If you’re investigating potential Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solutions to transform your data center’s efficiency, you’ll eventually end up at the pricing part of your […]

The 5-Minute Guide to DCIM Software Licensing

If you’re investigating potential Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solutions to transform your data center’s efficiency, you’ll eventually end up at the pricing part of your […]

If you’re investigating potential Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solutions to transform your data center’s efficiency, you’ll eventually end up at the pricing part of your decision-making process…and you may find yourself scratching your head, thinking, “whaaaat”…pricing for enterprise solutions like DCIM can be far more complex than, say, a pricing for a standard desktop office suite!

In this blog, we’ll put our years of industry knowledge to work and attempt to make DCIM pricing a bit easier for you to digest! Take note: as no two software vendors are the same, no two pricing from different vendors will be the same.

What is a DCIM License, Anyway?

DCIM vendor’s pricing all stems from a software license. The way DCIM software license is priced can vary — from a yearly subscription license (usually a 12-month license key), to a perpetual license (a permanent license that doesn’t expire — this is becoming more of a rare option, as many software companies adopt the yearly subscription licenses — and the software maintenance which usually includes customer support and new versions of the software).

What’s Included with a DCIM License?

Make sure to review what is included in the DCIM license that you will be choosing. As some licenses include standard features, other vendors will charge extra for them. It’s almost like buying a car: you’ve got your standard features, and then you have options that you can add upon.

For example, some vendors, like us here at Graphical Networks, include power monitoring, cable management, SNMP discovery, API connectors, and more in your standard DCIM license. When looking and comparing DCIM solutions, make sure to ask what comes with the standard offering and what is extra. netTerrain DCIM only has one option to add upon: our netTerrain Outside Plant (OSP) Module. If you need to document your fiber plant cabling, such as fiber strands, its cabling, ducts, conduits, for inside and outside the building, then you will need to add the OSP Module.

If you’ve already identified what you want the DCIM to do for you (read more about that here), find out from the vendors you’re considering what will be included in the license and what, if any, will be an additional fee.

Example of a Rack Diagram in netTerrain DCIM

Installation & DCIM Licensing

Do you need to install your DCIM solution on-premises? What are the system requirements? Does the license include the ability to install your DCIM software on a test, production, or disaster recovery, or does that cost extra?

Is your organization moving everything to the Cloud? If later on, you decide to switch and move away from the Cloud to an on-premises location, will the license allow you to do this or will there be a bunch of hoops?

Fee Structures & DCIM Licensing

So — you decided whether to do an on-premises install or using the software vendor’s SaaS solution and explored what features are included and what are additional add-ons? Great!

The next question is “how do you price your DCIM solution?”

Some DCIM licenses include an unlimited number of users, some charge by user. Some charge for a specific number of devices, racks, or even my IP Addresses. Ask your DCIM vendor for transparency: exactly what will you be paying for … and why?!

Customer Support & DCIM Licensing

Customer support with onboarding and continued use isn’t always included with every initial DCIM license. Find out what’s included and what is extra — so that you can accurately predict your financial obligation before you sign on the dotted line!

For ongoing customer support, i.e., software maintenance charges, ask the vendor if they increase the support on year two and beyond and if they offer price discounts if paying three or five years upfront.

To conclude, make sure to check with your DCIM vendor, discover what standard features are included, what are the additional add-on modules if any, the type of license they offer (permanent or yearly subscription), the ability to install a test and production server (is that extra?), how do they license its software (by number of users, devices, racks), and how they price the ongoing customer support.

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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