ASM 8.0 and All That Jazz

Jazz is about creativity and innovation, inspired improvisation combined with skillful technique. The spirit of jazz has also been one of the inspirations for Active System Manager (ASM), which has used the names of jazz icons for its project code names. In June of this year we released Brubeck, better known as ASM 7.6. Today we are pleased to announce Coltrane, aka ASM 8.0.

This release is designed to accelerate the onboarding and deployment of IT infrastructure and to enable a more comprehensive lifecycle management approach for IT administrators.

ASM 8.0 is the latest release of Dell’s unified system management and automation platform, which enables IT administrators to accelerate service delivery and improve efficiency in a number of ways, including the ability to:

  • Get up and running quickly, with enhanced discovery and initial configuration, and wizard-driven automation of server, chassis, and IO network component onboarding.
  • Efficiently manage infrastructure lifecycle, with comprehensive firmware management, compliance monitoring, and updates.
  • Easily deploy, manage, and scale IT services, with automated provisioning, scaling of resources up and down, and decommissioning of services to recover resources.
  • Define and manage user access levels and permissions, with role based access control for users and administrators.
  • Support the new 13th generation PowerEdge servers, as well as other compatibility list additions

 


Hardware Onboarding and Initial Configuration

One of the new features in ASM 8.0 to help get hardware up and running quickly is an expanded wizard-driven automation process for the discovery and initial configuration of chassis, blade servers, and IO networking modules.  Using this onboarding wizard and built-in automation can save administrators hundreds of steps and hours or days of time when onboarding new infrastructure.

 

                ASM 8.0 initial configuration workflow with wizard-drive automation

 

Active System Manager 8.0 Features and Benefits

 

The new capabilities of ASM 8.0 allow you to:

 

Get up and running quickly:

  • Streamline installation of the ASM virtual appliance with fast and reliable installation procedures and customer self-installation in many cases
  • Leverage new capabilities built into the ASM appliance, including DHCP and PXE servers
  • Use the new UI-based repository management for OS and firmware files and automated image preparation for OS images

Deploy new resources with speed and confidence:

  • Accelerate onboarding of blade servers, chassis, and chassis IO networking devices with a guided workflow and wizard-driven interface
  • Simplify the discovery and inventory process and automate the initial system configuration
  • Define and apply:
    • Common global and unique chassis configuration settings
    • Unique blade server configuration settings, including iDRAC users
    • Default configuration for chassis IO modules (IOA and MXL switches)
    • Uplink port configurations for IOA and MXL switches

Define and manage firmware efficiently from a single point of control:

  • Define firmware baselines and lineups for servers, networking, and storage resources
  • Use Dell firmware compatibility lineups and leverage Dell Repository Manager or FTP.dell.com repositories
  • Apply firmware for servers and networking resources at initial onboarding, from inventory, when deploying new services, or in live services
  • Monitor for drift and compliance and provide notification and remediation

Easily scale and manage IT services throughout their lifecycle:

  • Effortlessly deprovision or tear down services and their infrastructure components, including servers, VMs, clusters, network connections, and storage allocations.
  • Release unused components back into resource pools
  • Scale individual resources within a deployed service up or down, or remove and release resources, to optimize capacity and utilization
  • Monitor real-time health status of resources in both the resource inventory and system dashboard views

Define and manage user access levels to broaden system adoption:

  • Securely restrict account access to authorized users with role-based access control
  • Easily create users and assign them to built-in roles for standard users and administrators
  • Experience a streamlined and simplified interface for standard users
  • Publish templates and deploy services for all or specific users

  

Expanded compatibility including PowerEdge 13th generation servers

ASM 8.0 delivers an expanded compatibility list that includes, most importantly, support for the new Dell PowerEdge 13th generation server portfolio, including the PowerEdge R730, R730xd, and R630 servers. In addition, ASM 8.0 includes support for Dell SC4020 storage arrays, plus FCoE support for Cisco Nexus switches, adding to its already diverse and heterogeneous compatibility list.

ASM 8.0 not only supports the Dell PowerEdge 13th generation server portfolio, it enhances and augments the core principles of the new server family, including application delivery and performance, empowering workloads in any environment, and simplifying IT systems management.

 

Summary

ASM delivers top-down, service-centric automation to the Dell enterprise systems management portfolio, and complements Dell’s element manager products, including the OpenManage portfolio, by enabling the end-to-end automation of workloads and physical and virtual infrastructure across server, networking, and storage resources. With its simple yet powerful template-based provisioning approach, Dell Active System Manager provides an intuitive user experience that delivers agility, efficiency, and quality to IT organizations worldwide.

And that’s no jive.