London-based Romonet is a private company that helps businesses lower their data center costs through information analysis and prediction. Cloud Computing magazine recently interviewed CEO Danny Reeves to learn more.
How and when did Romonet get started?
Romonet was founded in 2006 when Zahl Limbuwala and Liam Newcombe developed a solution to analyze how much data centers cost to build and operate using empirical, validated data.
Over the years, Romonet has evolved considerably. We now provide predictive analytics software and services for a data center’s entire lifecycle. This delivers insight into a facility’s financial, environmental/CSR (News - Alert) and operational impact.
Tell us about yourself and the rest of the Romonet management staff.
I have been working in IT for 27 years. Prior to becoming CEO of Romonet, I was CIO and client services director at Balfour Beatty, a multi-billion dollar infrastructure company. Our CFO was in the same position (CFO) at Global Switch, the highest credit rated data center provider in the world.
Our founders are extremely well respected in the industry and behind many of the patented processes and technologies underpinning Romonet’s solution.
Romonet offers true data center lifecycle analytics. What does that mean?
Essentially, calling it true analytics is about the quality and accuracy of the data. Our validation processes ensure any data we analyze has been scientifically validated.
It’s also a term to describe a data center’s different phases. Data centers are constantly evolving, and we provide analytics for every stage in a facility’s lifecycle.
This starts with the investment strategy, planning permission, and site location. After site designs have been modeled and approved, then comes analysis of the build and delivery stage. After that, a data center comes online and the business must ensure financial, environmental, and operational performance matches corporate and commercial expectations. Then there is ongoing improvement and capital investment through the life of the facility. And the final step is during a facility’s end-of-life and decommissioning. Each of these stages need regular, accurate analysis and measurement.
How do you price and package for this solution?
We work on a subscription and project basis. This can include globally distributed estates consisting of cloud, colocation, and on-premises environments. Other companies might have micro data centers operating at the edge of the network. It really does vary.
What customer pain points does your solution address?
Romonet helps reduce initial investment by accurately analyzing and predicting the most suitable design before a single cent is spent. Once operational, operating expenses are reduced by continually analyzing metered data against predictive models and ongoing capital investments are validated before progressing. They are then measured to ensure ROI is met.
Another benefit is from a CSR perspective – providing the necessary data for sustainability metrics and identifying energy and water inefficiencies.
Operationally, data center managers have a clearer understanding of capacity, energy usage, and maintenance costs. The data center can be managed as a business unit with analytics enabling true ROI and financial predictability.
Who are your customers?
Our customers are based all over the world and are from a variety of industries such as finance, technology, and social media. The type of company is split between cloud and colocation providers, and enterprises managing their own data center estate. Customers include Intel, Fujitsu (News - Alert), Global Switch, eBay, and Bank of America.
Provide one example of how a customer is using your solution.
Fujitsu UK and Ireland has sustainability objectives as part of the company’s Energy Efficiency Program.
With regular automated data feeds from the facility, we produce updates to their Romonet Portal, enabling Fujitsu UK & Ireland to understand where existing inefficiencies are and how to fix them quickly.
Romonet is also used to forecast performance prior to deploying change and capital projects. These include initiatives aimed at improving energy efficiency and performance optimization.
Fujitsu identified savings of over 9 percent of the site’s energy per year using Romonet and saw an ROI in the first three months.
Who are your closest competitors?
We don’t have any direct examples of our methodology and technology within the data center industry just now; however, with the growing demand we can expect competition to enter the market soon.
We do, however, compete with other analytics solutions that target other business units. It’s more the case that those responsible for the data center are competing against other corporate departments to fund their digital transformation programs and analytics solutions. We get drawn into that.
Why is your solution the preferable one?
By utilizing a model built in software, data centers can update information automatically, track actual past performance, run point in time reports, predict future performance, and run what if analysis, all at a fraction of the time and cost, with reduced resource effort, to a higher degree of accuracy, and reduced risk.
How does your solution speak to what's happening in business today?
Organizations want more and more insight into business processes. The data center is no exception. They are also looking to stop unnecessary spending and create extremely efficient systems. Romonet’s platform enables businesses to build and maintain the best possible data center for the business while preventing potential future inefficiencies and improving risk management.
What's next for Romonet?
We’re currently expanding our artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, as well as strengthening our platform functionality, e.g. adding water consumption analytics.
We recently launched Validated by ROMONET, an independent certification program that measures the full end-to-end performance of the data center throughout its lifecycle. The road ahead sees us expanding services across the entire estate for some of the biggest data center providers/users on the planet.
We are also planning a next generation launch of our portal products that puts even more power directly in the hands of the customer.