One of the foundational elements of data center infrastructure management (DCIM) is the ability to unify IT and facilities information using real-time data, resulting into actionable information around subjects like capacity planning, availability, efficiency, asset management, equipment life cycles, redundancy, power, space, and cooling. Given the associated complexities, ability to scale, acquisition, implementation, and possible recurring licensing costs, finding the correct solution is a crucial and often daunting task.

DCIM from a data center operator's perspective is recognized as an essential tool. However, most businesses do not have the resources to build an entire DCIM infrastructure from scratch. It is also not a priority for them. Data centers that can expose their DCIM capabilities to their customers, providing them all of the benefits that a fully implemented DCIM system has to offer, will be a step ahead of the competition.

The DCIM market is evolving to enable greater visibility and control to meet growing demands for simpler, more automated approaches to operating infrastructure – everything from switches to racks. To adapt, data center providers need to offer greater transparency into how they operate their infrastructure.

The DCIM market is expected to witness a surge in demand owing to increased emphasis on energy-efficient data centers. The growing impact of regulatory norms pertaining to data centers is also expected to accelerate the demand for DCIM solutions.

Global Market Dynamics

The revenue of the global DCIM market stood at USD 529.5 million in 2015 and is projected to reach USD 2,859.2 million by 2024. United States represents the largest market worldwide. Europe is anticipated to maintain a consistent market share owing to growing awareness regarding green data centers and the subsequent demand for the same. The Europe DCIM market is projected to expand at a CAGR of 19.3 percent from 2016 to 2024.

Asia-Pacific ranks as the fastest-growing market with a CAGR of 28.7 percent over the next 5 years, led by factors such as growing demand for unified IT management tools, rise in co-location of data centers in emerging Asian markets, proliferation of cloud computing, and the resulting rise in software-defined data centers, and the growing popularity of DCIM as a service. Countries such as China and India are expected to witness a significant adoption of DCIM-based solutions.

Countries in the MEA and South America are expected to make a comparatively lesser contribution to the DCIM market in the coming years.

Major players include ABB Limited, Altron A.S., Baselayer Technology, CA Technologies, Cisco Systems, Commscope, Inc., Cormant, Device42, Eaton Corp. PLC, Emerson Network Power, FieldView Solutions, FNT GmbH, Geist Global, IBM Corporation, Johnson Controls, Inc., Modius, Nlyte Software, Optimum Path, Panduit, Rackwise, Inc., Rittal GmbH & Co. KG, Schneider Electric, Siemens AG, SynapSense, and Sunbird Software (Raritan, Inc.).

Hybrid IT architecture has made the interrelationships of a multitude of systems, hardware, and software extremely complex. The convergence of technologies like cloud computing, virtualization, Web 2.0, Internet of Things (IoT), and software-as-a-service has forced data centers to expand exponentially in terms of IT sprawl and capacity. Dealing with complexity in the data center is, therefore, a major cause of concern and focus for virtually every enterprise. Dynamic management, allocation and migration of IT processes and applications to and from on-premise servers to off-premise servers, adds a layer of infrastructure complexity. Virtualization represents a complexity accelerant as virtual machines, their applications, and the supporting hardware are abstracted making it difficult to monitor applications in the virtual container, thus posing serious management issues. Automation as a result is becoming a necessity in effectively managing data center infrastructure. Inefficiencies in infrastructure management such as time lag in application rollouts and the resulting disruption of services, unplanned expenditures and downtime, and license expiration can significantly impact business health, especially in a market environment unforgiving of operational inefficiencies and slow market responsiveness.

DCIM is emerging into a disruptive tool to manage infrastructure complexity, supported by benefits such as the ability to create a centralized, single-pane system for loss-less data collection; scale management from hundreds to thousands of data center assets; perform real-time analysis and gain high-impact administration awareness of what is present and where in a data center resulting in high visibility into the entire IT infrastructure; and develop easily configurable command-and-control mechanism for efficient IT decision making. DCIM also helps automate capacity planning and purchase of new equipment, in addition to enhancing energy efficiency of the data center. Currently, implementation of DCIM is prompted by the need to expand data center capacities in sync with expanding business requirements. The huge costs associated with building new data center facilities is a major factor forcing data center managers to look for alternative solutions that allow them to retrofit existing infrastructure and enhance effectiveness of available resources.

Major performance parameters in a data center that can be enhanced by DCIM include power usage effectiveness (PUE), carbon usage efficiency (CUE), water usage efficiency (WUE), IT equipment energy efficiency (ITEE), green energy coefficient (GEC), data center infrastructure efficiency (DCIE), and server compute efficiency (SCE). Key factors driving growth in the market include rise in the number of mega data centers worldwide, emergence of IoT and the critical role played by DCIM in prepping data centers for IoT, proliferation and spread of virtualization, and the ensuing need to manage VMs to eliminate resource-wasting zombie and ghost servers and virtual sprawl, and conversely optimize virtual workloads and capacity planning to correctly align virtual and physical resources.

All of this change is good for data center operators and means that organizations can now benefit from more value delivered through fewer and more mature vendor offerings.