InfoWorld review: Dell AIM automates today's data center

Dell's adaptive infrastructure management framework has something competitors don't: support for heterogeneous hardware

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Dell AIM: Virtual server management
It's also possible to move personas from physical servers to virtual servers and back again, but there are some key differences in management styles and techniques that need to be understood.

First, within AIM, virtual servers are treated much the same as their physical counterparts. For instance, a vCenter configuration might have several physical hosts in a cluster and many dozens of virtual servers running on that cluster. However, those virtual servers are generic -- they're just resources to be used when a persona needs somewhere to run.

This means that they can't be named in any meaningful way or considered as anything other than a collection of resources. You might have virtual machines named VCVM-2P2G-01 through VCVM-2P2G-20, which might represent 20 virtual servers configured with two vCPUs and 2GB of RAM, while another set of VMs might have two vCPUs and 4GB of RAM. Each of these sets of virtual machines might be organized into specific server pools within AIM, and the personas destined to run on them would then be assigned to whichever pool is best suited to handle their particular workload.

Thus, perusing your VMware infrastructure from vCenter will be somewhat opaque, since there's no concept of what server personas are running on what VM; all that information is kept in the AIM GUI. That said, Dell offers a vCenter plug-in that connects to the AIM controller and displays much more information, including hosts, personas, physical servers, and networks from within the vSphere client. It's a handy way to check on AIM information without leaving the vSphere client, but it's not really a substitute for the AIM GUI.

Integration with Microsoft's Hyper-V and Red Hat Xen is handled the same way as with vSphere. These hypervisor managers are simply repositories of computing resources defined and connected to AIM, allowing AIM to place personas when and where needed.

The VMware vCenter plug-in for AIM brings elements of the AIM UI to VMware's vCenter management console.
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