Apps Keep Servers Humming
With server availability key for enterprises, LANDesk Software Inc. and IBM are rolling out management software designed to keep server systems running smoothly.
LANDesk last week unveiled Server Manager 8.5, which includes greater monitoring and remote management, as well as an improved dashboard designed for easier use. LANDesk officials said customers key concerns are ensuring limited downtime and keeping data safe.
"What weve focused on is server configuration and security. ... Its got to be up and running, and its got to be secure," said Steve Workman, director of product management for LANDesk, in South Jordan, Utah.
New features include on-demand management agents that are dormant until needed. The agents offer a variety of management tasks, such as stopping and starting services and gathering data, and dont use resources when theyre not needed. In addition, the software offers support for IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface) 2.0, enabling users to bring up out-of-band servers remotely and to gather data about those servers, including temperature, chassis status and intrusion detection.
Real-time monitoring of information such as the systems fan speed, temperature and voltage, as well as the applications and operating systems, gives users a clear and up-to-date view of their servers. On-demand system vulnerability assessment lets customers address potential problems. Patch management capabilities are offered.
The enhanced dashboard can be displayed anywhere on the screen and be used to manage an enterprises desktop environment at the same time, Workman said. The software can be used by itself or as a complementary product to management platforms from the top system OEMs.
Brad Carpenter, senior IS analyst for Lane County, in Eugene, Ore., said that because LANDesk incorporates Ring 3-level remote managementwhere its done at the software level rather than at the hardware levelhell be able to upgrade or patch his systems without having to take them down.
"That was a huge upgrade," Carpenter said. "Stability was one of our demands. You dont want your tool to blue-screen your server."
The advanced monitoring capabilities will also enable Carpenter to see potential problems, another factor in keeping the systems up and running.
For its part, IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., last week rolled out an offering aimed at enterprises running software from SAP AG. IDI (IBM Dynamic Infrastructure) for MySAP Business Suite is designed to help users balance the resources needed to run the software with available resources.
Through the IBM offering, users can automatically set up workflow steps to deploy the SAP suite on IBM serversfrom the x, p, z and BladeCenter series, as well as IBM TotalStorage. In addition, the software automatically and dynamically allocates resources to the SAP suite and tracks a customers use of the SAP applications for billing purposes.Managing the servers
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