Server Management

Break Vendor Lock-in Using White Box Management

Many organizations have grown accustomed to the hardware layer management interface sold by traditional brand-name legacy server manufacturers which in turn have provided vendor lock-in mechanisms to keep customers hooked. Hardware layer management is a key tool for system administrators that has traditionally come as costly additional hardware and software licenses. When businesses consider moving to white box servers, there is a misconception that the same tools are not available, or the same quality, as what they have in their current systems. White box server manufacturers are now able to offer the same remote hardware management features.

Although traditional legacy server manufacturers initially paved the way for server management through the BMC and associated software, the fees for these features in current servers are continuing to increase, while white box manufacturers are offering the same features at no additional charge. It is important to dispel the myth that the current generation of white box servers do not offer the same manageability as traditional brand-name legacy server manufacturers.

Lightweight remote monitoring and management applications are available today that run in the cloud or on premises are readily available and take advantage of standards based communication CLI’s and API’s including SSH, IPMI, and REST APIs. Beyond third party monitoring tools, the Open Source movement has produced several free or very low cost management tools that offer many of the same features as the traditional legacy manufacturer tools. The third party tools can be more flexible than those of traditional legacy server vendors and enable similar functionality no matter what server is being managed. The tools also help reduce vendor lock-in at the hardware level by removing any proprietary functionality or features at the software layer.

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