation technologies to enable the lights-out data center. Monitoring capability is table stakes in DCIM, but running an agile and efficient data center requires the ability to analyze large amounts of data to drive proactive decisions on management and maintenance of resources.

"The goal of a data center is to deliver IT service to end customers, and data center managers are under increasing pressure to deliver this service quickly, wherever and whenever needed, without compromising uptime and reliability," concludes IDC's Koppy. "When implemented well and supported across the enterprise, DCIM can be a critical step in delivering data center resources in a highly service-oriented way to customers."

Learn more about the report.

* Source:

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