Converged Infrastructure

Nadhan’s Top 5 tips for unifying Systems Management Tools with Automation

Blog by: E.G.Nadhan—HP Distinguished Technologist

 

The key to succeeding in the Systems Management environment is Automation and this can best be accommodated by flipping the 80/20 maintenance/innovation ratio.  The need for such automation has only increased with the proliferation of virtualization across compute, network and storage. 

 

Automation is best enabled by the structured application of technology.  The fewer tools used, the more effective the automation is end-to-end.  A key step to optimizing the tool-set is to unify the management of the virtual and physical resources.

 

Here are the 5 tips that reinforce the need for this unification:

  • Back to the future.  The IT world is evolving to virtualization—this is the norm rather than the exception.  Systems management tools must keep pace with this evolution.  However, these tools must not lose sight of the ongoing presence of the physical infrastructure components.  Such tools must synthetically evolve to the environment of the future while being cognizant of the reality of the past. 
  • Tightly-coupled dependencies There is a close linkage between the physical and virtual resources.  These dependencies are critical to the provision of Incident and Problem Management services.  A disintegrated tooling landscape across physical and virtual resources is not conducive to an integrated approach to problem resolution.  Erroneous diagnosis is likely when dealing with a multitude of tooling environments. 
  • Transparency The physical or virtual nature of the underlying resource is transparent to the systems management personnel.  Even so, Systems Management teams have had a tendency to treat these as separate environments requiring separate tools.  This need not be the case anymore.  Technology to make this a seamless experience exists today.
  • Cross-domain integration Resources that must be managed span the domains of Compute, Network, Storage and Facility.  Ideally, systems management tools must extend across all these domains.  In the event, there is a need for co-existence of a multitude of tools specific to each domain, seamless integration between these tooling environments is absolutely critical.  Such integration can be best effected using a unified set of tools for physical and virtual resources within each domain.
  • Configuration Management. The need to manage and track the different states of a configuration item (CI) does not go away with the virtualization of resources.  Virtual CIs tend to have a shorter life span than physical CIs.  Even so, these CIs and their relationships with other physical and virtual CIs is critical to the management of assets within the Systems Management environment.  A unified approach to the enabling tools for managing the physical and virtual resources facilitates the end-to-end tracking of configuration items across their life cycle.

HP Insight Control enables the management of physical and virtual servers from any location. With the software’s virtual machine management feature, you can use a single toolset to manage and gauge the health of both physical and virtual servers.

 

Let me know if you have additional tips to unify management of virtual and physical resources and wish to expand this list.

Tags: Tips
Comments
Stewart Lawrie(anon) | ‎12-23-2011 11:50 AM

Configuration Management in the virtual world...

 

Unlike Configuration Management in the physical world, the virtual environment calls for world class Change and Configuration Management through process and appropriate tool support. Those supporting virtual environments need, no must have a clear vision or blueprint with regard to the system, its configuration, interfaces, supported business applications and their criticality. One false or unplanned change / adjustment to a CI potentially does not just bring the single entity down, it could and sadly does bring a whole service down for multiple users and delivery areas.

 

Appropriate well defined tools supporting strong, effective and proven process used by professional / skilled staff compliment the business benefits derived from virtual environments; ignore or skimp on the people, process and tools at your peril   

Nadhan | ‎08-18-2012 10:02 AM

Stewart, Agree with your observations on the unique challenges associated with the application of configuration management techniques to the virtualized world.  While virtualization may foster rapid deployment and provisioning of resources, on the flip-side, it could also trigger lightning-speed propagation of configuration item failures across the world of virtual and physical resources.

 

Connect with Nadhan on: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin

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More than 23 years of enterprise IT Marketing and Communications experience; working on the HP Converged Infrastructure Marketing team from ...


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