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Simplifying Systems Management

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Earlier this year, hardware standardization from the desktop to the datacenter was one of the key themes at our Tech Day event. But hardware is only one part of the equation. Industry data shows that acquisition costs are only a fraction of total cost of ownership when compared to the cost of managing that hardware. Because of that, we looked at ways to ease the burden of cost and complexity and came to the conclusion that it’s time to standardize systems management. Why? Customers are faced with a proliferation of tools and consoles in their IT environments, they are grappling with expensive and complex upgrade paths to software management. These transitions not only increase costs, but also cause upheaval in customers’ infrastructures because they have to implement new processes, dedicate more staff and move focus away from what’s really important—growing their businesses.

Today’s announcement outlines what we’re doing to simplify systems management for our customers:

  • We’re proposing Unified Manageability Architecture (UMA) as a blueprint for the industry to standardize systems management. Some Direct2Dell readers may have seen Winston Bumpus’ posts on the Common Diagnostics Model and Common Information Model. Both of these are part of our UMA framework. His team continues to work with standards bodies like the DMTF to provide a layered approach that enables a path to built-in management for hardware and software.
  • We’ve entered into an agreement with Altiris to co-develop the next generation of OpenManage products. We’re also adding functionality to our OpenManage products so they can not only manage hardware—which we do today—but also manage software with snap-in upgradeability.
  • We’ve announced the Dell Open Manage Certified Partner Program, which allows leading systems management vendors to integrate hardware management for Dell hardware. Subsequently, our engineers test and validate that the product works on Dell hardware.

Industry standards don’t happen overnight, but we are putting measures in place to help customers get the functionality they need to manage their environment with two paths. One path is a single console from Dell and Altiris that manages both the hardware and software. The second is one where customers can choose the vendor of their choice with integrated hardware management for Dell products.

I explain this topic in terms of customer trends in this vlog:


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