Active System Manager is designed from the ground up to be open and extensible, in order to maximize innovation and choice for the customer, and to allow them to future-proof their data center

 

Maximizing Innovation and Choice
 

A key tenet of the Active System Manager (ASM) design philosophy is ensuring that we deliver a solution that is flexible, open, and gives customers choice in how they manage their IT environments. With its open and extensible architecture, ASM helps IT teams maximize innovation while maintaining freedom of choice. Built on an ideal combination of Dell IP and open source technology, Active System Manager helps organizations build and deploy converged solutions tailored to their needs. And it protects technology investments with support for both Dell and third party IT resources, empowering customers to unify existing IT investments and maintain the flexibility to adopt new technology to support new business initiatives in the future. ASM sets the standard for openness and choice with an ever expanding compatibility list of third-party hardware including Cisco UCS Servers, Cisco switches, Brocade switches, NetApp storage, and more.

 

Published APIs for Simplified Integration of IT Resources
 
With our ASM 8.1 release, we published our REST APIs making ASM even more open, extensible, and flexible in a way that benefits all levels of the ecosystem from Dell, through partners, and to customers by enabling them to:

  • Give value-added partners and systems integrators the opportunity to create unique and custom solutions, and create services revenue
  • Give customers the confidence that the system is future-safe and will not lock them in to Dell or to currently available technologies
  • Integrate ASM into established and legacy processes

 

Releasing the ASM APIs allows applications and scripts to directly interface with ASM’s key features and functions, enabling the full capability of the ASM to be driven independent of the ASM user interface. While the possibilities for integration are practically endless, a few key examples include service catalogs, multi-cloud portals, service desk software, monitoring software, and reporting and analytic software, to name just a few.

 

Powerful Complimentary Capabilities for Managing Virtualization & Cloud
 

ASM’s openness also extends to the hypervisor layer with support for Microsoft and VMware and with end-to end automation of tasks extended through to the virtualization layer. So no matter what virtualization platform is being used, ASM integrates easily into the environment and adds complementary capabilities for rapidly provisioning and managing infrastructure and workloads.

The latest release of ASM, release 8.1.1, continues to build upon this ecosystem enablement with integration for VMware’s vRealize cloud platform management suite. This integration comes in the form of a plug-in to VMware’s vRealize Orchestrator (vRO). It enables key workflows delivering a truly elastic data center spanning from physical infrastructure provisioning to self-service workload and VM deployment with VMware vRealize Automation.

 

Figure 1 - ASM with vRealize Orchestrator Plugin

 

The ASM plug-in to vRealize Orchestrator allows ASM automation templates to be called from vRO orchestration workflows. In addition to supporting pre-built automation templates, the vRO plugin also allows any automation methods supported by ASM. ASM integration with the vRealize automation (vRA) service catalog is enabled by the ASM vRO plug-in. Automation templates for infrastructure and workloads and any automation methods supported by ASM can be published to the vRA service catalog for a self-service IT experience. Pre-built and best practice templates designed by administrators in ASM can be easily and quickly deployed on-demand by end-users with just a few clicks.

 

Figure 2 - ASM Template Integration with vRealize Automation

 

ASM’s deep integration with the VMware portfolio enables end-to-end management automation for private and hybrid cloud – from the underlying physical infrastructure, through the virtual infrastructure, all the way to complex workload enablement. For an example, see the role of ASM in the Dell Hybrid Cloud Platform Reference Architecture in the Dell Blueprints community on Dell TechCenter.

 

Dell’s Commitment to Open Source

Dell has a long history of actively contributing innovations to the open source community and working on key projects like OpenStack and with key partners like Red Hat and Puppet Labs. Dell worked with Puppet Labs to extend the converged workload automation capabilities of ASM and has contributed many puppet resource modules for Dell and 3rd party devices that can be found on Github at http://github.com/Dell-ASM.

  

Open, extensible, and flexible embodies not just ASM but everything we do here at Dell.

 

“The enterprise of the future – just like its datacenter – is open, modular, and flexible.”

      - Michael Dell, Dell Annual Analyst Conference, April 2015