Stop Managing and Start Innovating

Dell EMC PowerEdge servers and OpenManage Systems Management portfolio: innovations driving toward full autonomy.

Twenty years ago, self-driving cars were little more than science fiction. A car required your full attention—both to drive and to maintain. Fast forward to today when keyless ignition, adaptive cruise control and built-in navigation systems are table stakes. And autonomous vehicles will soon turn most drivers into passengers, freeing up all kinds of time for people to do other things.

With that in mind, let’s take a moment to consider what server management might look like in the future. Do you think humans will still be executing manual tasks? Do you see admins rushing to react to hardware failures and service outages? I don’t. That’s because next-generation AI will be performing these tasks. And it’s coming sooner than you think.

As an industry, we’re still about halfway to “steering wheel optional” autonomous compute. But automation advancements at the server level have increasingly freed staff from manual, tedious tasks, giving people more time and energy to focus on innovation. That’s critical in today’s environment, where IT budgets are shrinking even as business expectations and complexity are increasing. It helps explain why, according to Gartner, more than 50% of the G2000 will have a dedicated automation group by 2025, up from less than 10% in 2020.

Dell Technologies recently announced our comprehensive autonomous compute strategy and clear path to full data center automation. We already incorporate multiple automation features into our servers, which are integrated into intelligent systems to provide autonomy to deliver outcomes aligned with business priorities. Dell EMC OpenManage Enterprise and integrated Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC) provide reliable and efficient automation capabilities for PowerEdge servers. Together they help you adapt to a changing environment, enable rapid digital transformation, and position you to grow, scale and evolve as you move to a more autonomous data center.

Innovate: adapt to a changing environment

Dell Technologies helps you respond to challenges with effortless efficiency. Dell EMC OpenManage Enterprise (OME)  enables you to use policy-based automation to discover, detect, notify, remediate, and act based on your predefined thresholds. iDRAC delivers secure, advanced, agent-free local and remote server administration to automate a multitude of management tasks.

iDRAC innovations include telemetry streaming, which enables IT to leverage AI operations (AIOps) for all Dell EMC systems using up to 2.9 million data points per day.¹ Gartner predicts that ”by 2023, 40% of product and platform teams will use AIOps for automated change risk analysis in DevOps pipelines, reducing unplanned downtime by 20%.”

In recent releases of iDRAC, we’ve reduced the time a server administrator spends deploying a PowerEdge server by over 99% thanks to the Zero Touch provisioning feature. With a minimal one-time setup, the technology can autonomously discover, provision network settings and credentials, perform end-to-end configuration, update firmware, and deploy an operating system to PowerEdge servers.

What’s more, we’ve expanded this technology to automate customer security by eliminating ALL manual steps required to enroll and renew iDRAC9 encryption certificates. Dell Technologies is also the only server vendor to offer dynamic System Lockdown mode, which helps protect the system from unapproved configuration changes and firmware updates.²

One of the most exciting additions to our server management portfolio is CloudIQ, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that brings together machine learning and human intelligence for 24×7 insights that can save you a ton of time and money. It already delivers faster time to insights for our storage customers, who report that they’re able to resolve problems three times faster with CloudIQ than they could with other tools. Given CloudIQ’s strategic importance to our autonomous infrastructure vision, we’re expanding it to support the entire Dell EMC portfolio, and I’m excited to share that we’ll be bringing CloudIQ to the PowerEdge portfolio later this year.

Adapt: achieve rapid enablement

Autonomous compute helps IT respond quickly to support new business opportunities, even when budgets and staffing levels are flat or shrinking. Using advanced automation to achieve rapid enablement can even shave costs from the IT budget. Gartner predicts that, “by 2024, organizations will lower operational costs by 30% by combining hyperautomation technologies with redesigned operational processes.”

With iDRAC, IT can deploy new PowerEdge servers 88% faster and repurpose servers in 99.7% less time. OME adds to adaptability with automated infrastructure monitoring, alerts, remote management, enhanced service experience, and fleet deployment. And OpenManage Integrations for VMware® vCenter® and Microsoft® System Center provide similar automated fleet tasks.

Because one size doesn’t fit all, we also offer solutions for different environments, such as Ansible, Terraform, ServiceNow® and so on. Using OpenManage Ansible Modules to automate server configuration and deployment reduces the time it takes to configure a new server by 72% and cuts 33 steps out of the process.

Grow: scale and evolve

Dell Technologies gives you the power to manage your sprawling data landscape. As a core pillar of future autonomous innovations, iDRAC delivers comprehensive remote deployment and management capabilities that enable edge systems to be delivered and installed more efficiently. IT can leverage AIOps for all iDRAC9 systems wherever they’re deployed — enabling a consistent system management experience across on-premises data centers, hybrid clouds and edge operating environments. And iDRAC9’s powerful RESTful API allows you to use standard scripting tools to completely automate the deployment of Dell EMC servers at the scale of even the largest data centers.

Plus, our ecosystem of solutions for Microsoft, VMware, Red Hat and ServiceNow are designed to break down the information silos between vendors for full stack management of your virtual and cloud infrastructures.

Embed intelligence into your innovation engine

At Dell Technologies, we currently offer several autonomous capabilities with a comprehensive roadmap and vision for future innovations. To learn more, please view the autonomous compute point of view paper and visit our Open Manage site.

¹Based on The Tolly Group report commissioned by Dell EMC, iDRAC9 Telemetry Streaming: Evaluation of The Performance and Efficiency of Telemetry Streaming in the New iDRAC9 v4.0 Release, February 2020.  Actual results may vary. Full report.

² Dell Technologies is the only vendor to offer the ability to dynamically enable and disable system lockdown once your server is provisioned and in production without having to reboot.

About the Author: Brian Doty

Brian Doty joined Dell Technologies in 1999 and currently works in the OpenManage organization as the Director of Product Management. In this role, Brian is focused on making PowerEdge servers simple to manage and lowering their total cost of ownership to customers. During Brian’s 21 year tenure at Dell Technologies, Brian has worked in many different functional areas including validation and development across server hardware, client systems and management software. Prior to joining Dell, Brian worked at an Internet startup, Netopia. During his time off he enjoys fitness, art, and writing.