You probably remember this classic sound bite from the 1979 movie called “The Jerk” which starred Steve Martin where he played a naïve guy from Mississippi who is transplanted to St. Louis and tries to make his way in his simple life. In one of the early scenes, Navin (his character) grabs a copy of a brand new phonebook (the white pages, remember them?) and immediately looks for his name in the book as a way to validate that his existence in St. Louis has not gone unnoticed.
Sometimes it just takes a little written formalization of reality to make a big difference. This is the case with Gartner’s newest Magic Quadrant, the first one in fact for DCIM, released September 22nd, 2014. (Gartner subscribers refer to document #G00259286). While over a hundred vendors have been slugging it out for years, trying to demonstrate their added value to the management of the physical layer of the data center, the need was always instinctual to some innovators, but did not rise to the level of urgency in most people’s game plan. In fact, less than 5% of the likely adopters of DCIM have already done so, the remainder looking for some form of major validation from the industry. While a number of analysts have done loose DCIM roundups in the past, Gartner’s new Magic Quadrant has brought together 20 or so vendors that each are visible within the DCIM industry, each has some number of customers that have adopted their respective waves, and each have solved some portion of the needs defined in this category. They have spent nearly 2 years researching the market, and drilling into business value.
It’s worth reminding everyone that the DCIM category is still broadly defined, so the vendors listed in the DCIM Magic Quadrant are not direct competitors necessarily. In some cases they are complementary too. The key to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant process is ranking these vendors based upon their completeness of vision and their ability to execute that vision. As you read the Gartner DCIM Magic Quadrant, consider it as a short listing tool for your own DCIM efforts. Every Fortune 2500 company will be adopting DCIM, it’s just a matter of time. As you’ll see in this and other reports, the value realized through the adoption of DCIM is simply too great to ignore any longer. Yes, DCIM is a new way of doing things in IT management, but take a deep breath and look around and you’ll see the WHOLE concept of IT infrastructures is changing overnight. It only makes sense to add DCIM to your strategic plan to help raise the efficiency and reduce your costs in the data center, in your co-los, and across your sites.
As always, I applaud anything that formalizes the reality of DCIM as a strategic investment with a tangible cost savings. And when a major analyst group like Gartner spends this amount of time and energy to compare and contrast vendors like they did here in the DCIM Magic Quadrant, the take-away for all Fortune 2500 IT executives should be an underscored CONFIRMATION that DCIM is real and can be deployed today, that DCIM has huge business merits and with produce measureable cost savings today and that DCIM should be part of everyone’s dance card… TODAY!