IT Infrastructure: The Case for Unified Systems Management

Tangle of wiresA tangle of wires, CDs, ram sticks, racks, and separate Excel sheets full of user IDs and application licenses. If this sounds like your IT office, you might want to consider a look at  unified systems management.

Recent innovations in technology and hardware design have introduced new systems that can truly help to unify an infrastructure. More so than their predecessors, these systems are more intelligent and contain more features that can actually help administrators untangle their systems.

Increase productivity with automation

When paired with a converged infrastructure, Unified Management Systems can automatically configure new hardware added to the network. This is as close to a plug-and-play system as you can find for enterprise-level infrastructures. This means that the next time you install a new storage server; the system will know it was setup and present you with some options for configuration. A few clicks and it’s ready to be used.

This level of system automation and communication goes both ways. If a server goes down, a unified management system can automatically detect the failure and reassign other machines to take over the load.  It will notify the administrator of the fault and there are systems that can be set to automatically track the warranty on the device and send out for a replacement automatically. Imagine the time saved when the system itself can detect and automate every step besides physically installing the new hardware.

Shift to modern systems management

Unified systems management has been around in some form or another for years but  early solutions tended to focus on a single part of the infrastructure. As a result, a company could have a system to manage applications, another to manage storage, one to manage servers, a network monitor, and a physical log of hardware warranty expiration dates. Basically, these “unified” management systems only really integrated a small subset of an infrastructure and were anything but unified.

Today’s, unified management systems are also leveraging cloud computing and mobile technologies to make access and management easier and more flexible for the administrators.

Inventories, licenses, user IDs, model numbers, and locations all available from a smart phone or tablet. This can allow your administrator to actually take a vacation and still be able to help out on the road.  These features also makes device management less of a chore as it can help automate updates, lifecycle planning, and even tell you the location of a piece of hardware.

All of these advantages are realized to the fullest when used in conjunction with hardware that was built from the ground up to work together like some of the new converged infrastructures. However, there are also systems that are interoperable between hardware from different vendors, though normally at a loss of features and automation.

Unified management systems are more advanced and feature rich than ever and the right system might be able to help you untangle your infrastructure.

Tags: Cloud Computing,Data Center