Using open standards to untangle hyperscale systems management

Dell has always been about open standards and is highly involved in the Open Compute Project (OCP), specifically the development of open standards for systems management. Such management standardization is necessary for lowering adoption barriers and simplifying the management of scale-out computing environments. Customers with “at scale” deployments are looking for consistent command and response behaviors which guarantee predictable results across the data center. This is intended to eliminate issues caused when platforms are standard compliant, yet behave differently.

The hardware management problem at hyperscale

Hardware management tools are often vendor specific,  and can create difficulty when scaling to tens of thousands of multisource machines. Any differences in messages, numberings, payloads, commands, responses, event/alert/log data, or remote management conventions, even though the delivery may use the same protocols (Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) or Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI))can create mayhem for IT managers.

Dell’s deep experience-based knowledge makes a difference

With over one million Dell hyperscale computers in the market, we have learned a few things about system management in this demanding environment.  We know how to use these tools, and can provide deep experience-based guidance for things that truly matter in the hyperscale environment.  We are a key contributor to the Open Compute Project as a basis for management standardization and have provided our management information base (MIB) to the OCP.

Dell has representation in various groups of the Open Compute Project:

  • Incubation Committee (Jimmy Pike)
  • Systems Management Working Group (Paul Vancil)
  • Virtual I/O Working Group (Stephen Rousset)
  • Open Rack Working Group (Joe Vivio)

Our participation and contributions are critical to getting broadly adopted and consistently implemented capabilities around basic machine maintenance.  We will continue our OCP efforts to help give our hyperscale customers the industry-leading tools and hardware they need.  At the 2012 forum, Dell showed a concept for an OCP Open Rack-compliant server and storage solution. This year, we are running a systems management exhibit that features an x86 server and the 64-bit ARM-based server demonstrating management interoperability.  Stop by the Dell Open Compute Summit booth to check it out. For those of you who won’t be attending, here is the video from my presentation:


About the Author: Jimmy Pike