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Console management can ease virtualization-related challenges

By Donna Donnawitz
March 1, 2013

Virtualization is a supremely interesting technology in the data center. It has already become fairly pervasive and with good reason. By virtualizing servers organizations can utilize between 60 and 80 percent of a device's capacity instead of only being able to use 10 to 20 percent, which was fairly normal before servers and storage arrays could be partitioned with virtualization. However, the potential goes beyond maximizing hardware usage rates. Organizations can also use virtualization to completely abstract virtual machines from physical servers.

When VMs are fully abstracted from hardware they can be freely moved throughout the data center network, which can extend to backup facilities, as long as the server they are being sent to has been configured in a way that allows it to support the VM. Generally speaking, this is a fairly simple process, but it can be extremely tedious, making console server infrastructure a key component in the virtualization landscape.

Considering console management to support virtualization
Moving VMs between physical hosts can be challenging in a basic data center configuration because somebody has to go the physical machine where the VM is stored and adjust the setup so it can be transferred to a new server. This is not only tedious because it involves lots of human interaction, it is also monotonous because it is not necessary. Console server infrastructure allows IT leaders to control almost every facet of the data center configuration remotely. As a result, an IT leader can move VMs between hardware easily and even establish entirely new systems without having to physically interact with hardware. The only time direct input is necessary is if a new physical server has to be setup.

This remote-control functionality can create major operational gains. For example, being able to control systems remotely can avoid an outage entirely. Maintenance systems are available that can alert IT managers when a server is showing signs that it may fail in the near future. With console management, an IT leader receiving such an alert can almost instantly disperse VMs on the failing hardware onto new servers. This allows system administrators to then go to the failing device, shut it down and perform any maintenance. All the while, the data center will function normally without a service outage. When the repairs have been made, the server can be plugged in and the console management solution can be used to put VMs back on the original device.

Effective management is often about doing a good job of controlling the things that can be controlled. Console servers give IT leaders the tools they need to do that as efficiently as possible.

Perle's wide range of 1 to 48 port Perle Console Servers provide data center managers and network administrators with secure remote management of any device with a serial console port. Plus, they are the only truly fault tolerant Console Servers on the market with the advanced security functionality needed to easily perform secure remote data center management and out-of-band management of IT assets from anywhere in the world.


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