By: Clay Ryder, President, Sageza Group, Inc.
Published: 21st December 2009
Copyright Sageza Group, Inc. © 2009
The importance of systems management in the datacenter should not be underestimated. As deployment of all types and sizes of servers has continued unabated, IT organizations can no longer afford the manpower and resource expense of simply trusting that the vast server farm will operate efficiently without human intervention. While UNIX and mainframe operations have recognized this for some time, for many x86-based server installations, it is only recently that corporate realities have mandated the same degree of operational efficiency and efficacy for all IT servers.
In many organizations the number of x86 servers exceeds that of all others, yet expectations for systems management are often not commensurate. Organizations that have begun to address the manageability and cost considerations of x86 deployments have likely come to realize that while there are many vendors of x86 server hardware, uniform systems management is a less developed craft in this market segment.
Effective systems management is not achieved simply through add-on software; rather it demands a holistic point of view that is manifest through systemic innovation beginning with each component on the motherboard. Further, it must take a view beyond that of the local server that is inclusive of the greater IT environment. As operations and energy consumption continue to become the dominant expenses in the datacenter, accepting a less-than-comprehensive management solution for x86 systems is no longer an option. Given the historic underutilization of x86 servers, this issue becomes even more imperative.
To address this underutilization organizations have approached virtualization as a means to capture greater utilization, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of x86 server investments. While organizations may have originally limited forays into virtualization to a select set of non-critical services, virtualization is no longer just an experiment or toy; it is an essential component in maximizing IT value. Yet today, most system management approaches have remained bifurcated between the physical and virtual worlds. The growth of virtualization dictates that systems management tools must manage both physical and virtualized resources in a unified fashion to reduce deployment, training, and management expense.
Competitive organizations recognize that x86 installations must deliver the same degree of industry-leading performance, virtualization, energy efficiency, and scalability as other platforms. As result, x86-based solutions must be based upon resilient architectures and management tools that deliver security and high availability. This includes a robust portfolio of hardware and software management solutions by which to meet current demands while delivering the scalability necessary to adjust capacity as business requirements change. In other words, solutions must improve service, reduce cost, and manage risk.
The need to remain competitive has led organizations to demand greater flexibility in IT service delivery. Hence, there is a growing expectation for a dynamic infrastructure and dynamic management tools. The effective convergence of business and IT infrastructure into one dynamic infrastructure can enable new breakthrough service opportunities and provide the basis for business transformation.
In light of these considerations, one vendor has undertaken a holistic approach to address the need for integrate systems management in the x86 server market space. We invite you to read our white paper, Integrated Systems Management: The New Generation of IBM System x Servers, which examines many of the innovations that IBM has brought to x86-based server solutions in its quest to improve overall systems management and help create a dynamic, cost-effective IT infrastructure. The white paper may be downloaded from IT-Analysis.com, IT-Director.com, or Sageza.com.
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