For Schneider Electric and its StruxureWare for Data Centers DCIM solution, the last few weeks have provided almost an embarrassment of riches, as influential analysts announced the outcomes of their researches into the space. First came news that the software was strongly positioned as an undisputed leader in a report comparing 15 vendors based upon their technological capability and business strategy.
More recently, Gartner has issued its second Magic Quadrant for Data Center Infrastructure Management Tools. The respected analyst defines DCIM as tools that monitor, measure, manage and/or control data center utilization and energy consumption of all IT-related equipment (such as servers, storage and network switches) and facility infrastructure components (such as power distribution units [PDUs] and computer room air conditioners [CRACs]).
The Magic Quadrant is a thing in which there are no real losers as such (just being identified by Gartner is significant), however for the second year in a row, Gartner has recognized Schneider Electric as an undisputed leader in the sector after an extensive review process based upon 14 evaluation criteria, and measured by ‘completeness of vision’ and ‘ability to execute.’ (If you want to swap a few details, you can read the Gartner report here).
In keeping with other industry commentators, Gartner says that the benefits of DCIM are better understood by customers than they were this time last year, and detects an overall increase in DCIM investments with demand being highest amongst large corporations. The advantages of DCIM, says Gartner, is that “tools facilitate continuous reoptimization of data center power, cooling and physical space, and can be a powerful enabler of capex and opex savings.”
Based upon my experiences meeting with and writing about data center professionals using the software, I think the piece that gets lost in research is the enthusiasm they have for the technology. In one recent meeting I was struck by the way that energy efficiency was taken as a given, while the real value in the solution was seen in the convenience it conferred upon the user – even simple things like checking physical capacity without having to visit the facility or go looking in any cabinets.
Data centers are increasingly complex and expensive to build and operate. Ensuring that they meet their design requirement and deliver ROI to the max, means that they need to be operated carefully and capacity utilised optimally. It means that the moves, adds and changes which are the common currency of IT loads must be made with future impact fully considered. No spreadsheet is able to deliver that level of insight, and capital isn’t easily won to correct simple miscalculations.
For Schneider Electric as a company providing data center physical infrastructure as well as software, its experience in the design and build aspects of facilities, as well as its open interface with other software layers from BMS to ITSM is an advantage to those in pursuit of easier integration and management. For that, you might consider another Oscar Wilde aphorism: “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.”
This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Schneider Electric: https://www.schneider-electric.com/tools/registration/promo/us/en/getpromo/k656u/. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.