IBM i integration with BladeCenter and System x

IBM System x® and BladeCenter® servers integrate with the IBM i system via iSCSI target and initiator adapters. Internet SCSI (iSCSI) is an industry-standard storage networking protocol for linking data storage facilities. iSCSI commands are sent across an Ethernet network in TCP/IP packets. By taking advantage of iSCSI, you can attach one or more diskless System x or BladeCenter servers to the IBM i system via standard 1 Gbps Ethernet switches and cables. iSCSI enables you to connect System x and BladeCenter servers to your IBM i environment, tightly integrate server management and take advantage of IBM i virtual storage, networking and tape resources.

  • - Innovative solutions to simplify your Windows® and VMware ESX infrastructure

    IT simplification

    When it comes to simplifying your IT environment, you need to look well beyond basic hardware or server consolidation. In complex environments necessary to support your business needs, one way to reign in costs is better management, better administration and better control.

    The integrated design, advanced systems management and enhanced virtualization technologies make the IBM i system ideal to help you reduce costs, improve productivity and increase responsiveness. What the IBM i system allows you to do is integrate, extend and grow your business applications like never before by integrating a variety of operating systems, including IBM i, Windows Server™ and VMware ESX Server. You choose and run the best mix of applications for your business and manage them centrally. By helping reduce complexity and enabling a high level of IT flexibility, IBM i integration with BladeCenter and System x offers an uncomplicated approach to gaining real business value.

    Innovative integration

    The IBM i combines operating systems, middleware, database, security and storage into a single integrated system. This one system can be deployed very quickly, is less costly and offers easy manageability. Instead of supporting and maintaining multiple disparate servers, often one for each application running on Windows, you can simply integrate operations, networking and server management of an IBM i, BladeCenter and System x environment to help:

  • - Integrated operations

    Centralized, graphical server management -- The IBM Systems Director Navigator for i Web GUI and the System i™ Navigator client GUI provide a graphical user interface (GUI) for managing the IBM i and attached BladeCenter and System x servers. You can easily start and stop servers, enroll IBM i users in a Windows domain and perform storage management tasks such as adding new virtual disks to a Windows or VMware ESX server.

    Synchronized security -- We all know the importance of effective security. We also understand the time and costs associated to administer and enforce security measures. One of the ways IBM i can reduce IT costs is by enabling IBM i and Windows Server user IDs and passwords to be managed centrally. Now when a user is added to IBM i, the user can be automatically added to the Windows environment with proper authorizations. When the user changes his or her IBM i password, the corresponding Windows password can be automatically updated. This integration capability can do a lot to ease user administration efforts because it eliminates the need for users to maintain multiple passwords across multiple systems.

    Consolidated backup -- IBM i can consolidate the backup of IBM i, System x and BladeCenter systems allowing businesses to use their hardware and IT support resources more fully. In a typical server farm, data may be scattered across multiple servers, with backup processes running on each one and multiple tape drives to manage. With the integrated IBM i environment, all data and files are centralized in virtual storage and a single process can backup IBM i, Windows, and VMware ESX data to a high-speed IBM i tape device. It's that simple.

    Streamlined communications -- Integrated System x and BladeCenter servers running Windows can communicate over Power server virtual Ethernet network connections, which may be utilized for Windows-to-Windows, Windows-to-IBM i or even Windows-to-Linux on POWER™ communications. Because there are fewer cables, connectors, hubs and routers, there are fewer points of potential failure. Network traffic travels within the IBM i infrastructure and less across client networks. Using virtual Ethernet networks can isolate server-to-server traffic to help provide more reliable communications between applications and reduce external network traffic.

  • - Simplified storage management

    One of the most significant advantages of the Power™ Systems family is its unique storage architecture. It can provide more flexibility than standalone Windows® or VMware ESX server implementations, where dedicated disk drives are typically attached to each server and every server's capacity is managed separately. With IBM i integration, there is a single pool of virtual storage that Windows and VMware ESX may share. "Virtual disks" are allocated in IBM i to each System x or blade server individually, yet all physical disk capacity and drive utilization is automatically managed by IBM i for improved performance and asset utilization. If a Windows or VMware ESX server begins to run out of disk space, additional virtual storage may be allocated simply and easily, without rebooting.

  • - Flexible server deployment

    IBM i storage virtualization also provides innovative options for enhancing the reliability and recoverability of your Windows or VMware ESX servers. If a physical server fails, you can quickly and easily switch the server's storage to a "hot spare" System x or blade server. This can reduce the overall number of servers needed by enabling one "spare" to be available to protect multiple production Windows or VMware ESX servers.

    In a typical Windows or VMware ESX implementation there may be several server configurations, including production servers, development servers, and test servers--each with their own set of software and device drivers. Testing and deploying changes across the various Windows or VMware ESX servers can be problematic because of the number of configurations that must be maintained. A test server may need to be rebuilt from scratch to match a production server whenever there are changes to be deployed.

    A single System x or blade server integrated with IBM i may be used to support multiple test and deployment environments. One physical System x or blade server is easily reassigned to the role of another server, because the hardware may be completely disconnected from the virtual storage on which a specific Windows or VMware ESX server configuration and data image resides.

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