IBM’s System Director 6.3: Improved Usability, Installability, Functionality
Research Report IBM’s System Director 6.3: Improved Usability, Installability, FunctionalityExecutive SummaryWhen Clabby Analytics last examined IBMs System Director systems managementenvironment we noted that IBM had created a common management database (CMDB)that enabled IBM’s System Director and IBM’s Tivoli management environments to makeuse of the data that each program environment had collected. Using this data, SystemsDirector was able to more effectively manage a systems environment from the firmwarelevel through the management of physical and virtualized servers (virtual machines).Tivoli could also make use of data found in the CMDB to perform advanced managementfunctions such as automated provisioning through application tuning and performancemanagement. We noted that the unification of these two environments created a verycomprehensive systems management stack that could span from firmware throughautomated provisioning and workload management.A new revision of Systems Director (version 6.3) has just recently been announced. Thisrevision focuses on: 1. Improved usability; 2. Ease of installation; and, 3. Extended functionality.From a usability perspective IBM has improved the overall look and feel of the product byreorganizing the screen flows, by inserting more and clearer instructional messages, and bymaking clever use of highlighting that draws users attention to what needs to be done next.From an ease of installation perspective, the new Systems Director greatly simplifies thedeployment of the Systems Director master program and related plug-ins. And it nowmakes use of an embedded IBM DB2 Enterprise Edition Database (meaning that to deploythis product systems managers no longer need the assistance of a database administrator).From an added functionality perspective, the new Systems Director adds new functions ininventory management, and virtual machine support (with full support for the KVMhypervisor), and in storage management (with extensions that allow informationtechnology [IT] managers and administrators to discover, inventory, and receive alertsfrom both IBM and EMC storage devices). Further, with the use of additional plug-ins(IBM System Director VMControl and Storage Control), System Director can be used toautomatically provision IBM and EMC storage.