Are your Infrastructure Management Practices Still Valid in Today’s Data Center?

I believe we will all agree that when it comes to technology, “Change is Constant”. Nowhere in the history of time has anything changed as fast as technology over a shorter period.

As a byproduct of this, we‘ve come to accept and expect computing, networking, storage, software, and just about all forms of technology to change sooner rather than later. Manufacturers usually find ways to make things “Cheaper, Smaller, Faster, and COOLER” (CSFC) than the previous version or idea, and we will (without a doubt) have to have it. This has become an everyday part of our life. Don’t believe me?

How about all the loyal iOS lovers that camp out in front of big box stores for 2 weeks prior to the release of the next “I Whatever” device? Or the “Black Friday” campers, who start lining up when the news breaks about being the first in line to get (1 of 3 available) 65” Super HD everything all in one home theater entertainment center with supersonic sound that gets 10k stations and any movie ever made all converted to 3D (no glasses required)? Don’t laugh! You know who you are. There’s a geek lurking in all of you somewhere.

So what does that have to do with Infrastructure Management? I first wanted to point out how we’ve come to accept and expect changes in technology, and how far people will go to get the latest techno gadget they believe will (in some way) improve their lives. A new feature, faster processor, more storage, faster network, improved this and that, etc. The point is, we accept, make plans for, and seek out technology changes that we believe (for whatever reason) will somehow improve our lives. We want it, are convinced we need it, and will sometimes go to extremes to get it, despite how insignificant it very well may be weeks or months later.

In IT, we all want the latest CSFC Servers, Network Gear, Storage Devices, Virtualization, Etc. These pieces of the technology pie will (in some way) improve our lives and the lives of others until the next CSFC device or piece of software comes along. Once we get it, we’ll put it in play and manage it (along with all the other generations of CSFCs from different manufacturers we have living in our data centers) using the same old tired management practices we‘ve been using for who knows how long. So why is that a problem?

It’s not–if trying to manage 100s to 1000s of Physical and Virtual IT Assets from different manufacturers, via multiple vendor specific management tools is not a problem for you.

Quite frankly, I say it’s a problem. Why? Because you have all these Servers, Network, Storage and Virtualized environments from different manufacturers and different generations, and you’re still trying to manage them using older management tools and methods. Just as IT technology changes, so should the management practices you have in play.

Up until now, the promise of having a single standardized infrastructure management solution that provides access and control to your CSFCs from different manufacturers and generations of Physical and Virtual IT Assets, didn’t exist. Variations are out there, but for the most part you still rely on the management tools provided by the respective manufacturer. This can, and does create a number of un-necessary problems.

For example, you most likely use a different tool to access and control servers from different manufacturers via Serial Console or the Service Processor. Each are different. You also probably have a different solution for accessing and controlling Network equipment, storage, and power from various manufacturers. And another access and control solution for your Virtual Environment. So here is where I have to say, WHY ISN’T this a problem? How is it cost effective to learn, maintain and use so many different solutions to access and control your infrastructure, when 1 or 2 would be sufficient? Everyone across the infrastructure would have the same interface and normalized command stack in which to access and control the entire Physical and Virtual landscape. This just makes too much sense right?

Having a single Access and Control solution that reduces the number of vendor specific tools you have to learn, use, and maintain, greatly simplifies the whole infrastructure management conundrum. Less tools, greater results and more savings. Who would have thought this could happen?

I’m no rocket surgeon, but when I think of being able to significantly reduce the number of management tools I have, need to learn, maintain, and use to control 100s–1000s of CSFCs, I’m thinking It might be time to get in line. Having a single solution that will do the work of many is a great benefit. It helps save time and money, reduces training costs and user mistakes, enhances compliancy, and improves security and troubleshooting challenges, just to name a few more.

All teams (Server, Network, Storage, Virtualization, and NOC) would all be operating from the same play book. Interfaces would be the same, commands would be the same, and predictably, the results would all be the same. Better Infrastructure Management with less risk and cost. Is this for real and available? Yes it is.

So I’ll leave you with these last thoughts and calls to action. If you’re in IT, and you use multiple solutions instead of one to manage 100s – 1000s of physical and virtual devices, you don’t have to camp out in line for 2 weeks to make a change that will immediately (today) start improving your life and the lives of others. You can do it right now (today). You can make a change (today) that delivers immediate and long lasting results to your data center infrastructure management practices. The technology exists (right now) that will make the lives of your Server, Network, Storage, Virtual, and NOC teams a whole lot easier.

Hope you had fun reading this and that you’ll make the move (right now) to find out (today) how simplifying your Physical and Virtual Infrastructure management can be as easy as breathing. Out With the Old, In With the New. I’m happy to share details. All you have to do is ask (today, now, this minute). Don’t wait any longer.

Good luck, and I trust you’ll make it a priority (right now) to upgrade your Physical and Virtual Infrastructure management tools and practices.

Happy Trails!
Kevin Ansell
VP, Solutions Architecture

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