I was on a customer call recently and was speaking with the CIO of a large credit-rating company. We were talking about IT management. He told me his organization needs to deploy certain IT service management applications where it makes sense for them, not where the vendor providing the application dictates. This discussion was about transitioning from platform-specific job scheduling applications to centralized orchestration of real-time and scheduled business services running across Windows, Linux, UNIX and MVS systems. The idea was to enable the organization to increase business agility by delivering services faster, more reliably and at greater scale without having to bend to the will of any one vendor. Today, these concepts are even more important for data centers.
With increasing numbers of connected end users and things, and growing demand for instant access to computing resources, faster rollout of new services and new horizontally elastic, cloud-native workloads, data centers have to be more agile. In fact, agility has emerged as an important measure of value provided by the data center. Investing in the right IT service management applications can increase agility by helping to establish well-orchestrated IT service-delivery capabilities while reducing manual steps and errors.
At Lenovo, our goal is to help customers increase data center agility. This drives our data center management guiding principles:
- Simplify - Adopt an open, transparent, software-driven approach to data center management enabling centralized, standardized and simpler infrastructure deployments and ongoing administration. A software approach ensures flexible installation of the IT operations management application and simplifies management of rapidly changing underlying infrastructure needs.
- Automate - Embrace automation to reduce manual, error-prone interactions required for complex, repetitive infrastructure tasks, and orchestration to organize and coordinate larger processes across different IT silos and teams by externally managing IT service-management applications. This will speed and scale infrastructure task execution and ensure well-orchestrated IT service management processes.
- Extend - Enable external IT service management and orchestration applications to discover, provision and manage Lenovo infrastructure. Extending existing, higher-level management applications to physical infrastructure aligns the entire data center organization with business demands. This also standardizes and industrializes IT service management across the application infrastructure topology. All of this speeds delivery of new services and simplifies ongoing data center administration.
We built these key attributes into a new hardware management application called Lenovo XClarity. XClarity is the foundation of our data center management approach, and enables you to extend existing investments in higher-level IT service management and orchestration applications to physical infrastructure.
It’s a new virtualized IT service management application that simplifies and automates provisioning and administration of Lenovo infrastructure. XClarity is easy to deploy and use, and automates discovery, monitoring, configuration, updates and installation of OS and hypervisors to bare-metal systems. With plugins to leading virtualization management applications, XClarity enables you to consolidate management of virtual and physical infrastructures.
Built on a foundation of REST APIs, XClarity is the easiest way to enable external, higher-level IT service management and orchestration applications to manage Lenovo infrastructure. Integrating with XClarity enables administrators and operators to easily discover and manage Lenovo infrastructure using their existing IT service management applications. XClarity provides a centralized point of integration, so as the infrastructure changes the external application can both discover and implement changes to underlying infrastructure.
For more information on how XClarity can help improve data center agility, see the new Planning and Implementation Guide.