Mapping out the DCIM milestones

DCS talks to Mark Gaydos, Chief Marketing Officer at Nlyte, about the company’s success to date, how the DCIM market will continue to develop with artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation having a big role to play.

1.    Please can you provide a brief overview of Nlyte’s progress in the data centre industry to date?

Having been founded in 2004 in London, Nlyte Software not only established the data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) industry but has kept the capabilities of a modern DCIM solution that both increases efficiency in the data centre and bolsters the value of ITSM solutions. It has also consistently been named in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for DCIM, having most recently been named a ‘leader’ from 2014 onwards.

2.    DCIM is Nlyte’s main focus?

DCIM is Nlyte Software’s focus and is what the organisation has built its global client base of both large multinationals and smaller businesses around. However, Nlyte Software is also evolving its offering, building on the industry benchmark DCIM solution to offer data centre service management (DCSM) solutions. Whereas DCIM helps an organisation manage data centre infrastructure, our DCSM solution goes beyond infrastructure to empower data centre professionals to perform their job functions more efficiently – all while synchronising information and activities to other systems that depend on accurate data centre information. In essence, DCSM transcends DCIM to incorporate workflows and integration into other critical systems. As the needs of infrastructure managers change, Nlyte Software has continued to evolve its platform to meet their needs.

3.    Can you talk us through the DCIM portfolio, starting with the flagship Enterprise offering?

Our Nlyte Enterprise solution is our flagship offering. It serves mid-sized and large enterprises whose desire to manage their physical computing infrastructure more closely and efficiently. It supports audit, regulatory and fiscal compliance with regulations such as HIPPA, SOX, SCI and DCOI, and captures changes to the data centre automatically to improve data accuracy and reliability. It actually improves the financial management of IT assets and reduces operational costs by delivering an accurate reflection of asset inventory.

Nlyte Software’s core capabilities provide unmatched insight and visibility in near real-time. Additionally, Nlyte Software’s 50 plus integration connectors to key partners such as BMC, ServiceNow and HPE, etc., provide unmatched integration and increased ROI for organisations that use it.

4.    And then there’s Energy Optimizer?

Nlyte Energy Optimizer (NEO) provides advanced monitoring and alarming capabilities to track vital energy metrics across data centres.

NEO’s benefits include proactively ensuring better uptime and redundancy, optimum power and cooling efficiency, elimination of inefficient resources – while also confidently raising centre temperatures to reduce costs – easier facility and IT personnel collaboration, reductions in energy costs, flexibility and insight to prove SLAs for tenants/customers, and power and environmental information to ITSM systems for more accurate operations and costing.

5.    And Platinum?

Nlyte Platinum combines the breadth of Nlyte Enterprise offerings with the depth of Nlyte Energy Optimizer capabilities.

The modern and secure web-based architecture ensures the solution can scale with the growth of organisations, while providing a third party tested (Veracode VerAfied) secure environment. The architecture includes a built-in communication framework with pre-built connectors that enable easily integrate with other facility and IT investments to ensure maximum value with the lost total cost of ownership in the industry.

6.    And Colocation?

Nlyte Colocation was created especially for multitenant data centres to securely monitor and report power, space and capacity for hundreds of tenants.

It enables colocation providers, both wholesale and retail, to securely monitor and report power, space and capacity for hundreds of tenants. The multitenant architecture ensures that tenants can securely view their own actual power and space usage within the colocation facility – in real-time and over time.

7.    And Hyperscale?

Nlyte Hyperscale was created for large organisations that require a very highly scalable solution that supports massive amounts of change across large numbers of assets.

Hyperscale provides a robust architecture and environment for firms that demand incredible scale. Nlyte Hyperscale Platinum and Enterprise Editions support the management of millions of assets and accommodate tens of thousands of changes a month.

8.    And System Utilization Monitoring?

Nlyte System Utilization Monitoring extends real-time monitoring throughout the data centres from the facilities layers and across the IT stack, providing the first end-to-end real-time utilisation view.

It constantly monitors system utilisation at the global, location and room levels to provide complete oversight, identifies specific underutilised servers and ‘Ghost Servers1 to raise utilisation rate, and functions in conjunction with Nlyte Enterprise Edition to support reaching DCOI Server Utilisation objectives.

9.    Nlyte also offers Data Centre Service Management?

Yes, Nlyte Software offers a solution that goes beyond infrastructure to empower data centre professionals to perform their job functions more efficiently – all while synchronising information and activities to other systems that depend on accurate data centre information.

10.  Offering products to work with the BMC, HPE and ServiceNow ITSM solutions?

Yes. Integration is one of the reason organisations choose Nlyte Software over products of our competitors. We integrate with BMC, HPE and ServiceNow ITSM solutions as well as HPE One View, Cisco EnergyWise, Dell OpenManage Server Administrator and Intel Data Centre Manager (DCM) which not only improves operational efficiency but improves the ROI of those systems.

11.  How does the Nlyte product help to improve ITSM information?

Deploying robust DCIM solutions is only half the job. Our software has pre-built connectors to leading ITSM providers such as BMC, HPE and ServiceNow to enable clients to receive the full benefits of a well-integrated modern DCIM suite. This is the most effective and efficient way to close the gap between IT and facilities management. This enables information and processes to flow bidirectionally between infrastructure teams and ITSM organisations.

12.  And ITSM processes?

Nlyte Software supports processes such as keeping CMDB information updated and accurate.  It also ties in with change management processes so organisations get seamless changes and more accurate information about who, how and how long those changes are taking.

13.  And ITSM measurement?

With integration between Nlyte Software and ITSM, organisations can measure the real cost of infrastructure maintenance and get better insight into the location of resources and dependencies associated with those assets. Overall this helps in reducing downtime and gives greater transparency to ITSM systems.

14.  Nlyte also offers a range of services to support the product portfolio?

Support and services are a key reason why organisations choose Nlyte Software and why the company has a 98% customer retention rate. Nlyte Software offers a broad range of services to ensure the success of our customers from experience deployment services to ongoing support, customers always have services resources available to them when they choose Nlyte Software.

15.  More generally, how can Nlyte help customers address the hybrid data centre infrastructure model (on-premise, Cloud, edge etc.)?

Strategically, we see the world going more hybrid all the time and in the future, we are rolling out solutions that will help our clients and prospects help understand their hybrid approach and strategy. We also see edge getting bigger, so we're going to be investing a great deal of time into our existing edge solution to ensure it stays on the front of change.  Ultimately, if organisations are going to keep up with the public cloud providers, they need to have modern technology like Nlyte Software supporting their operations whether in their own data centres or in colocation facilities. 

16.  And where do IoT and AI fit with the Nlyte offering?

IoT and AI are the future of the data centre and we are planning some big things in 2018. Our DCIM solutions currently allow companies to offer all the capabilities to handle the growing number of devices in the workplace. We’ll be building on this in the future to handle the increase in devices coming next year while our AI/machine learning integrated offerings are soon to market. Stay tuned.

17.  And how do you see DCIM fitting into the overall data centre automation and optimised management objective?

One of the biggest evolutions the data centre industry will experience will be the integration of AI and machine learning and automation. We are already taking steps towards a more automated data centre future with AI being tested across a number of different tasks and automation taking over from human processes in data centres across the world. As we enter 2018 we will see further integration, and will see these technologies leading the industry for the next century.

18.  Is it fair to say that DCIM 1.0 left many end users underwhelmed, whereas the latest DCIM software is receiving a much more positive response?

Most technologies go through a typical adoption curve.  There were many technology companies that jumped on the DCIM wave along the way with varying levels of value and success.  Given the market is now over 14 years old, many providers have left the market and companies like Nlyte Software, that is used by hundreds and hundreds of companies daily, are delivering solid positive experiences and ROI to organisations around the world.   

19.  And how do you see Nlyte’s position in the overall data centre market developing over time?

We see Nlyte Software as continuing to lead the DCIM market, providing solutions that will give organisations the tools to maximise their physical computing infrastructure investments. We will also be moving further into the telecommunication and fintech spaces offering organisations that battle tight budgets and growing IT estates solutions to best conquer their challenges.

20.  Specifically, what can we expect from Nlyte product-wise during 2018 and beyond?

2018 is going to be an exciting year. We’re investing in research and development to evolve the computing infrastructure market to reduce complexity and give back control. We will be working to give our customers full control of their IT assets. We will also be working with some of the largest IT vendors to deliver unique first of a kind machine learning and operational capabilities for infrastructure managers.

21.  And what about in terms of company growth – a bigger channel, different, expanded routes to market and the like?

Our main goal is to deliver value to organisations using Nlyte Software in a way that will provide them with the best value. We are continuing to expand our own presence worldwide, for instance with a new team and office in India, but we will also continue to invest in our partners as they help use bring the value of DCIM to a wider audience worldwide.

22.  What one or two pieces of advice would you give to someone evaluating DCIM solutions and their suitability to help on the journey towards digitalisation that seems to be the overriding objective right now?

There are a number of benefits in adopting a DCIM solution and if a prospective company is looking to install a DCIM strategy we suggest they talk to references just like themselves. There are many vendors who say they can deliver but, when they get down to it they don’t scale, are too hard to use or just don’t have a rich platform to provide value today and into the future.  Ask to talk to references who are similar to you.  We’d also suggest looking at DCIM as a journey – map out the milestones you have in the near term but also look where you want to be in the future – whether it’s tying into BMS or ITSM systems or implementing workflow.  A good DCIM solution like Nlyte Software will continue to provide growing value over time.