In the seventh of our “8 Megatrends” series, we sat down with Craig McKesson, EVP Enterprise Services, T5 Data Centers, to get his perspective on the promise of data center infrastructure management (DCIM).
T5, a builder, owner and operator of server-ready single and multi-tenant facilities, implemented Schneider Electric’s StruxureWare for Data Centers to holistically manage its own operations and provide customers — typically large enterprises — better control of their individual environments.
Early on, there was a lot of buzz around DCIM and many entries into the marketplace, so T5 conducted a thorough vetting process for software selection, according to Craig.
“We spoke with customers and prospects to find out what was important to them,” he says, “We have a great relationship with Schneider Electric and know they are committed to continued development of the tool. Plus, StuxureWare was a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant from the beginning.”
Keeping the Promise
Back then, some wondered if the buzz was really just hype, but Craig believes DCIM suffered from the consumer technology affect; wherein smartphones have created an instant results mindset and thereby, unrealistic expectations for the speed of return from other, more complex technologies like DCIM.
Today, we are on the cusp of DCIM living up to its promise. “Like any new business technology, DCIM takes time to deploy, integrate and capture benefits. It’s akin to other large enterprise systems — like ERP, for example, where ROI takes time,” says Craig.
In fact, early adopters are now seeing benefits from DCIM and T5 is creating unique offerings based on it. The new “T5 Insight” powered by StruxureWare provides T5’s customers true visibility, transparency and control over their individual environments.
“Companies of all sizes are doing more with less,” says Craig, “and a main goal for them is to better align IT with their core businesses. Tools like DCIM, which enable the software-defined data center, are at the forefront in giving enterprises the control they need to do this.”
DCIM’s has had similar benefits in T5’s own operations, enabling a view of what’s happening on all floors of its facilities and delivering insight on cooling efficiency, power utilization, space layout and the network.
T5 also uses DCIM to turn big data into intelligence. “StruxureWare monitors thousands of nodes and turns the information into customizable reports so our operations team can optimize the environments,” explains Craig. “DCIM has given us complete picture of customer deployments and helps us run more effective data centers.”
For more about how T5 is taking full advantage of the promise of DCIM, watch this video interview with Craig.