Streamlining Operational Tasks, Controlling Costs and Enabling Productivity through New Systems Management Capabilities

One of the toughest struggles that IT managers face is trying to do more with less: managing greater expectations with what seems to be an ever shrinking budget. And IT downtime for systems management purposes (e.g. hardware configuration, OS installation; and platform updating) remains one of the most costly concerns.

One study found that downtime for systems management purposes consumed 15% of planned downtime. Consequently, customers of all sizes are looking for solutions that reduce complexity, control costs, enable productivity enhancement and allow monies and energies to be redirected toward strategic business innovation and growth.

Dell is addressing these pain points with systems management that are open, capable, and affordable. Today, we are announcing the next milestone in our embedded management strategy, which moves the customer experience from time-consuming, complex, media-based systems management to a more simplified systems management which relies on intelligence inside of the platform. The Lifecycle Controller manages hardware configurations and firmware on PowerEdge 11G servers. Compared to traditional server management solutions, Lifecycle Controller provides a simplified and automatable method of managing servers through their complete lifecycle, from initial provisioning and deployment, through configuration changes and updates, to re-purposing or obsolescence.

A key new feature included in latest release of the firmware is automated configuration of field replaceable parts (PERC, NIC cards, Power Supplies). With this feature, settings and firmware are stored in Lifecycle Controller and applied to the replaced part. This not only saves IT Administrator time, it also reduces the number of tools needed for hardware management and thus decreases complexity and lessens potential for error.

I am also excited about how we are making systems management as straightforward as possible with intuitive interfaces. The latest release of Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC) features a re-designed user interface that provides deeper and more comprehensive information about managed systems, increasing IT Administrator awareness of their IT environment and enabling more informed decisions. Furthermore, the ability to launch management tasks directly from the home page has been enhanced, such that more tasks can be launched directly, with fewer clicks.

For customers who rely on blade servers, Dell has taken Chassis Management Controller (CMC) to a new level. A new dynamic graphical user interface comes with CMC including a homepage designed to simplify and speed up the most frequent system administrator tasks. Put together, customers are sure to enjoy a new level ease, reliability and time savings with their server infrastructure. Our approach to systems management promises to deliver relevant efficiencies in both OPEX and CAPEX. I encourage you to take time to learn more and let us know what you think about our new systems management capabilities.

About the Author: Kevin Noreen