Uptime Institute has long argued that, although it may take many years, the long-term trend is toward a high level of automation in the data center, covering many functions that most managers currently would not trust to machines or outside programmers.
Recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have made this seem more likely. (For more on data center AI, see our report Very smart data centers: How artificial intelligence will power operational decisions.)
Our data center management maturity model shows this long-term evolution.
In our model, we have mapped different levels of operating efficiency to different stages of deployment of data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software. For any manager who is looking to buy DCIM or has already implemented the software and seeks expanded features or functions, we encourage them to consider their short- and long-term automation goals.
Today, most DCIM deployments fall into Level 2 or Level 3 of the model. A growing number of organizations are targeting Level 3 by integrating DCIM data with IT, cloud service and other non-facility data, as discussed in the report Data center management software and services: Effective selection and deployment (co-authored with Andy Lawrence).
The advent of AI-driven, cloud-based services will, we believe, drive greater efficiencies and, when deployed in combination with on-premises DCIM software, enable more data centers to reach Level 4 (and, over time, Level 5).
Although procurement decisions today may be only minimally affected by current automation needs, a later move toward greater automation should be considered, especially in terms of vendor choice/lock-in and integration.
Integration capabilities, as well as the use and integration of AI (including AI-driven cloud services), are important factors in both the overall strategic decision to deploy DCIM and the choice of a particular supplier/platform.
The full report Data center management software and services: Effective selection and deployment is available to members of the Uptime Institute Network here.
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