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Eyes on the Horizon

Considering IBM Power Systems servers’ future in the data center

Considering IBM Power Systems servers’ future in the data center
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What’s happened to IBM Power Systems* environments? Our systems have grown. Now, with fewer staff members, we manage data centers hosting thousands of users, with terabytes of data, hundreds of gigabytes of memory and regulations galore. Meanwhile, our management team, users and customers expect 100-percent uptime. Whether we like it or not, we’re managing a mainframe-like environment. We’re expected to be experts on nearly everything.

While others in the computing industry think of virtualization as this new thing to manage, we’ve been consolidating servers into larger IBM Power Systems solutions with multiple partitions for years. A recent advisory board meeting with customers revealed situations I think are typical of many companies. These customers, like many of you, have gone through consolidations over the past 10 years with IBM i (formerly AS/400*, iSeries* and System i* servers) and AIX* technology. For example, one talked of taking 1,500 IBM iSeries systems down to two IBM POWER6* 570s. Our environments are changing.

But, with this consolidation and virtualization comes the pressure of managing end users, processes and physical hardware. This same thing is happening with virtualization. However, their issues are worse due to high-density racks and high power consumption. You’ll need knowledge about the major issues of regulations, change control, security, data-center safety, automation and staffing, and the metrics that measure it all.

When 200-plus data-center managers at the Data Center World Conference were asked if they were looking to build a new data center, one-third raised their hands.

Tom Huntington is vice president of Technical Services at Help/Systems Inc. Tom can be reached at tom.Huntington@helpsystems.com.



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