We all know the drill: you buy a home printer and before you know it, you’re locked into buying the vendor’s pricey ink for the lifespan of the printer. The printer vendor gives you only one cartridge type as an option and it’s sold at a ridiculous markup.

Is there a workaround?

Well, sure: you can watch some Youtube tutorials and try to refill the brand’s printer cartridge with generic ink — but, it’s a big hassle to say the least. Most likely, you’ll either buy the printer manufacturer’s ink or just not use the printer.

What does this have to do with buying data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software?


There are DCIM vendors out there (we won’t name names but you can figure it out) that aren’t just selling DCIM…in fact, their primary product is not DCIM — it’s equipment!

Starting to see the problem, here?

Double-duty vendors, much like the vendors that make printers and ink, make DCIM software that come with catalogs filled with their own equipment. Unfortunately, as you know, your data center does not just have equipment in it from one vendor.

Sure, this type of vendor will probably throw you some bones and include other devices in their catalog — but giving you a vendor-agnostic catalog with all the devices under the sun isn’t exactly a priority…although it should be.

Your data center isn’t a one-vendor showroom and your DCIM software’s catalog needs to reflect that so you can quickly and easily add devices to your diagrams that mirror the actual state of your data center. Otherwise, you’re buying software that ends up being not much more than expensive shelfware.

Buy DCIM software like netTerrain that includes a catalog loaded with 1000s of devices

We’ve been banging the drum on our blog for a while that having a boatload of features shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all when picking your DCIM solution. A fancy set of features doesn’t make up for software that’s as user-friendly as a Rubik’s cube, or as regularly updated as a 90’s webpage. What’s really going to make the difference is whether the software can actually do what you need it to.

But, there’s one feature that can really make or break your DCIM project – a jam-packed, versatile DCIM catalog.

Your DCIM catalog should be brimming with a broad mix of devices and kept up-to-date to match your specific equipment needs. Additionally, it should let you model your racks and devices faster than you can say “DCIM” if what you need isn’t already there.

Read more about why a DCIM catalog is so important: click here.

You don’t want to be left hanging for weeks or until the next software update to add a new device to your catalog.

DCIM software should make it easy to make your diagrams reflect the actual devices in your data center

With netTerrain DCIM, we’re not pushing our own equipment — we’re focused on helping you document and manage yours. Your success and continued use of our software is our bread and butter so we’ve made netTerrain as usable as possible. Our catalog’s bursting with pre-built devices, and you can whip up your own models in less than a minute. On top of that, you can request a custom device built from us and we’ll get it back to you fast (usually within 24 hours, this service is included at no charge within our annual maintenance package). Read more about how easy it is to get custom devices in netTerrain: click here.

netTerrain DCIM offers freedom from vendor lock-in:

  • Choose from a vast catalog of devices
  • Model any device quickly or request assistance
  • Access thousands of pre-built devices
  • Discover your network devices using SNMP, SSH

With netTerrain, you’re not locked into specific vendor hardware equipment – but that’s not all.
Need to data field attributes for your devices, links? Yep, you can add as many field attributes as you like. You can also even attach documents for any object, too. Read more about why having the ability to customize your fields is important: click here.

Need the ability to connect to other third tools or run a network discovery to help populate the data into your DCIM solution? netTerrain DCIM offers its SNMP discovery, without locking any hardware vendors out, and the ability to easily connect to third party tools, via Web APIs.

netTerrain DCIM provides the flexibility to add any number of different hardware manufacturers to our catalog of objects, the ability to add as many field attributes as possible, and import data from your existing data sources.

Make sure to ask your potential DCIM vendor what limitations, if any, when adding other hardware manufacturers’ devices into their DCIM solution — and pay attention to other possible ways you can get locked in and being forced to improvise or abandon ship.

So before you sign on the dotted line and buy a DCIM solution, make sure it’s not going to lock you into a costly and limiting cycle. With netTerrain, you’re in control — and you can avoid the whole printer/ink trap. Want a free trial and demo? Click here.

About 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.