The growing scale of cloud and web-based datacenter infrastructure is reshaping the needs of IT administration world-wide. New approaches to systems management are needed to scale the datacenter by growing the server infrastructure. With comparison to the traditional datacenter, the modern scale-out infrastructure demands vendor-independent APIs, interfaces, system management tools & solutions.
There is indeed great demand for modern, software-defined approaches & standards which can support the full range of server architecture ranging from monolithic to converged hyper-scale architecture. Restful APIs are providing a new way of interoperability between computer systems on the network. Due to their simplicity, usability, encrypted connections and security, a programmatic interface that can easily be managed using scripts, they are widely accepted as standards for developing web APIs and data exchange formats.
Most Dell Server Management software offerings, as well as the entire Software Defined Infrastructure, are built upon standard implanted using RESTful architecture called Redfish. Redfish is a next generation system management standard using a data model representation inside a hypermedia RESTful interface. The data model is defined in terms of a standard, machine-readable schema, with the payload of the messages expressed in JSON and the protocol using OData v4. Since it is a hypermedia API, Redfish is capable of representing a variety of implementations by using a consistent interface. It has mechanisms for discovering and managing data center resources, handling events, and managing long-lived tasks. It is easy to implement, easy to consume and offer scalability advantages over old technologies. Redfish is a RESTful interface over HTTPS in JSON format based on ODATA v4 usable by clients, scripts, and browser-based GUIs
DellEMC iDRAC RESTful API is available from Dell 12G servers’ model and later running DellEMC iDRAC with firmware version 220.127.116.11 or later with the iDRAC Standard license. To access the RESTful API, you need an HTTPS-capable client, using a web browser or with the Postman REST Client plugin extension or CURL (a popular command line HTTP utility).
The rise and adoption of Docker containers is rapidly gaining popularity inside the datacenter. Docker is an open platform which make application and workloads more portable and distributed in an effective and standardized way. Combining Docker containers, micro services along with software-defined infrastructure makes the datacenter more agile and quick resource reallocation. Hence, this architecture works well to improve the datacenter operations.
Figure 1 shows the architecture of DellEMC Universal Systems Manager. It is a modern approach to DellEMC Server Management solution integrated with monitoring and logging pipeline using Docker & Microservices. This management solution completely runs on Docker containers and has been tested with the latest stable Docker 17.06 release. DellEMC iDRAC9 comes with enhancement to DellEMC iDRAC Restful API for Server Configuration Profiles (SCP) support and iDRAC configuration including firmware inventory & update. This underlying solution simplifies and automates the BIOS configuration changes for one & multiple systems, builds up a centralized logging pipeline using modern logging solution like ELKF and records time series data model using modern monitoring stack called Prometheus, Grafana & Alert Manager.
Figure 1 :
Architecture of DellEMC
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