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Systems Management Getting too Complicated?

Systems Management Getting too Complicated?

One of the hidden—but deeply felt—challenges IT organizations face is systems management. As infrastructure, applications, services and workloads become more complex and intertwined, there is increased pressure on IT staffs to find ways to make systems management easier, less time consuming and more affordable.

This is especially the case in remote office/branch office (ROBO) environments, where multiple systems have sprouted up over time, often without a cohesive plan for how to manage it all in a centralized, efficient way. This has made the traditional focus of IT departments on monitoring and managing systems an even greater burden, preventing IT teams from working on transformative applications that advance the organization’s most important business goals.

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Not only is it not unusual for a typical ROBO environment to have multiple systems management tools, it has become increasingly commonplace as distinct systems have spread out like a multi-headed Hydra. Taming that beast, as it were, has become a priority for IT departments looking to spend more time on working on business problems and less time on systems management.

A new breed of ROBO-centric converged infrastructure solutions is emerging that has as one of its main goals the simplification of systems management. By replacing multi-server, sprawling infrastructure with a high-density, small-footprint converged solution, IT managers in ROBO organizations can also consolidate multiple management tools into a single solution that provides the much-desired “single pane of glass”—a view into the visibility, flexibility, scalability and security necessary to meet the evolving needs of fast-growing remote and branch offices.

For instance, these environments need easier ways to set up server clusters and locate hardware resources through shared PCIe slots. They also need utilities that automatically update systems while ensuring that the failover cluster resources are online and highly available.

Consider how much simpler it would be to utilize a single tool that could handle server cluster deployment, perform ongoing maintenance and system health monitoring, automatically receive alerts and migrate virtual machines without downtime.

Fortunately, the Dell PowerEdge converged infrastructure solution offers a highly automated, consolidated and feature-rich systems management platform that effectively replaces the multi-tool approach that has been so prevalent in many ROBO organizations. In fact, independent research indicates that it simplifies cluster setup with the Dell OpenManage Cluster Configurator, as well hardware resource reassignment through shared PCIe slots and centralized management through Dell management tools.

A key benefit of the OpenManage systems management tool is its ability to oversee not only PowerEdge operations but also those of Dell’s enterprise-class PowerEdge systems often found in a headquarters data center. This includes the new Dell PowerEdge, a converged solution that enables seamless management across the enterprise, from the data center to remote offices.

The Dell Chassis Management Controller (CMC) for PowerEdge dramatically simplifies infrastructure management by replacing multiple tools with a single management platform that unifies and presents hardware management in a single console.

Additionally, the Dell OpenManage Essentials Console enables the simultaneous, real-time monitoring of up to 400 remote PowerEdge systems. Dell’s systems management approach even goes all the way to endpoint management through OpenManage Mobile, allowing remote PowerEdge systems to be managed from a smart mobile device.

The PowerEdge management tool also includes Geographic View, a color-coded map providing a quick-glance assessment of remote system status, location and behavior.

This innovative, consolidated and highly automated approach to remote systems management is a key factor in helping ROBO organizations realize significant cost savings against not only legacy tower-based server configurations but also public cloud configurations. Third-party research noted that PowerEdge customers realize 26% lower 5-year TCO and a 33-month payback period compared to multi-tower server environments. And, that research noted that a typical configuration offers 64% lower 5-year TCO, representing a 13-month payback period.

Systems management has become increasingly challenging for IT professionals in ROBO environments as increased technology investment has created disparate infrastructure centers that often are managed using multiple, distinct tools. The Dell PowerEdge, however, offers an efficient way to simplify systems management without compromising functionality.

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