Seems like we’ve been hearing about “The Cloud” for some time now and I am thrilled to see that “The Cloud” has transitioned from a curiosity to an important part of most organizations’ IT business strategies going forward. “The Cloud” is providing a whole new set of capabilities and defining the associated rules that govern the ways that IT organizations deliver services, and “The Cloud” even re-sets some of the traditional expectations and cost structures associated with IT.

What we will all see going forward is there are really two kinds of Clouds; Public and Private. These two styles of computing are VERY different in their usage and complexion, but both share a common set of characteristics: Self-Service, Quick Provisioning and Accounting. How and where each type of Cloud will be deployed is a matter of a company’s maturity, but referring to a paper written by Chris Howard’s team at Gartner entitled, “Hybrid IT: How Internal and External Cloud Services Are Transforming IT” (February 2012, ID:G00231796) it is clear that for the foreseeable future, Public Clouds will be used for applications that are considered non-core and non-differentiated, where security and robust access is best-case. For most other corporate mission-critical, time-sensitive and competitive applications, Private Clouds will be created by the transformation of in-house IT resources to mimic much of the discipline and capabilities pioneered by the Public Cloud providers.

Transformation of In-House IT? What does that mean? Well as stated above, the key points of the in-house transformation of IT to a “Private Cloud” are realization of Self-Service or “on-demand” access to services, Quick Provisioning of these new levels of service and Show-back accounting to establish who and how these services are being consumed within an organization. These very same business management concepts that were popularized by the onset of the Public Cloud, will be used as the roadmap to drive the transformation of in-house IT to become Private Clouds.

So where does DCIM fit in “The Cloud”. DCIM fits Everywhere!

As a Public Cloud provider, scalable DCIM solutions are REQUIRED to help quickly manage assets and dynamically tune supply and demand. A well conceived DCIM solution is essential for the Public Cloud providers to allow quick-turn for remediation, for provisioning, and for de-commissioning. The entire life-cycle of each asset, each grouping as well as the structure itself as a whole, including Facilities. DCIM enables the data center to run AS a business with all of these costs clearly quantified and optimized. DCIM allows Public Clouds to exist, to be more responsive, more accuracy in their operations, and reduce the overhead required to provide their end-user customers’ required levels of service.

And for Private Clouds? An Enterprise looking to transform its existing IT structures to Private Clouds capable of this rapid change, cost reduction and show-back accounting, DCIM solutions are proving to be one of the most significant enabling technologies for this IT infrastructure re-engineering. DCIM will ALLOW this Private Cloud transformation. Remember that DCIM is all about enabling the data center to be managed LIKE a business. Comprehensive access to all of the business metrics, costs structures, services, etc. Dynamic management of assets. A comprehensive DCIM solution is essential for the transformation of traditional IT infrastructures to a highly tuned, optimized Private Cloud.

You won’t hear this from me very often, but “Get Your Head IN the Clouds!” Public and Private Clouds are a huge part of your future and DCIM is a major part of the means to get there!

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