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Tech trends in datacenter infrastructure management

Intro"Running multi-million dollar datacenters on spreadsheets and Visio have become impractical and ineffective"

Herman Chan, SVP Marketing & GM DCIM at Raritan Inc shares his view point on Technology trends in 2014 with CIOL readers:
  • Big data and cloud computing will continue to be the two transformational influences on datacenters.
  • Cloud spending will surge by 25 percent in 2014, reaching over $100B, says research firm IDC. As a result, there will be a dramatic increase in the number of datacenters to support growing cloud players.
  • The insatiable appetite for social media, new media and mobile apps will continue to contribute to the creation of both structured and unstructured data at an unprecedented rate. Resulting in big data getting even bigger -- digital data will double about every two years from now until 2020. According to research firms, big data technologies and services will grow by 30 percent in 2014, surpassing $14 billion.
  • Both these trends will place a greater demand on storage and processing in datacenters. To keep pace with new service rollouts and meet SLAs, datacenters will look for better and more efficient ways to manage and expand their underlying infrastructures. We will see the Game Changers introduce new datacenter models and transform their datacenters to make them more nimble and resource efficient.
  • The rising costs of energy, floor space, and operations and the increasing business demands on datacenters will continue to drive the adoption of DCIM (datacenter infrastructure management) solutions that provide real-time visuals on what if going on in a datacenter -- including views of all the equipment supporting a service application.
  • Running multi-million dollar datacenters on spreadsheets and Visio have become impractical and ineffective as sites get larger and work processes get more complex. These tools can only take you so far in managing assets, capacity and change.
Beyond providing a better understanding and visualization of a datacenter's physical assets and the interconnections, DCIM provides valuable information on how to optimize datacenter power, cooling and physical space. Companies are embracing DCIM because information is readily available to help with capacity planning and troubleshooting, and to make informed decisions about equipment adds, moves, and changes.

We expect to see continued growth next year in the nascent DCIM market, which is expected to reach about $1 billion in 2016. Like most emerging markets, there have been lots of entrants, varied approaches and many views on market definition over the past several years. Based on recent conversations with a number of industry analysts and customers, the consensus is that the definition for DCIM is becoming more crystallized, which will help with market adoption in 2014.

Energy-efficient datacenters -- one of the early market drivers for DCIM -- will continue to get attention in 2014. With high energy costs and government regulations and directives on measuring datacenter energy efficiency, such as Australia's NABERS, we'll see datacenters be instrumented with intelligent rack PDUs and sensors that monitor power and cooling. The information provides operations insight -- such as overcooling, hot spots, underutilized servers -- to help datacenters reach energy-efficiency, cost-savings and CO2-reduction goals.

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