Tier44 Technologies, a leading developer of Data Center Management software on the ServiceNow platform, for large enterprises, government agencies provides solutions for visibility, intelligence, analytics, and automation to help CIOs, IT directors, and facilities managers dynamically optimize capacity and manage service levels and power consumption within and across data centers, owners, and operators can achieve ultimate application reliability using holistic data center management rather than isolated facility and IT hardware modules. Clemens Pfeiffer, President and CEO/CTO of Tier44 started his professional career at Hewlett-Packard in Germany, first in a central European support role and later in a more pro-active consulting role for compiler and database technologies. Subsequently, his role expanded to workflow and business process automation technologies helping multi-national corporations with enterprise business process reengineering initiatives and implementation technologies. In 1995 he move to the Bay Area courtesy of HP and was at HP Labs and some product divisions until 1998 when he started his first company and created a business process automation platform and web-based application environment. In 2007, Clemens Pfeiffer co-founded Power Assure as CTO, utilizing the automation technology and creating some patented energy management solutions for data centers, demonstrating power consumption reduction by over 50% for large-scale load-balanced application environments. In 2014, he started Tier44 Technologies, acquired all intellectual property, patents, software, and most assets from Power Assure, taking the technology to the ServiceNow ecosystem by building a data center management solution on the ServiceNow platform.
Tier44 is recognized as one of the top 50 innovators in the market. Clemens Pfeiffer has a long history in technology, research, and product development and as a result, has always been looking for opportunities to improve workflows and operational processes. He worked with data centers for a long time and was convinced that the workflows in and around the management of data centers can be significantly improved from an operational efficiency point of view as well as around energy and water optimization. With all the research done in the past and with the emergence of ServiceNow as a platform of choice for a lot of organizations, Tier44 Technologies saw an opportunity to build an application on ServiceNow to take the research results into reality and help organizations to benefit from it.
Status Quo is the most common roadblock with organizations. Even though they change their ITSM platform and implement all workflows on ServiceNow, including the data center, getting the IT management and facility management into the same environment is a lengthy process, that slowed down further during covid-19, which pretty much, put all face to face meetings on hold and made conferences virtual. Both of which limits customer interaction and delays projects. Today Tier44 Technologies provide an application on the ServiceNow store for data center visualization, aggregation, and configuration. As the solution is data center specific, it applies to any organization that runs, owns, or manages a data center and to an organization that has servers in a data center or co-location facility. It’s not specific to the industry but more tailored towards a functional area of people dealing with data centers or people having to manage equipment in data centers.
For a small company its “customer-first”, without them there is no “employee-first” possibility. Therefore, Tier44 always has to balance the customer demand with the wishes of employees. But irrespective of the customer, demands, and urgency, the team tries to maintain mutual respect, encourage feedback and open communication as well as fair treatment of everyone. Unlike a typical old-school German company with strict hierarchical organizational structures, Tier44 Technologies prefers a flat structure with limited layers and self-accountability. The team strives for excellence while having fun, even when it’s stressful and when deadlines have to be met and they are proud of their collective achievements.
Stories like the one from PayPal using ServiceNow/Tier44 for Data Center Management, published before the pandemic always make the team proud as they show the value Tier44 Technologies provides to customers.
Today in pretty much every data center all servers are running 24×7 irrespective of demand and most of the environments are scaled to peak demand plus some more and are redundant in at least a second location. The question is why is the capacity not adjusted to demand dynamically? The power grid has demonstrated that they can analyze the demand and adjust generation accordingly. The team is working on making it super easy by adding another module to the ServiceNow Store so customers can try it, adjust it, and use it for their environment. Tier44 Technologies (is) has yet to publish some examples (shortly), one around crypto farms and the other around commercial load-balanced applications, two of the largest power consumers.
Tier44 has plans and announcements for the upcoming year. First, the team is finalizing a new release of visualization and aggregation solution due in Q4/21, and shortly thereafter it has two add-on modules in the pipeline, one for monitoring and one for an easy rack audit directly from within ServiceNow. Tier44 offers organizations a way to keep track of their physical and virtual infrastructure, automatically creating events and incidents within ServiceNow along with launching workflows for a quick and efficient resolution.
In 2022, Tier44 will further extend the capabilities of Digital Employees to automate data center related
The rack audit provides users a graphical way of auditing racks by showing the equipment as defined in ServiceNow along with each manually scanned item. Tier44 is also readying an automated rack audit by leveraging Raritan hardware asset management strips using one of its inventions called “Digital Employees®” to automatically read the asset tags from the equipment in the rack. This allows for a fully automated audit on-demand or per a pre-set interval as it takes seconds and can be used to verify rack content as needed.
In 2022, Tier44 will further extend the capabilities of Digital Employees to cover other tasks without providing many details.
But as a quick hint, think of it as a way to automate tasks under specific conditions without a requirement to change the overall pre-existing workflow, which is usually hard to do due to the complexity of end-to-end testing. Digital Employees on the other hand are easy to set up by creating a “user” in ServiceNow associated with a “task event handler” that kicks off a workflow every time such a task shows up in the Digital Employees task list. The workflow checks applicability for automation, and if doable will complete the task automatically while in other cases the task will be kicked over to the real user. So stay tuned for that next year!