Dell Backs Effort to Streamline Server Management
Dell's Neil Hand says standards in management software are important to Dell because they're important to its customers.Dell Inc. this week joined with other vendors, including Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM and Intel Corp., to create a working group within the Distributed Management Task Force that will help create standard server management software interfaces. The group will evolve the DMTFs Common Information Modelor CIMspecification that will enable customers to manage their heterogeneous environments using software from any vendor. The group also will address various architectures, including blade servers and virtual environments. Neil Hand, director of worldwide product marketing for Dell, of Round Rock, Texas, spoke with eWEEK Senior Editor Jeffrey Burt about the need for more standardization of management software. Dell has said that standards in management software are very important to the company going forward. Can you talk about this? Theyre important to us because in the end weve heard very succinctly from our customers and many of our prospective customers that its one of the fundamentals that they need to manage their business, and the fundamental is being able to use servers and storage. But in the end, we think that we as an industry have done a pretty poor job of delivering against that customer fundamental.
The reason we keep hearing that its a fundamental from customers is, they want choice and they want competition to exist in the marketplace. The challenge to them is that they want to be able to have competition inside of their IT space. They have to choose to invest in multiple proprietary vertically integrated management stacks from each of the vendors for their hardware in parallel to the management theyre using to manage their operating system and application deployment. That increases their costs of managing the environment. If they dont do that, then ultimately they are locked into one or, if theyre lucky, two vendors, and have to live with the decisions that vendor makes, which wont always be optimized to the business problem that theyre trying to solve inside their industry.