DCF Show: Transcending DCIM for Data Center Performance Management and Sustainability

Oct. 10, 2023
Eaton data center product director Mike Jackson unpeels the company's new BrightLayer Data Centers suite of digital tools for facilities.

For the latest episode of the Data Center Frontier Show Podcast, editors Matt Vincent and David Chernicoff sat down with Mike Jackson, Global Director of Product, Data Center and Distributed IT Software for Eaton.

The purpose of the talk was to learn about the company's newly launched BrightLayer Data Centers suite, and how it covers the traditional DCIM use case - and a lot more.

According to Eaton, the BrightLayer Data Centers suite's digital toolset enables facilities to efficiently manage an increasingly complex ecosystem of IT and OT assets, while providing full system visibility into data center white space, grey space and/or distributed infrastructure environments.

"We're looking at a holistic view of the data center and understanding the concepts of space, power, cooling, network fiber," said Jackson. "It starts with the assets and capacity, and understanding: what do you have, and how is it used?"

Listen to today's show:

Here's a timeline of points discussed on the podcast:

0:39 - Inquiring about the BrightLayer platform and its relevance to facets of energy, sustainability, and design in data centers.

7:57 - Explaining the platform's "three legs of the stool":  Data center performance management, electrical power monitoring, and distributed IT performance management. Jackson describes how all three elements are part of one code base.

10:42 - Jackson recounts the BrightLayer Data Center suite's beta launch in June and the product's official, commercial launch in September; whereby, out of the gate, over 30 customers are already actively using the platform across different use cases.

13:02 - Jackson explains how the BrightLayer Data Center suite's focus on performance management and sustainability is meant to differentiate the platform from other DCIM systems, in attracting both existing and new Eaton customers.

17:16 - Jackson observes that many customers are being regulated or pushed into sustainability goals, and how the first step for facilities in this situation is measuring and tracking data center consumption. He further contends that the BrightLayer tools can help reduce data center cooling challenges while optimizing workload placement for sustainability, and cost savings.

20:11 - Jackson talks about the importance of integration with other software and data center processes, and the finer points of open API layers and out-of-the-box integrations.

22:26 - In terms of associated hardware, Jackson reviews the Eaton EnergyAware UPS series' ability to proactively manage a data center's power drop via handling utility and battery sources at the same time. He further notes that many customers are now expressing interest in microgrid technology and use of alternative energy sources.

27:21 - Jackson discusses the potential for multitenant data centers to use smart hardware and software to offset costs and improve efficiency, while offering new services to customers and managed service providers.

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About the Author

Matt Vincent

A B2B technology journalist and editor with more than two decades of experience, Matt Vincent is Editor in Chief of Data Center Frontier.

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