When Consolidating Your Data Center Infrastructure, Don’t Overlook Your IT Management ProcessesDaniel Cecalacean, September 21, 2016
For most IT execs and managers, job performance is measured on the efficiency of data center operations. Unfortunately, the complexity of modern data centers sure doesn’t make it easy to be efficient. The endless business demands for services mean IT is constantly adding, changing, updating and decommissioning a multitude of hardware and software assets.
One way IT organizations are trying to cope with growing complexity and increase efficiency is by consolidating resources. There’s no question that consolidation can bring rationalization and greater simplicity to data center operations. But I sometimes think IT organizations overlook a fundamental aspect of consolidation. Consolidation needs to address not just hardware and software assets, but it’s just as important that IT administration procedures are rationalized and simplified too.
Streamlining IT Management with the Avocent Universal Management Gateway
As a former IT manager, I discovered a great way to not only consolidate data center administration, but also improve infrastructure security and increase the IT organization’s ability to respond to change. And I was lucky because the solution for increasing IT efficiency was offered by my own company.
Vertiv’s Universal Management Gateway (UMG) is a converged access and control appliance which combines the functions of digital KVM, serial console, service processor, rack PDU and environmental sensor management in a single interface. What’s so cool about the UMG is that this consolidated, “single-pane-of-glass” view can be used to monitor and manage hundreds - even thousands - of heterogeneous assets from a single, remote console.
Centralized IT Management Increases IT Efficiency
The UMG has some amazing capabilities that make IT administration a lot easier. For example, auto-discovery leverages built-in service processor profiles to automatically discover new processors, connect to them and populate the new systems in its database. Remote management supports bulk updating, such as a patch for a specific manufacturer’s service processors. Imagine – no more making changes server by server, as the UMG automatically disseminates the patch everywhere it’s needed. And for every service processor in a data center, the UMG can provide monitoring and reporting via the system event and integrated management logs.
The UMG is designed for both in-band and out-of-band access, which means IT organizations gain a single solution for managing a data center under both normal and emergency conditions. A company in Europe that provides IT services to local governments, reports that the UMG’s remote out-of-band management capability has produced considerable savings in time and money. Service technicians no longer need to travel to remote data center sites when a problem occurs, and the IT organization is managing the additional sites without any additional staff.
Remote Management Increases Security
Administrative efficiency is only one of the benefit of the UMG. Its remote management capability also enhances data center security. Because IT administrators no longer need to enter the data center to perform tasks, equipment remains physically secure. Risk is also lower because the UMG can reside on an isolated network where it acts as the central switch for all devices and prohibits unauthorized access directly from the production network.
The UMG provides built-in integration with industry-standard security frameworks which means you don’t have to create a separate set of credentials to access each device. For example, using the UMG’s LDAP/Active Directory interface, IT administrators set up authentication and authorization controls just once for all service processors.
Vendor-Agnostic Solution Increases Business Flexibility
One of the UMG’s values that IT management will appreciate over the long term is its ability to grow with the data center. As a vendor-agnostic solution, the appliance enables real-time access and control regardless of device manufacturer. It also offers an excellent path towards comprehensive Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM). By providing a single, complete solution to consolidate administration of complex, heterogeneous IT infrastructures, the Avocent Universal Management Gateway is an ideal way to achieve higher levels of efficiency, security and business flexibility.
Don’t take my word for it; see how Dataport leveraged the UMG in a multi-vendor infrastructure upgrade project. You can also learn more about how the UMG helps streamline IT management by reading the solution brief Three Key Values of Consolidated Infrastructure Management