IT Point Products DO NOT Support Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM), So Stop Calling Them That!

Dec 12, 2012 9:33:49 AM

Nothing drives an IT industry analyst more nuts then when a term is repeatedly misused for marketing purposes. DCIM certainly falls into this category. In the recently release EMA Radar Report on Data Center Infrastructure Management, we looked at hundreds of products claiming to be DCIM solutions, but identified only ten (that’s right … 10!) that could reasonably lay claim to that distinction.

To clarify the term, DCIM refers to holistic monitoring and management processes – including power management, asset management, thermal management, space management, access and control, and network distribution – that dynamically delivers a complete picture of how devices and environment conditions relate to each other across an IT ecosystem. For example, when a device is introduced, changes, or fails, DCIM processes help determine how the disruption will affect the performance of all other devices and conditions in the environment.

The core of the confusion in the marketplace, however, derives from the fact that DCIM encompasses such a wide range of management disciplines, and vendors offering products that support one or only a few of these processes are staking a claim to the broader descriptor. An asset tracking platform is an ITAM platform. A product that measures and reports on energy consumption is a power management solution. The very definition of DCIM does not allow the platforms to be identified as such because they do not deliver a holistic view of ALL critical elements in the environment.

So, which vendors qualify as delivering the only true DCIM solutions? I could tell you, but we spent so much time developing the research, it’s best if I just direct you there. The DCIM Radar Report Summary is available for download for free and provides an in-depth comparison of the leading product sets:

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Steve Brasen

Written by Steve Brasen

Steve Brasen is a Research Director leading EMA’s practices covering endpoint management, identity management, and access management. Steve’s career at EMA follows 20 years of “in-the-trenches” enterprise experience in IT management, operational support, and engineering for high-technology, telecommunications, and financial institutions, including: MCI Worldcom, Bell Communications Research, UNIX International, Salomon Smith Barney, and Agilent Technologies.

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