Dell Ramps Up OpenManage Suite

New capabilities give users a single place from which to manage data center hardware, software and operating systems.

Dell Inc. on Tuesday unveiled new capabilities to its OpenManage software suite designed to give users a single place from which to manage their data center hardware, software and operating systems.

In a brief conference call with reporters, Neil Hand, director of worldwide marketing for Dells Product Group, said that currently IT administrators must use separate software solutions to manage each of these elements.

"This will reduce the number of processors theyre using now to manage their software and hardware," Hand said. "This gives a single-console view, not only of their software or hardware, but of the entire environment that theyre managing."

Key to this is the fact that these tools can integrate directly with Microsoft Corp.s SMS (Systems Management Server) and MOM (Microsoft Operations Manager) management software.

The Dell tools, which will be free to Dell customers, include Dell Management Pack for MOM, which enables users to monitor their PowerEdge servers and forward alerts to administrators, and Dell Update Packages with SMS, which automates the management of updates and patches to hardware, software and operating systems via a single tool. Hand said the latter is particularly important to administrators, who say that the majority of their management costs are spent on deploying updates.

"What we keep hearing from customers is that patching and upgrading their systems is the most important thing they can do," said David Hamilton, director of Microsofts enterprise management division, who was in Europe overseeing the launch of SMS 2003.

The third element is the Dell Deployment Toolkit, which helps enterprises deploy servers running Microsoft Automated Deployment Services.

The first two tools are available immediately; the toolkit will be released by the end of the year.