We all know APC (they like to add: 'By Schneider Electric', but that makes it a bit convoluted if you ask me...) as one of the big vendors of power supplies, cooling systems and what not. Together with Emerson, they are also one of the loudest when it comes to PR.

But among those less interesting announcements, you sometimes see one that makes you sit up for a while. This one from last week did that to me, actually: APC is going to open a separate software branch.

Excuse me? The software seems to me one of the last selling points APC can run on. While it is adequate to manage most of their hardware kit, but I seriously don't see the use of the software for 'umbrella management' of entire facilities.

But here it is, and from a competition perspective, they were forced to really. Emerson, their main rival, is miles ahead on software. The formalisation of software is something APC really needed to do in order to play a role in the ever more diversivying data center landscape.

To freshen up you memory, APC currently has the following offering of management software:

  • InfraStruxure Central, for data gathering and monitoring
  • InfraStruxure Capacity
  • InfraStruxure Change, for planning and optimization
  • InfraStruxure Energy, for modeling and analysis of energy use
The man that is going to lead the new software business is Soeren Jensen, the current VP of data center software.

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Comment by Michiel van Blommestein on August 3, 2010 at 19:43
Thanks for the comment. Another problem with 'umbrella' software (at least, that is something I hear complaints about) is that there is more risk at vendor lock in: 'sure, you can manage everything with our software, just make sure that you have implemented technology X, alongside Y and Z, in that configuration.'
Comment by David Cuthbertson on August 3, 2010 at 18:51
Agree with you Michiel, the "umbrella management" sounds like the enterprise management systems that were pushed years ago (Openview, Tivoli, Unicenter) where one console would tell you everything. What happens in practice is that organisations make use of partners and split central/local responsibilities so a single tool isn't necessarily suitable for all. Most will go for a best of breed approach and often be constrained by existing legacy equipments or contracted relationships. Data centers are never transformed in the same way that you upgrade all your old servers, networks or storage to a common platform.

So it is still very much an early adopter phase where only a few have the funds, support, confidence and energy to implement such toolsets.

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