October 4, 2016
If we’re honest with ourselves, don’t we all have some secret dream or desire that we want to see come to fruition despite overwhelming historical precedent? For example, my marketing guy has rooted for the Detroit Lions for over 50 years, and, in that time, they have won exactly one play-off game, yet at the beginning of every season he allows himself to think, “This could be the year”. He says that his grandfather always used the phrase, “Hope springs eternal” to describe this mindset—and he watched the Lions for a lot longer than 50 years. Now this is hardly an original thought, but how could each of us go on if we didn’t have hope? Isn’t that what really drives us. Whether it’s winning the lottery, shaving a few strokes off our handicap or just the possibility of catching the eye of that cute guy or girl in accounting, hope is our motivation for getting out of the bed in the morning. In the data center business, the most prominent example of hope is DCIM providers. Each day DCIM providers wake up hoping that they won’t become the data center equivalent of a Lions fan. This is a reasonable goal, and help just might be on the way.
I recently read an article hypothesizing that the success of the Internet of Things (IoT) will be predicated on, you guessed it, DCIM. The author postulates that IoT applications will dramatically increase demand within the data center, thereby enabling DCIM to ride to the rescue. More specifically, he asserts that DCIM will maximize a facility’s performance by enabling operators to view and manipulate data received from sensors throughout the raised floor to adjust attributes like temperature, humidity and power consumption in accordance with operational requirements.
Naturally, I’m sure the guys and gals in our favorite acronym business are quivering with anticipation and red lining the old “hope meter”. Sure, their status has been downgraded from “panacea” to “a really helpful tool” but I don’t think these guys want to quibble about semantics. Since there is no statute of limitations on hope, IoT may indeed be the suitor that rescues DCIM from the prospect of “spinsterhood”, and, renews our own faith in the magical gifts that hope can bring to each and every one of us. I like to refer to this as the hope “trickle down” effect. Think about it, right now a bunch of ’Software Defined Whatever’ providers are saying, “if it could happen to DCIM, it could happen to me”. [Aside on Crosby Theory of Software Tools Adoption or Why Tools Don’t Sell Like You Think They Will: The problem with tools adoption is that they make brute force approaches more efficient. To use a physics analogy, it’s really hard to show value when all you can do is amplify a wave, not create one. Disruption occurs with making things different, not just better] Isn’t this really the best thing about hope? Hope is always willing to pay it forward. I don’t know about you, but I get chills just thinking about it.
I think we can all learn a few lessons from IoT’s emerging as DCIM’s very own Prince Charming. From an industry standpoint, we can see that for many technologies the transformation from hope to reality is the result of unforeseen synergies. For the rest of us, “Hope springs eternal” should not be viewed as a pejorative, but rather, a rallying cry. While the achievement of our desires may not happen as soon as we’d like, you should never lose hope. Even if you’re a Lions fan.