RF Code has announced CENTERScape Cloud which it describes as: “a cloud-based operational intelligence solution for small and medium-sized data centers.” Reading through the launch materials, the idea is that rather than develop their own data centre management tools, small to medium sized data centres can utilise a cloud-based solution instead.
Using the cloud to manage the cloud makes a lot of sense. One of the big challenges for data centre owners has always been how to do deep asset management and combine that with other things such as environmental systems and capacity planning. Industry attempts to resolve this with DCIM, ITSM and BMS solutions have had some success but none of them can claim universal success.
The solutions that are out there are often supplied by different companies. Some of the data centre infrastructure vendors have built their own solutions to address part of the problem such as environmental monitoring and asset management. Others have tried to integrate with change and service level management tools with limited success. Part of the challenge of all of this has been security inside the data centre.
This has often left data centre owners with incomplete solutions. While some vendors have done a lot of work to deliver integration with other products many have been less willing to invest. The majority have delivered APIs of differing quality hoping to attract third-party developers to do the integration for them. In too many cases, however, IT departments have either had to roll their own solution using the APIs or else resort to incompatible systems and a lot of data import and export routines.
According to Ed Healy, CEO at RF Code, said: “An increasing number of organizations are consolidating on-premises data centers and migrating to cloud and colocation facilities.
“However, IT departments must have the same end-to-end visibility of their critical IT assets in these environments. By providing CenterScape as a cloud-based service, businesses can ensure the same level of insight, regardless of whether assets are in their own facilities or located externally.”
What is in CENTERScape Cloud?
In the press release RF Code highlights four key functionalities for CENTERScape Cloud:
- Track any asset to its precise physical location at any given time using CenterScape’s highly scalable network of internet-connected wire-free sensors
- Generate advanced custom reports to capture current and historical data around critical issues or SLA violations for compliance purposes
- Manage every change within the data center across assets and supporting infrastructure to detect issues that require immediate attention, troubleshooting and remediation, such as unauthorized asset movement and asset tampering.
- Flexible open-architecture for powerful integration with native systems, IT service management solutions, DCIM platforms and other systems
Each of these is broken down into a much more detailed set of benefits and features and it will be interesting to see which of the five main areas early customers focus upon. Will it be data centres struggling to get a handle on asset management and underlying data centre costs? If so, they are likely to adopt the asset management and environmental monitoring components.
Other data centres that are offering solutions such as cloud storage or compute services are likely to be more interested in the capacity planning and optimisation features. This is because it will enable them to maintain availability and growth without impacting their downtime.
It is a surprise that this announcement hasn’t come from the likes of Cannon Technologies, Rittal or any of the other top tier infrastructure vendors. It would have been relatively simply for them to extend their current management solutions into a cloud-based solution and build it on top of AWS, Google, IBM, HP or a range of other cloud platforms.
Over the next few months it will be interesting to see how many customers RF Code announce. There will be a lot of attention paid to those data centre owners with multiple facilities who need to find better ways to control costs. This solution seems to offer them a range of options to do that but only as we see the take-up and RF Code move CENTERScape Cloud into multiple production environments will be get a sense of whether they’ve managed to establish themselves in this market