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Server management tools shed light on data center issues

What features should a systems monitoring and management tool offer to achieve a detailed understanding of data center operations? It depends on the data center.

IT managers responsible for reliable, speedy and cost-effective computing don't track all data center operations. Server management tools explore and collect buried information on data center processes. By exploring management software options, understanding a data center's specific needs and successfully implementing tools, data center managers enhance operations and improve troubleshooting.

Where it all begins

1. Selecting a server management tool

Server management automation lets busy administrators operate a growing amount of virtual workloads and ensure the underlying hardware's proper performance over time, but selecting the wrong tool for your data center can do more harm than good. This section covers what to focus on when choosing your perfect management tool.

  • Choose data center tools wisely

    Don't get hung up on cost. Your needs and limitations are important too. Here are five tips on selecting system management tools.

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  • Systems management is critical but complicated

    Administrators face challenges in systems management deployment. A lack of skill sets, infrastructure support, increasing workloads -- these issues aren't getting solved anytime soon, so here's how best to handle them.

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  • Do the tools even fit?

    The server management tools you choose have to work for your data center. Heterogeneous system management tools may be the better choice in some cases, despite homogeneous tools' level of detail.

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  • Keep your head out of the clouds

    New cloud platforms aren't always the right way to go. Cloud may be agile, scalable and affordable, but the right server management and automation can turn your servers, applications and data into equally standardized, automated, self-provisioning environments.

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  • Introduce automation to your server domain

    Server automation is a highly effective sys admin tool that can free up data center resources to focus on higher-priority endeavors. Follow these suggestions for getting started by automating low-level IT processes.

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They have what?

2. Proprietary and third-party vendors

Hardware vendors like IBM and Hewlett-Packard Co. provide monitoring tools to manage their systems. So do software vendors, who often create open-source products to work with hardware from various vendors. Here are some examples of management tools from third-party vendors that can be implemented to benefit your environment.

Observe from afar

3. Remote server management

Remote server administration tools give IT professionals the ability manage data centers without actually being there. With growing IT needs at branch offices and businesses colocating some compute resources, remote server management is gaining importance.