Ed. Note: This blog was authored by Kevin Noreen, Marketing Director, Dell EMC Server Management 

In regard to management of IT infrastructure, what does it mean to be “simple”? This question comes up frequently when I meet with customers to discuss our next generation of systems management products.  Unfortunately for many IT professionals, a majority of IT solutions are expensive, time consuming, and far too complex.  And some hardware vendors actually capitalize on promoting expensive certifications and unnecessary features. 

In the past, IT professionals were forced to accept this “business as usual” approach, but customers today no longer value this vapid chicanery. At Dell EMC we believe that IT solutions are meant to enable business, not stifle it.  We believe that IT Pros should direct the IT infrastructure; infrastructure should not dictate to the IT Pro

Research and hundreds of customer interviews have prompted us to consider that IT professionals are a beleaguered group; expected to meet an increasing number of dynamic business needs while at the same time staff and budget are decreasing.  Under these conditions, IT professionals have less time to drive business goals if consumed with complexities in managing IT infrastructure.  And skills associated with the maintenance of hardware are no longer highly valued by the industry.

I recently spoke with an IT Director challenged with providing his customers better service while also managing with fewer IT staff.  Reflecting on data center hardware management, he opined, “I shouldn’t need a PhD to manage my IT infrastructure.”  Here at Dell EMC, we couldn’t agree more.  Unfortunately his dilemma is not unique.  And with the emergence of hyper-converged and software-defined architectures, tools necessary to manage server sprawl will become ever more important.

In a recent Dell EMC commissioned blind study, 96% of IT decision makers acknowledged that having a simple yet comprehensive server management console is as important (if not more important) as fully optimizing the hardware.  In fact, good management tools should enable hardware optimization.  “The true value-add of a good management console is in facilitating other IT priorities,” one respondent commented. 

The mandate is clear: make systems management simple and automated.  Free IT Pros to work on tasks that drive more value for the business - and its customers.  These comments inspire the direction we are taking at Dell EMC.

We already have a unique and self-evident history in driving simplicityDell EMC OpenManage Essentials, in particular, has been an industry pioneer in this regard.  To date, we estimate that over 4 million servers are currently managed by our server management console since its initial launch in 2012.  Customers tell us that OpenManage Essentials allows them to manage thousands of servers at the cost of managing one based upon efficiencies gained. 

For example, Richard Sparkman, IT director at Shelby American, relies on the OpenManage Essentials console to identify and proactively address potential performance bottlenecks. “With OpenManage Essentials, I can take care of our IT needs in about 80 percent of the time it took previously.  It helps me spend less time actively managing all my servers and more time on strategic tasks that may not relate directly to IT.”

Building upon the success of OpenManage Essentials, our console portfolio is evolving.  Dell EMC is pleased to pre-announce our new server management console expected to launch in late 2017.  With a tenacious focus on simplicity, automation, and unification of data center management, our new console is designed for the Next Generation of IT Professionals.   

We believe that the best measure of simplicity is the ability to free IT Pros from hardware management tasks and enable them to instead concentrate on accelerating business objectives and improving services to their customers.   

Next Generation IT Pros will derive many both practical and inventive benefits from the new management features available in this Next Generation Console, including:

  • End-to-end server lifecycle management covering inventory, monitoring, reporting, configuration and deployment
  • Simplified discovery processes that enable devices to automatically register themselves with the Console
  • Intuitively designed interface that minimizes management steps
  • Modernized dashboard providing a clear view of alerts and remediation options
  • Integration with Dell EMC services for rapid support case creation and access to warranty status
  • Customized reporting capabilities
  • And many more

Several new features will offer simplicities previously only available with modular architectures.  For example, PowerEdge modular solutions offer tremendous management depth, including detection and automated setup when a new blade is inserted, as well as eliminating credential prompts for ongoing device management.  Our new console will provide similar management capabilities along with incremental simplicity - unrestrained by sheet metal.

Our Next Generation Console will be a catalyst for IT Pros to transcend existing IT obstacles with effort-less server management capabilities that return value in the form of real-time efficiencies and budget-savings.  

Please stay tuned and watch here for additional news on the future of Dell EMC server management capabilities.