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i Can … Direct the use of Navigator? Or is that Navigate the use of Director?

March 22, 2010

Director? Navigator?

I think there’s a fair amount of confusion regarding the management tools IBM has delivered the past couple of years. You hear about Director, but what are we talking about?  And then there’s Navigator – is that iSeries Navigator?  Operations Navigator?  What about Director Navigator?  All of this seems to be very confusing to many.

So, let me try to explain the various products and their names to hopefully provide clear information on this.

Four products seem to cause confusion … and it's easy to see why – they all have either Director or Navigator in their name. 

1.    System i Navigator, also called IBM Navigator for i

2.    System i Navigator tasks on the Web

3.    IBM Systems Director Navigator for i

4.    IBM Systems Director

Let me explain each of these in order...

System i Navigator, Sometimes Also Called IBM Navigator for i
System i Navigator is the Windows application that has been known as Operations Navigator or iSeries Navigator in the past. This application has been available since the V3R7 release, with V5R1 being perhaps the release with the most function added to it. System i Navigator is where you find Management Central as well as the many of the DB2 administrative and management tools. In general, System i Navigator is in maintenance mode and few enhancements will be made to it. I will mention that some of the IBM Web pages call this “Navigator for i,” so it doesn't help that IBM is inconsistent in the use of terminology. Whenever you see the word “Navigator” used alone, it’s referring to this application.

System i Navigator Tasks on the Web
System i Navigator tasks on the Web was part of the V5R3 release. It was IBM's first work at taking function from the Navigator for i client application and providing that function via a browser interface. The tasks on the Web are simply URLs that you could bookmark to get you to the tasks. There was no “console” interface, and there was no navigation pane like the client application had.

IBM Systems Director Navigator for i
In the 6.1 release, IBM delivered the IBM Systems Director Navigator for i Web console. This is essentially the System i Navigator function via the Web. The short name you will see used for this application is “Director Navigator.” It has a “console” interface in that the full navigation support is there, and almost all of the features from System i Navigator are available; the key exceptions are Management Central and some of the DB2 administrative and management tools. This is the strategic management interface for IBM i, and you’ll see it enhanced over time. For example, the Performance Data Investigator had significant enhancements last October.

IBM Systems Director
IBM Systems Director is the multiplatform management solution. It’s also a Web-based solution, and supports the Power platform, along with various operating systems. It provides a consolidated view of physical and virtual resources, along with storage systems and network devices. The IBM Systems Director server doesn’t run on IBM i, but it can manage IBM i. In addition, if you’re managing an IBM i partition with IBM Systems Director, you can drill down into IBM Systems Director Navigator to get the detailed information specific to i. Thus, the names “IBM Systems Director” and “IBM Systems Director Navigator for i” are very intentional – IBM Systems Director Navigator for i is an extension to IBM Systems Director. When you hear someone refer to “Director,” it ‘s this IBM Systems Director product they’re talking about.

IBM has published the following Redbooks on these management tools:

IBM Systems Director Navigator for i

Implementing IBM Systems Director 6.1

Posted March 22, 2010| Permalink