If you’re in the market for a data center infrastructure management solution (DCIM), you want to find the best solution you can. You need to buy something that will deliver on its promises, and, when you’re looking at the various features and vendors out there, you might find yourself a bit lost. Before you jump into the deep end, it’s a good idea to take a step back and survey the landscape. This blog gives you an overview of where DCIM started, where it is now, and what you should be aware of when looking for the right solution.
DCIM: The Past
Once upon a time, when it first hit the market, DCIM was marketed as something that would boil the ocean and get you home on time for dinner. That was well over a decade ago. Over time, things have changed. As we’ve written about before on this blog, the hype ended almost as soon as it started: folks started saying Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) was overrated and even questioned its usefulness. Over time, DCIM did prove to be an invaluable way for data center managers and network operations to get the visibility they need to get control over an ever-changing IT ecosystem: DCIM enables teams to plan for capacity, minimize downtime, cut costs, and make things efficient.
DCIM: The Present
Though the hype that DCIM can boil the ocean may be over, and many DCIM vendors have left the market, the truth is that, in the grand scheme of things, DCIM is still very young and has a lot of growth left to do.
Right now, there are many big vendors out there who got into DCIM for one thing: to sell products that are not DCIM software.
DCIM: The Problem
Yep: many DCIM vendors out there are only offering DCIM because they want you to buy their hardware and their software, too. Think of it like buying a printer: printer companies make printers not because they excel at making the best, most usable printers in the world…but because they sell you their expensive ink cartridges and get you locked into it.
Imagine if you could buy a printer that was made for usability, first and foremost — made by a company that didn’t care what ink you bought because they don’t, and won’t ever, sell ink. They actually make their printers work for all types of ink.
Ok, now let’s apply that to DCIM:
Say you go with a DCIM vendor who’s #1 focus is the other products they’re selling – such as hardware? The DCIM solution the company sells is just seen as a means to an end. As a result, they’re not putting their best into the product and it shows. You may have heard of the company because they have a bigger name (for the non-DCIM products they sell). You’ve got to ask yourself: if you buy DCIM from them, are you really buying a quality product or are you buying yourself some big headaches?!
DCIM: The Solution
The solution is simple: find a quality DCIM vendor. As we’re a vendor ourselves, (we make DCIM) we’re not going to say “definitely don’t go with this company” or toot our own horn and say, “we’re the only company you should work with.” The truth is that different organizations need different DCIM solutions and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.
We will say, and say this strongly: you need to look for a quality DCIM vendor that makes software that will help you solve your specific headaches.
DCIM: Identify Quality
To toot our own horn, we consider ourselves to be a quality vendor. Why? What makes us stand out as “quality”?
First, we make and sell one product: netTerrain. Unlike so many other DCIM vendors who have bowed out of DCIM because the product they were offering wasn’t delivering the results it promised or got bought out by big companies, we’ve been making netTerrain for over 13 years and we’re here to stay.
Next: our customers are happy with netTerrain because it delivers on its promises. For the past five years, our company has seen double digit growth year over year: in 2021 alone, we added over 50 new customers!
Because our sole focus is on our one product, netTerrain, we are continuously improving the software based on our customers’ feedback: as a result, Graphical Networks created a Customer Advisory Board to help us steer the direction of netTerrain. netTerrain DCIM is the product of 13 years of continuous improvement based on feedback from customers who use it to manage data centers day in and day out.We’re about to release the latest version of netTerrain (9.5) — and much of it is based on input from our customers.
Finally, as I just said above, we are frequently releasing new versions of the software. This is important to note because frequent releases are crucial to good software. Software isn’t static: technology and user needs are constantly evolving and software must adapt. Ask a potential DCIM vendor “what version is your current software?” and when the previous versions were released. If there haven’t been frequent releases, it should immediately raise a big red flag for you!
To sum up: right now, you can buy DCIM software from a big company whose main focus is selling hardware or other products, whose main focus isn’t DCIM – or you can go with more of a ‘boutique’ or craft company that does one thing and one thing well: makes excellent software that solves your headaches (and not software that sells their products). The decision’s easy!