The Data Center Frontier Executive Roundtable features insights from industry executives with lengthy experience in the data center industry. Here’s a look at the insights from Jeff Klaus of Intel.
As General Manager of Intel Data Center Manager (DCM) Solutions, Jeff Klaus leads a global team that designs, builds, sells and supports Intel DCM, the only software that provides real-time, server-level data on the power and thermal conditions across a wide range of data center servers and other equipment. Provided as an SDK, Intel DCM middleware is integrated into Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) consoles to increase data center power and thermal efficiency.
Since joining Intel in 2000, Klaus’ accomplishments have been recognized by multiple division awards. With a broad background in software solutions for the channel, client and SMB space, he has served as Director of Media Programs within Intel’s Digital Home Group, Entertainment Content Marketing Manager, Business Operations Manager, and Software Marketing Manager.
An accomplished speaker, Klaus has presented at such industry forums as Gartner Data Center Summit, AFCOM’s Data Center World, the Green IT Symposium, and the Green Gov conference. He has authored articles on data center power management in Data Center Post, IT Business Edge, Data Center Knowledge, Information Management and Data Centre Management. Klaus currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Green IT Council. Klaus earned his BS in Finance at Boston College and his MBA in Marketing at Boston University.
Here’s the full text of Jeff Klaus’ insights from our Executive Roundtable:
Data Center Frontier: The rise of cloud computing continues to boost business for data center providers. What are the trends you are seeing in cloud adoption, and how are they shaping the role of the data center service provider?
Jeff Klaus: As the cloud becomes a permanent fixture in an organization to solve problems, IT is becoming more of a solution enabler instead of the infrastructure provider role they have enjoyed. IT is required to better understand and address the rest of the organization’s needs like security elements, usage of cloud service API, analytics, security and authentication broker capabilities.
This shift and the continued progression of moving assets to data center service providers points to a longer range discussion around where IT is going – if they will retain infrastructure stewardship as a responsibility, or if the role eventually transforms into more of a broker of solutions, utilizing the Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) as a way to provide results to a business problem.
Another area of great change is in cloud analytics. Numerous products and elements continue to pour into this space as IT and business groups need to make intelligent choices around what to put where, who has access, and how to manage its growth. That in turn feeds into that consulting role that I mentioned previously, that IT will have to take on.
Data Center Frontier: The hybrid cloud deployment model appears to be gaining traction with enterprises. How is the emergence of hybrid cloud impacting data center providers’ ability to attract enterprise business, which has historically focused on the need to shift IT workloads out of on premise facilities?
Jeff Klaus: It’s causing an increase in the level of services and analytics they’re providing or looking to expand into. Looking deeper into that, in 2016 and 2017, data center providers will need to continue to express how their solutions are more flexible compared to standard cloud, but still remain at a price advantage compared to managing on the business premises. When done right, it will offer what hybrid cloud offers – the “best of both worlds” – but will strain the data center providers as they scramble for technologists that can assemble services from these diverse service areas.
Specifically, in the areas of security, access, network stability and process, I think they will add a lot of value, since that matches what they do now (in many ways). But they will still need to wrestle with the value propositions that hybrid offers, specifically around not having to overprovision hardware.
Data Center Frontier: It’s been an active period in the market for data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software. What’s your take on the state of the DCIM market, and pace of adoption of these tools by end users?
Jeff Klaus: The DCIM market is vibrant and evolving quickly. Customers are becoming aware of what they don’t want, and what they have seen work through peers or white papers. DCIM solution providers are more aware of customer interest in quick ROI, and so they are focusing on power management, thermal management, and asset management as areas to unite and provide rock solid process support and analysis.
Alternatively, some DCIM solutions providers are looking into more creative SaaS pricing models to speed the “time to ROI.” DCIMs are also doing a better job of differentiating and trying to find specific competencies to stand out from the pack.
Data Center Frontier: There’s been lots of mergers and acquisitions in the data center industry. Is this likely to continue? If so, how might M&A activity impact the competitive landscape in the data center and cloud hosting industry in 2016 and beyond?
Jeff Klaus: This is a function of building a lasting economic model, scale and companies’ recognition of possible synergies between other players. To that end, we will probably see continued M&A to consolidate positions or acquire key services. Along with M&A we’ll probably see increases in DCIM activity as organizations become larger, their solution portfolio becomes broader, and they need to streamline costs.
Regardless of the cost pressure, innovation and technology will continue to outpace efforts to commoditize services. Customer’s interest to support cloud, mobility, and software-defined everything will be the marching orders for the short term at least. At this moment there are still enough firms trying to differentiate on tools, services, and support to ensure the customer has many options.