Workload-optimized Systems? Integrated Management for Maximum Administrator Productivity

Big Data Evangelist, IBM

Unified management tooling is important for low lifecycle cost of ownership and high administrator productivity. Appliances are workload-optimized systems, but they still require human administrators to oversee a wide range of workload management and other optimization, troubleshooting and administration tasks over their useful lives. Can you manage an appliance cost-effectively using unified system and solution management consoles and tools? The vendor should provide integrated tooling for setup, deployment, administration, upgrading and tuning of all appliance components, including hardware, firmware and software.

As workload-optimized systems, appliances embed integrated expertise patterns that automate and optimize the work of human administrators. The best appliances, such as IBM Netezza, do this by providing user-friendly, unified tooling for deployment, monitoring, administration and tuning of hardware, software and workloads. In addition, the elastic, modular deployment and scalability of appliances contributes to greater IT staff productivity in ensuring that the appliance is optimized to work seamlessly with your DBMS, BI, big data and other investments.

Unified management tools should, at the very least, support the following appliance optimization requirements:

  • Ensure 24x7 high availability, security, resource provisioning, mixed-workload management, performance optimization, health monitoring, policy management, job scheduling, and backup and recovery across one or more nodes;
  • Implement high availability through redundant disks, blades and racks with load balancing, auto-failover, resynchronization and hot standbys;
  • Enforce policy-based controls that prevent any one job from grabbing a disproportionate share of resources on an already-maxed-out cluster of appliances;
  • Enable thorough regression testing of every layer in your target appliance- based deployment prior to going live, making sure your data, jobs and applications won’t crash or encounter bottlenecks in daily operations;
  • Manage a complete deployment, from server “bare metal” storage, CPU, etc, up to the database and other software, with unified administration tools; and
  • Enable integrated management of user/group permissions and roles, software licenses, usage data gathering and chargeback.

If you have truly integrated management tools that span your big-data platforms, you can also optimize human workloads of across your IT, DBA and other teams who keep it all ship-shape.

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