Whither the Hardware Management Console

So, most larger IBM server users have a Hardware Management Console. The word console makes these boxes seem like they just provide a GUI into the inner workings of the IBM Servers, but actually they provide a huge amount of additional function and the systems wouldn’t be usable without them. More correctly they should have probably been called the IBM Server server.

As I’ve alluded to in a couple of prior posts, and on Twitter, I’ve been heavily involved in looking again at the role of Platform Management, that is the configuration, deployment, operation, monitoring of one or more System p homogeneous servers running in Blade or rack mounted systems. Yes, I understand that most organisations have other servers and want to manage them as well, and the work we are doing will definitely allow the System p Platform Management to be extended and driven by external Systems Management tools such as the IBM Systems Director, Tivoli Systems Management, BMC, Computer Associates etc. This will be through both existing and emerging industry standards(see blog).

However, what I’m focussed on short term is the role of the various tools within System p and AIX, but also to support Linux on Power and i5/OS, PAVE Linxu x/86 binaries etc.

As part of that it seems like re-missioning the HMC might be a good idea. On some of our Systems we have a feature called the Integrated Virtualization Manager(IVM) which provides some of the function of the HMC but without the requirement to run an external “console” aka the server server as it runs in a logical partition on the server itself.

I’m interested in any observation and comment on these two things. Would you want to see more function in an re-missioned HMC or does the function belong internally to the system, say running in a logical partition like the IVM? What do you see as the pro’s and con’s of each?

Over the past 6-months I’ve had a lot of feedback on both of these, I’ll incorporate any comments with those and hopefully towards the end of July be able to publish at least an outline or high-level design of where our thinking is.

See you in about 500-miles of cycling and a long spa weekends time!

1 Response to “Whither the Hardware Management Console”



  1. 1 James Governor’s Monkchips » links for 2007-06-18 Trackback on June 18, 2007 at 5:27 pm

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About & Contact

I'm Mark Cathcart, formally a Senior Distinguished Engineer, in Dells Software Group; before that Director of Systems Engineering in the Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell. Prior to that, I was IBM Distinguished Engineer and member of the IBM Academy of Technology. I'm an information technology optimist.


I was a member of the Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative Steering committee. Read more about it here.

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