Data center network and infrastructure services have seen a remarkable surge in demand across a wide range of industries. Indeed, by 2030, the global data center infrastructure management (DCIM) market size is expected to reach $7.8 billion, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 15.9 percent.
Its growth is being fueled by a rising demand for the services of many companies that rely on digital infrastructure, an increase in cloud computing, and rapid expansion of broadband and internet services, as well as the proliferation of smart devices and rising volumes of digital transactions.
The COVID-19 pandemic only made these needs more pronounced, as business and organizations were forced to move online and adopt network technologies, creating a flood of information that requires robust IT infrastructure to manage.
Minecheck, a company offering a proprietary software solution for bitcoin miners, is recognizing the growing need for DCIM. In fact, when they originally developed their mining software in 2020, they incorporated DCIM into their platform – something they saw a lot of existing mining software was lacking.
“Most of the mining software out there is geared toward interacting with the devices,” said Kyle Sidles, CEO of Minecheck. “They don’t have the data center infrastructure management component, which is software designed specifically to manage data centers.”
Sidles explained that Minecheck combines what successful mining software platforms were already providing with more of an enterprise grade data center infrastructure management package that is geared specifically toward mining.
“Our software runs services in the background that communicate with the miners, pull stats, and monitor things like temperature, hash rate, and errors or failures,” he said. “We essentially keep a record of the performance of all the different miners so that you can chart and look at historic performance.”
Beyond Mining: Monitoring and Managing All Devices
Recognizing the increased need for DCIM solutions, Sidles realized there was an opportunity for Minecheck to expand its reach by offering software for traditional data servers.
“There are tools and software out there that are more geared toward traditional data centers,” said Sidles. “We took those concepts and applied them specifically to bitcoin mining and now we’re kind of coming full circle to where we’re developing more of the traditional DCIM software.”
Sidles explains that while Minecheck’s software was initially designed to manage and monitor miners, its underlying functionality can really be applied to managing and monitoring more traditional devices.
“What we’ve done is taken that same core software and used it to monitor and manage traditional servers,” said Sidles. “It can be used to pull out things like CPU utilization, memory utilization, and answer questions such as whether the device is responding, how long it’s been running for, and what the error codes are if an issue arises.”
He added: “Conceptually, all those capabilities are the same, whether you’re doing it with miners or whether you’re doing it with traditional computing hardware.”
In general, DCIM software is a tool used to monitor and manage the physical infrastructure of a data center, including things like power and cooling systems, network equipment, and servers. DCIM software typically includes features such as real-time monitoring, capacity planning, and asset management.
The goal of DCIM software is to improve the efficiency and reliability of data center operations by providing a centralized view of the entire infrastructure and automating routine tasks. Furthermore, it’s designed to help lower operational costs, reduce energy consumption, and anticipate problems before they become critical issues.
Maintaining an accurate data center asset inventory continues to be one of the most commonly used cases for data center software, particularly in modern data center environments, where hybrid is becoming the new norm.
Data center managers need to have an up-to-date, single version of the truth, so they can accurately manage their inventory. They need to do this whether their assets are in a physical enterprise data center, cloud environment, or “colocation” data center – a physical facility that offers space with the proper power, cooling, and security to host businesses’ servers, hardware and network equipment.
DCIM solutions are used in a wide range of industries, such as banking, financial services, insurance, government, IT and telecom, healthcare and life sciences, and manufacturing, among others.
The IT and telecom sectors in particular account for the largest market share, given the need for efficient data centers to continuously process an enormous amount of data with low latency. For instance, the increasing volume of data generated by social media and increased usage of digital services such as online purchasing, video-on-demand, and digital payments require infrastructure that can retain, store, and process data at maximum speeds.
The Minecheck Difference
As one might expect, there are many DCIM solutions out there – and the market is only expanding. While we tend to think of the Microsoft, Apples, and Facebooks of the world, there are also independent data centers that run their own software.
But Sidles explains that Minecheck has a competitive edge because it has been built from the ground up. “A lot of today’s DCIMs have been developed over the past couple decades. They might have a decent amount of functionality, but you can tell that they started with a certain platform and then continued to build on top of it,” he said. “The technology that existed at that time was nowhere near as functional or robust.”
In other words, Minecheck has had the advantage of using today’s highly advanced tools and technology to create a solution that reflects an increasingly sophisticated landscape. “The fact that we’re starting from the ground up with today’s tools has allowed us to come up with a solution that is designed to take advantage of new languages and additional computing power,” said Sidles.
A particularly beneficial feature of Minecheck’s software is auto provisioning, or the ability to select an image, rather than having somebody manually go through the provisioning process or running their own script.
“The system knows what’s going on in each server, even on the initial boot,” said Sidles. “So as soon as the system gets powered on, the software is putting the image or the OS on it that is going to be used going forward, adding it to inventory.”
At its core, however, Sidles explains that Minecheck’s software really offers a more tailored approach. “A lot of the existing DCIMs are very dynamic, so they have a lot of features, but require a decent effort to configure and often require custom scripts at an additional cost. Our solution comes pre-packaged to include any necessary custom scripting and only the features that pertain to a specific data center’s needs.”
As more organizations realize the benefits of using data center software capabilities to better operate and monitor their environments, the DCIM market will only continue to expand. The amount of data being generated and consumed continues to reach new heights, and the need for solid data infrastructure is increasing by the day. If it hasn’t yet already, having end-to-end visibility will soon become a necessity for businesses to survive – and thrive.