Thursday Jun 07, 2007

Managing Sun's New Blade Servers

Sun's just announced Blade Servers look killer.  You can read about them here:

You can also see a video of the news conference hosted by John Fowler (Sun EVP for Systems) over at the Scoble Show.  It's worth a peek.

Now, one of the tricks with new hardware platforms like these is always about how you manage it.  The good news is that the recent N1 Systems Manager (N1SM) release already comes with built-in support for managing the X6220 and T6300 blades.  Support includes deep integration with the Lights Out Management unit, as well as provisioning and monitoring.

Wednesday May 30, 2007

Sun Systems Management Demo

Steve Stelting has a great note over at the Sun Connection blog about the demo his team constructed to show off our management products in a booth at JavaOne.  I got to see the demo during the show, and it was quite impressive.  Steve's posting includes a bunch of screen shots so you can get an idea what it looked like.  JavaOne is really a developer show (not focused on SysAdmins), but the demo does show how these products fit into a development life cycle and the booth got a large amount of traffic.  You should go check it out.

Sunday May 20, 2007

Implementing N1 in the United Arab Emirates

I don't usually read IT press targeted towards the middle east, but Google turned up two really interesting recent news articles (Arabian Business and Arabian Computer News) on a big customer implementing N1 to manage their SAP deployment.  Al Batha Group is a collection of more than 20 separate companies and distributes a wide range of brands including BMW.  Al Batha just completed a successful roll out of N1 to manage their 8 year old SAP deployment.

One of the articles goes to quote the customer as saying, "The entire deployment was completed in a span of three months and has helped us achieve greater performance from our IT infrastructure especially during peak hours. In addition to bringing down our total cost of operation, there has also been a marked increase in the utilisation and availability of our existing servers and storage systems. We are very pleased with the results achieved."

Very cool! You can read all about N1 solutions for SAP here.  The SAP functionality is part of the N1 SPS product.

Wednesday May 16, 2007

Virtualizaing SAP

Installing, configuring and running SAP could be one of the most complex tasks in IT.  N1SPS contains some really sophisticated support for handling SAP.  If you're involved in maintaining your company's SAP system then you should really check it out.

Sunday May 13, 2007

N1 SPS Demo

I just stumbled across this cool video about N1 SPS.  It's worth a peek if you haven't seen it before.

Tuesday May 08, 2007

What if there was an API your Data Center?

What if you could program your data center the way you program a single system?  What if you could orchestrate multi-tier install actions across hundreds of servers and services and always know exactly what software if running on any given system?  If this sounds interesting then N1 Service Provisioning System (N1 SPS) is for you.  It gives you the ability to use an XML dialect to get total control of your IT software assets.  It's not a simple tool to run a few servers, but a complete system for massive data center automation, and it's cross platform (Solaris, Linux, HP-UX and AIX).  

I was meeting with a large financial services customer last month and they were describing the system they're now deploying on top of SPS.  It includes 200 Solaris servers, each running about 30 Solaris Containers.  It's a massive system and SPS gives them total control over how it's provisioned.  You can read an example, public case study here

Tuesday Dec 05, 2006

Meet the N1 Systems Manager

Last week I introduced you to some of the features of SunMC.  This time I'd like to introduce you all to the N1 System Manager (aka N1SM).  We all know the N1 brand has been subject of a lot of hyperbole over the past several years.  However, when you set that aside, this is one really slick piece of software.  I got my first live demo of it from the engineering team today and I was really impressed.

Many of the N1 products (and a lot of the team) came from acquisitions (e.g. CenterRun, Terraspring).  I was surprised to learn today that some of the cool technology in N1SM actually comes from the Cobalt management product (remember the Qube?).   It's good to see something great actually came out of that after all.  So that you can all see what we're talking about, here's a screen shot of the UI for the product.


The UI is all browser-based.  However, it has a slick interaction model that includes a lot of rich-client-like behavior.  For example, the interactive shell allows administrators to work on systems with a rapid-fire set of command line operations where appropriate.  Also, operating systems can be provisioned by dragging and icon that represents an image template to a machine.  It's very slick.

The product is designed and tested to allow a single admin to manage hundreds of systems from a single location.  The product interfaces deeply with service processors for a range of hardware allowing for real remote management.  The product even includes push-button firmware provisioning and patching.

As we combine these features with our connected management capabilities (like those that come from Update Connection) the product will only get stronger.



Monday Nov 27, 2006

Solaris Container Manager

Yesterday I started writing about virtualization.  This is a topic I'll be covering a lot more here as we bring Connected Systems and Systems Management together.  In my last entry I mentioned that SunMC has great support for managing containers.  The feature of SunMC that does this is called the Solaris Container Manager. Some folks from the N1 team were nice enough to send me some screen shots.  Here's one.


Looks slick. The team has promised me live demos this week, so I'll write more after I've had a chance to check it all out.  Anyone out there using this feature?  How do you like it?  Also, if you're using Xen or VMware for virtualization what do you use to manage them?  How do you like it?


Sunday Nov 05, 2006

Systems Management on BigAdmin

A few days back I announced the Sun Connection Hub on BigAdmin. Since then the Update Connection team has started working more closely with the N1 team and I was introduced to the Systems Management Hub on BigAdmin. It's much more mature than the Sun Connection Hub and looks full of great content. We're now starting work on linking the two hubs together in all the right places so that both user communities can share knowledge. This is going to be great.



Thoughts on cloud computing, virtualization and data center management from Steve Wilson, Oracle engineering VP.


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