Today is a great day for the datacenter. IBM and Emerson have announced a partnership which combines IBM's IT Service Management (ITSM) with Emerson's Trellis offering which was recently recognized as the industry leader in Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM). Gartner has said that the DCIM market is an estimated $450 million market today, and expected to grow to $1.7 billion by 2016.
But why all the excitement about this announcement? Anyone that has been in this industry recognizes that the datacenter has often been operated as a series of seemingly disconnected silos. One team manages power distribution, another manages the cooling infrastructure, another manages the physical placement of machines into racks, etc etc etc. When an operational problem occurs, we fall back into that siloed mentality with "twelve people on a bridge call" trying to determine where the problem actually originated. There is little automated "root cause" analysis and even less automated action across the silos. I recently heard of a major customer who had a chiller issue on a Sunday afternoon -- the IT team discovered the issue when the applications began to fail because the servers were failing from overheating.
Why weren't the systems connected? Why didn't a chiller failure signal the IT team and indicate which racks would be impacted and perhaps automate an action to move the workloads or throttle down the servers until the chiller issue was resolved? The answer unfortunately is simply because the operations of the systems were not connected.
With the IBM Emerson partnership, we've establish a base system for interlocking power management, cooling management, and traditional IT management. We're now providing a system which enables automated awareness of each slot in a rack -- what is in the rack? What is its power draw? What applications are running on the rack in that slot? We're now getting information, that can be integrated and leveraged to turn the datacenter into a "smarter datacenter".
Lots of great possibilities ...