Even the staunchest advocate of data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) software would have to admit that it has a chequered history. For well over a decade it has struggled to shake off the reputation for hype, undelivered promises and wasted capital expenditure that were all too common features of its initial introduction. In fact, I can think of very few data centre technologies that elicit such strong opinions as DCIM.    

Not surprisingly, there remains a high degree of scepticism around this technology set and for many who were involved in initial implementations of DCIM the old adage ‘once bitten twice shy’ will figure highly in their thinking. Yet things have moved on and with lessons learned from vendors and customers alike, this month’s Question Time asks a panel of experts to offer their views on whether the scepticism about DCIM still justified and if it is now time to reappraise what it is and what it can do to make data centres more operationally efficient.     
Talking of efficiency, 5G will allow major advances in data transfer speeds, latency, connectivity, capacity, reliability and mobility, however, edge data centres will need a massive amount of energy to facilitate it. In order to delve deeper into the subject we have two excellent articles from leading experts in this area. Marc Garner of Schneider Electric examines the need for greater energy efficiency in edge data centres and Jon Abbott of Vertiv explains why it’s time to prioritise efficiency and sustainability in network infrastructure.     

The history of copper network cabling infrastructures is fascinating for many reasons – not least because every time it’s suggested that it has reached its potential, it evolves in new and interesting ways. To bring us up to date with what’s happening in this area James Withey, liaison officer between IEEE 802.3 and ISO/IEC SC25 WG3, explains the recent developments in copper cabling standards and applications.  

Rob Shepherd