Systems Director Express for X86 Keeps an Eye on Heat and Power Usage
April 13, 2010 Alex Woodie
There are a lot of reasons to use IBM‘s Systems Director Express for x86 version 6.1.2, which was unveiled last month, if your organization needs better control of virtual X86 server environments. But users of IBM’s proprietary Power Systems and System z servers can also benefit from the software, thanks to its capability to monitor electricity usage and heat generation on these platforms.
Systems Director Express for x86 is primarily aimed at helping organizations monitor and manage X86 server environments, including physical (non-virtualized) servers as well as servers that have been virtualized with hypervisor software from VMware , Microsoft, or Xen. With hypervisors making it so easy for administrators to quickly spin up a new virtual server instance, a product like Systems Director Express is often needed to track the virtual server lifecycle and rein in the virtual server proliferation before it gets out of the administrator’s control.
IBM offers a separate product family called Systems Director for Power, which delivers monitoring and management functions for the PowerVM hypervisor that virtualizes its Power Systems server environment. Systems Director for Power version 6.1.2 shipped in February. IBM also offers a heterogeneous virtualization management tool called VMcontrol, which it unveiled last summer, that allows customers to manage various LPARs and VMs created for POWER, mainframe, and X86 virtual environments, with a single tool.
While customers will use Systems Director Express for x86 to monitor their physical and virtual X86 servers, the product also offers some capabilities for Power Systems. This includes monitoring of energy usage and thermal data for POWER i/OS, AIX, and Linux environments. Through select Power Distribution Units (PDUs), the software can also monitor uninterruptible power supplies, sensors, probes, and computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units, according to IBM.
Systems Director Express for X86 version 6.1.2 became available March 26. For more information, see United States Software Announcement 210-043 (pdf).