Well, that was very interesting…I just had a demo to discuss how our software (netTerrain DCIM) can help an organization that actually went with another DCIM […]

DCIM Vendor Shake-up?!

Well, that was very interesting…I just had a demo to discuss how our software (netTerrain DCIM) can help an organization that actually went with another DCIM […]


Well, that was very interesting…I just had a demo to discuss how our software (netTerrain DCIM) can help an organization that actually went with another DCIM solution ten years ago. I asked, “why are you looking at another DCIM solution if you already have one?”. Well, he said, one of the biggest players of the Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) is exiting the marketplace and now will be focusing just on power management. That was some news…especially combined the recent news that a different prominent DCIM vendor was just acquired by yet another large corporation whose main focus is also power management…

Why Are These Vendors Exiting the DCIM Market?

Well…who are these two DCIM vendors? nLyte and Trellis DCIM from Vertiv:

  • Vertiv’s DCIM solution was actually an accumulation of various DCIM products that they acquired: their own software Trellis, which was going to replace Aperture (maybe you remember them…), and another company they had acquired (Avocent DCIM). Going forward, Vertiv customers had to choose between maintaining a discontinued product (Aperture was discontinued in 2017) or migrating to Trellis (which had less functionality).
  • NLyte, on the other hand, was acquired by Carrier and will become part of their HVAC and building management division…

Because the primary focus of the above companies isn’t selling DCIM software, they don’t need to sell DCIM software in order to be successful: their core competencies and solutions they sell quite frankly are far different from DCIM and meeting the needs of DCIM users. For nLyte, it should be very interesting to see where they’re heading: will it be another sunset product like Trellis DCIM (Commscope iTracs shifted its approach, after iTracs was acquired)?

So, with two top DCIM vendors in one way, or another, exiting the market, here’s the big question: is DCIM heading to the graveyard?

No, it is not.

I’ve been in the IT documentation industry for decades and specifically working with DCIM solutions for fifteen years: DCIM is a continuously evolving solution that has, by now, gone through a few different phases since it first burgeoned on to the market about fifteen years ago: players have come in to try their hand at it, left or been bought by other players trying their hand at it, and so on. This is to be expected with any new solution…however, where it leaves the users who need DCIM is problematic: left with an unsupported software that is on track to becoming outdated fast!

Read More:

Finding & Transitioning to User-First DCIM Software

With so many vendors making quick entrances and exits from the DCIM market, you are probably feeling skeptical about finding a DCIM solution that is more about the user than profits. While we can only vouch for our software netTerrain, which may or may not be right for your needs, we can tell you what’s important…whether you’re looking to implement a DCIM solution or looking to transition from one solution to another.

To select a software that’s built with the user in mind (and, especially, if you’re transitioning from an outdated solution to a new one), the following steps are crucial:

  • How hard is it to install the software?
  • How long does it take to implement the software?
  • Is training available?
  • How hard is it to use?

Installation

Why? Well…one of the items you may hear and read about DCIM is that it’s hard to get it installed and that usability can be a nightmare. How hard is it to install the DCIM software and how hard is it to use?
By offering a software as a service (SaaS), this can help the installation nightmare that people have heard about. With SaaS, it’s really as simple as this: just sign up and in an instant, you have a DCIM solution to start building from. No need to worry about hardware and software costs, backups, and storage!

netTerrain DCIM, for example, can be used as a service or it can be installed on-premises. For on-premises, I would say that, on average, it takes just one hour to get netTerrain installed (as it’s a Windows Server and MS SQL Database platform).

Implementation

Another part that you hear about DCIM being so hard to implement is this: how long does it take to import from existing data sources? Ask your potential DCIM vendors: How do you integrate with existing systems? Is it all included as part of your software or is it extra? On average, how long does it take to get say ServiceNow integration running? If it takes more than a month to create a connector, I will run to the hills!

netTerrain DCIM uses Rest APIs to make direct connections to your other cloud/hybrid data sources, such as: AWS, Azure, VMWare and your infrastructure tools, like ServiceNow, Solarwinds, and Spectrum. It takes Graphical Networks staff just about one week to complete a data migration for you, import the data, and place the discovered item in its corresponding data center rooms.

Connecting to ServiceNow in netTerrain happens in Clicks

Training & Learning Curve

For training, Graphical Networks offers a complete hands-on training from end user class, admin class, and even API training classes too. Aside from training, usability is a key word in determining whether or not your DCIM endeavor is easy and successful or will eventually become shelf-ware (because your staff can’t use it easily). For netTerrain DCIM, it’s literally a matter of dragging and dropping racks and devices from the catalog of objects into your diagram. How easy is that? Many of our DCIM customers hand this off to an intern to create a small proof of concept to see how hard it is to use it.
Creating connections for cable management in netTerrain is a breeze: select a port on one end to another end and make a connection, or click on two devices, or two racks, right click, select the devices and make the connections. It’s that easy!

To sum up, two things: when investigating your DCIM solution, ask the above questions and don’t be shy, and: do some vendor research so you can (hopefully) avoid being left holding an empty bag by a DCIM vendor who’s more about profits than user success: how long have they been in business, how many customers, get customer references, too (again: click here to read our blog on finding a solid DCIM vendor). Focus on the companies whose main core focus is DCIM software, such as Graphical Networks netTerrain (and, because we are DCIM vendors, here’s our shameless plug: if you’d like to try netTerrain for free, click here to get started).

Fred Koh
Fred Koh
As a seasoned sales executive, Fred Koh serves as Director of Sales and is responsible for Graphical Networks sales and channel partner program, marketing strategy, and operations.

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