Simplifying the Complex: datacenter management made easy

BrandPost By IBM
Aug 19, 20144 mins
Data CenterIBM

Don’t you hate getting advice you didn’t ask for?

It usually shows up when you have a problem, which is when you least want it, and frequently it’s a suggestion to do something you’ve already done.

“Did you try re-booting?”

“What about calling tech support?” (Those may be the five most demoralizing words in the English language.)

“Have you checked for updates?”

The person may be well-intentioned and clueless or they could just like to hear themselves talk. If those suggestions are irritating, at least they’re sort of on topic. It’s really a bad sign when the advice starts with, “I had to deal with something similar to this once.” The next thing you hear could be anything from how they fixed a GPS device while on a fishing trip to how they are now their entire family’s unofficial tech-support desk.

The reason you, me and everyone else hates advice at moments like these is not only did we not ask for it but it’s not what we need. What we need is help. Actual help, from someone who knows what they’re doing who can work on the problem with you. If they can’t help, have them fetch your favorite coffee.

Now because you manage a datacenter that includes remote servers, you’re faced with too many opportunities (read “problems”) for someone to offer advice about. And despite virtualization trends, managing servers is getting harder every day.

What used to be hundreds of servers may be thousands – or tens of thousands. The average enterprise’s server portfolio has four server operating systems running 17 different implementations. That’s just the physical servers. It also averages two virtualization platforms with nine different implementations, some local and some remote, over varying degrees of bandwidth. And all those machines require a lot of oiling. Keeping them secure, compliant and well-managed chews up way too much of your time, doesn’t it?

Let’s just look at the security part of that because that’s everyone’s top concern. Servers suffer the most breaches of any type of asset. Why? For the same reason that famed bank robber Willie Sutton said he robbed banks, “That’s where the money is.” A lot of data can be taken from someone’s laptop or mobile but if you want the crown jewels of a company’s data, it’s on the servers.

For the average enterprise, ineffective security on datacenter and remote servers accounts for 3.5 incidents per year. Most security breaches go undetected for eight months with each incident costing $30,995 per minute (source: The IBM Global Study on the Economic Impact of IT Risk sponsored by IBM and independently conducted by Ponemon Institute in July 2013) on average leading to significant financial and reputational damages.

You want help, not advice, to deal with that.

Consider these facts about IBM Endpoint Manager for Datacenters, whether you have a hundred servers or a hundred thousand:

  • It lets users perform advanced automation tasks across local and remote servers, including task sequencing – without the need for programming skills.
  • It lets system administrators find and fix problems across all endpoints in minutes – regardless of OS or connection type.
  • It gives you detailed security insights – including point-in-time and trending of security exceptions and deviations – using compliance analytics.
  • It gives you continuous enforcement of security configurations and patches.
  • It is ready to do this out-of-the-box and deploys in a matter of hours.

About the only thing it won’t do is get you that cup of coffee. However it will free up way more time than you need to go get it yourself.

If that’s not help, what is?

View our Datacenter Management infographic here.