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What Partners Need to Know About Data Center Infrastructure Management

June 29, 2017

What Partners Need to Know About Data Center Infrastructure Management

VARs that don't make data center infrastructure management solutions a part of their product lines are missing out on a significant business opportunity. Just consider these statistics:

  • The data center infrastructure management market generated $429 million in revenue in 2012 alone.

  • The market is projected to grow to $1.8 billion by 2016, a steady expansion of 40 percent per year.

  • As many as 17 percent of companies that utilize data center infrastructure management tools spend in excess of $400,000 per year on them.

So why has this become such a commonplace solution, and why are users so willing to spend so much on it? Just consider the fact that a single minute of data center downtime is estimated to cost the affected company $7,900, a figure that rises steadily year in and year out.

Data center infrastructure management is specifically designed to prevent the issues that cause downtimes while also helping users to cut costs, improve performance, and engineer more flexible, scalable, and agile data center environments. For any company that operates a data center, infrastructure management is fast becoming a necessity.

If you're considering making these products something that you offer to consumers, expect the demand to be swift and eager. Read on to learn everything you need to know to guide your customers to the best options for their data centers.

  • Choose Needs Over Wants – Data center infrastructure management tools are available with a wide range of features. Some of these will be useful, but most will be extraneous. Encourage your customers to identify the features they must have and seek out tools that are strong in those areas.

  • Focus on the End Goal – Data center infrastructure management is a means to an end—lowering costs, introducing automation, and so on. Have your customers identify their ultimate goals and then investigate management tools in that context.

  • Think Long Term – It's easy to mistake a product that is easy to deploy for a quality product. Setup and implementation are important to consider, but they are not the only or even most important criteria to use when evaluating data center infrastructure management options.

  • Prioritize Management – This is not a magic bullet that can eliminate data center problems and optimize performance overnight. Rather, it is a tool that data center administrators can use to make strategic improvements over the long term. Ultimately, the quality of those improvements depends on the quality of the administrator, not the data center infrastructure management tool they rely on.

  • Start Small – Understandably, your customers may be tempted to deploy a data center infrastructure management solution at every applicable site. In practice, however, it's better to pick a single site for deployment and grow out from there after establishing processes, training users, and identifying relevant metrics for evaluation.

  • Understand Costs – There are attendant costs associated with data center infrastructure management, including maintenance and support and additional hardware. Be sure that your customers are aware of these costs, but emphasize that cost savings are what they can ultimately expect over the long term.

  • Pick a Project Manager – Data center infrastructure management, like most IT initiatives, has wide-ranging effects and applies to many stakeholders. But administration of the solution should be assigned to a narrow group of IT professionals who have responsibility for managing, monitoring, and optimizing how it operates. Stress this point to your customers so that they can prepare their IT team in advance of the deployment.

The variety and complexity of the available data center infrastructure management tools on the market has expanded greatly in recent years. For that reason, many of your customers will be looking for help as they evaluate features and compare options. It's up to you to learn about their needs and resources and guide them toward a selection that provides a faster ROI. Help them make the right choice rather than the easy or popular choice, and they'll come back to you when they're ready to expand and upgrade their capabilities.