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IBM Systems Director 6.3 Best Practices

Book Description

This IBM® Redbooks® publication describes the positioning of the IBM Systems Director in the complete management range. It also compares the IBM Systems Director with the IBM Flex Systems Manager (FSM) and describes the environments for which each tool is best suited.

This publication helps you plan, install, tailor, and configure the IBM Systems Director on different platforms. It contains information about required system resources and which network ports are used. It shows how to use the Workload Estimator to select the appropriate hardware for IBM Systems Director server and provides information about the IBM Systems Director Editions.

Best practices are covered for the basic management tasks that are available in IBM Systems Director, including how to perform discovery; how to collect inventory on discovered resources; how to deploy agent, driver, and firmware updates; how to manage hardware events; and other miscellaneous tasks.

An overview of best practices is provided for using IBM Systems Director VMControl™. Systems Director VMControl is a cross-platform product that assists you in rapidly deploying virtual appliances to create virtual servers that are configured with the operating system and software applications that you want. It also enables you to group resources into system pools, which enable you to centrally manage and control the different workloads in your environment.

The following plug-in offerings are described:

  • Energy monitoring and management features offered by IBM Systems Director Active Energy Manager™ along with the best practice, which needs to be followed in using the IBM Systems Director Active Energy Manager.

  • The IBM AIX® Profile Manager is a tool that can help implement and monitor the security of all AIX servers in a production environment but also implement and monitor the system compliance of those AIX servers.

  • Best practices and the most important questions to ask before creating Workload Partition Manager (WPAR) and WPAR Manager infrastructure. In addition, how you can manage and relocate WPARs using WPAR Manager graphical interface and the command-line interface.

  • Network Control basic functionalities and how to plan for Network Control deployments and also a number of common scenarios with best practices.

  • The IBM Systems Director Service and Support Manager describes how to set up and how to handle serviceable events.

  • Best practices for the Storage Monitoring and Management capabilities offered by IBM Systems Director server.


This book is for IBM IT specialists and IT architects, IBM Business Partners, and clients, who are utilizing or considering implementing IBM Systems Director.

Table of Contents

  1. Front cover
  2. Notices
    1. Trademarks
  3. Preface
    1. Authors
    2. Now you can become a published author, too!
    3. Comments welcome
    4. Stay connected to IBM Redbooks
  4. Chapter 1. Positioning IBM Systems Director
    1. 1.1 Description of IBM Systems Director
    2. 1.2 Functionality of IBM Systems Director
    3. 1.3 Positioning of IBM Systems Director
    4. 1.4 IBM Systems Director and IBM Flex Systems Manager
    5. 1.5 Best practices
  5. Chapter 2. Planning
    1. 2.1 System resources
    2. 2.2 IBM Systems Workload Estimator
    3. 2.3 Before you begin
    4. 2.4 Best Practice for planning endpoint management
    5. 2.5 Firewall ports
    6. 2.6 IBM Systems Director Editions
    7. 2.7 Architectural decisions and recommendations
      1. 2.7.1 Determine which agent to use to manage your systems
      2. 2.7.2 Determine how to deploy your agents
      3. 2.7.3 Determine if you should run Systems Director server in a virtual machine
      4. 2.7.4 Determine what type of database to use with Systems Director server
      5. 2.7.5 Determine the networks that your server should be connected to
      6. 2.7.6 Determine how to make your solution highly available
      7. 2.7.7 Determine how to deal with distributed environments
    8. 2.8 Best practices
  6. Chapter 3. Installation
    1. 3.1 Installation of IBM Systems Director server on an x86 platform
      1. 3.1.1 Supported operating systems
      2. 3.1.2 Installation of Linux on x86 systems
      3. 3.1.3 Installation on Windows
      4. 3.1.4 Post Installation Validation tool
      5. 3.1.5 Starting IBM Systems Director
    2. 3.2 Installing IBM Systems Director server on an AIX platform
      1. 3.2.1 Downloading the software
      2. 3.2.2 Prerequisites
      3. 3.2.3 Installation
      4. 3.2.4 DB2 settings
      5. 3.2.5 Initial login
      6. 3.2.6 Installing the IBM Systems Director license
    3. 3.3 Installation of IBM Systems Director server for a Linux on Power platform
      1. 3.3.1 Downloading the software
      2. 3.3.2 Prerequisites
      3. 3.3.3 Installing the IBM Systems Director server
    4. 3.4 Installation of the IBM Systems Director agent on Linux x86
    5. 3.5 Best practices
  7. Chapter 4. Basic management tasks
    1. 4.1 Discovery
      1. 4.1.1 Discovery profiles
      2. 4.1.2 BladeCenter discovery
      3. 4.1.3 Best practices for discovery
    2. 4.2 Inventory
      1. 4.2.1 Inventory data and collection profiles
      2. 4.2.2 Collecting inventory
      3. 4.2.3 Viewing inventory
      4. 4.2.4 Exporting inventory
      5. 4.2.5 Best practices for inventory
    3. 4.3 Updates
      1. 4.3.1 Prerequisites
      2. 4.3.2 What can be updated
      3. 4.3.3 Settings for Update Manager
      4. 4.3.4 Update Manager with Internet connection
      5. 4.3.5 Update Manager with no Internet connection
      6. 4.3.6 Compliance check
      7. 4.3.7 Update process
      8. 4.3.8 Updating systems that run AIX and Linux
      9. 4.3.9 Updating the Systems Director server
      10. 4.3.10 Downloading and staging updates manually
      11. 4.3.11 Command-line tools
      12. 4.3.12 Best practices for Update Manager
    4. 4.4 Event management
      1. 4.4.1 Light path diagnostics
      2. 4.4.2 Hardware logs
      3. 4.4.3 Event logs
      4. 4.4.4 Automation Manager
      5. 4.4.5 Best practice for event management
    5. 4.5 Hardware Management Console and AIX Launch-in-Context
      1. 4.5.1 Before you begin
      2. 4.5.2 Discovery
      3. 4.5.3 Best practices for HMC management
    6. 4.6 Security
      1. 4.6.1 Users and groups for authentication
      2. 4.6.2 Authorizing users
      3. 4.6.3 Access managed systems
      4. 4.6.4 Credentials
      5. 4.6.5 Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
      6. 4.6.6 Using command-line tools for security
      7. 4.6.7 Best practices for security
    7. 4.7 Backup
      1. 4.7.1 Backup Q&A
      2. 4.7.2 Backup and recovery
      3. 4.7.3 Migration
      4. 4.7.4 Best practices for backup
  8. Chapter 5. VMControl
    1. 5.1 About VMControl
    2. 5.2 Understanding the components of a VMControl environment
      1. 5.2.1 Platform managers
      2. 5.2.2 Hosts
      3. 5.2.3 Virtual servers or virtual machines
      4. 5.2.4 Guest-operating-systems
      5. 5.2.5 Virtual farms
      6. 5.2.6 Virtual appliances
      7. 5.2.7 Workloads
      8. 5.2.8 System pools
    3. 5.3 Managing KVM on Red Hat Enterprise Linux with VMControl
      1. 5.3.1 VMControl supported tasks and limitations
      2. 5.3.2 KVM virtual environment considerations
      3. 5.3.3 KVM on Red Hat Enterprise Linux
    4. 5.4 Managing VMware vSphere with VMControl
      1. 5.4.1 VMControl support for VMware vSphere
    5. 5.5 Managing Microsoft Hyper-V with VMControl
      1. 5.5.1 Best practices for managing Microsoft Hyper-V with VMControl
    6. 5.6 Using IBM SmartCloud Entry with VMControl
      1. 5.6.1 IBM SmartCloud Entry hypervisor support
      2. 5.6.2 IBM SmartCloud Entry and VMControl
      3. 5.6.3 IBM SmartCloud Entry and VMware virtualization
    7. 5.7 Managing PowerVM with VMControl
      1. 5.7.1 VMControl supported features on PowerVM
      2. 5.7.2 Supported Power virtualization environments
      3. 5.7.3 How to activate IBM Systems Director VMControl
      4. 5.7.4 Preparing the PowerVM environment for VMControl
      5. 5.7.5 Storage allocation supported by IBM Systems Director VMControl
      6. 5.7.6 Managing virtual servers with VMControl Express Edition
      7. 5.7.7 Managing a virtual appliance with VMControl Standard Edition
      8. 5.7.8 Managing server system pools with VMControl Enterprise Edition
      9. 5.7.9 Best practices
  9. Chapter 6. Active Energy Manager
    1. 6.1 Active Energy Manager
      1. 6.1.1 Terms to know
      2. 6.1.2 Introduction to Active Energy Manager
      3. 6.1.3 AEM features: No-charge versus charged
    2. 6.2 Requirements for installing AEM
      1. 6.2.1 Learn which devices are supported for monitoring
      2. 6.2.2 Learn which devices are supported for power management
    3. 6.3 Learn how to start using Active Energy Manager
      1. 6.3.1 Accessing Active Energy Manager resources
    4. 6.4 Monitoring features that are available
      1. 6.4.1 Viewing trend data
      2. 6.4.2 Calculating energy cost and energy savings
      3. 6.4.3 Viewing energy events and energy properties
      4. 6.4.4 Viewing supported monitors and setting thresholds
      5. 6.4.5 Configuring metering and cooling devices
      6. 6.4.6 Facility Software integration
      7. 6.4.7 Automatic notification upon UPS status change
    5. 6.5 Management features that are available
      1. 6.5.1 Working with power cap
      2. 6.5.2 Working with power save
      3. 6.5.3 Working with power policies
    6. 6.6 Active Energy Manager: smcli references
    7. 6.7 Best practices
  10. Chapter 7. AIX Profile Manager
    1. 7.1 AIX Profile Manager
    2. 7.2 AIX Profile Manager: Security
      1. 7.2.1 Requirements
      2. 7.2.2 Before implementing
      3. 7.2.3 Implementation
    3. 7.3 AIX Profile Manager: System compliance
      1. 7.3.1 Profiles from AIX Runtime Expert
    4. 7.4 Event automation plan
    5. 7.5 Best practices
  11. Chapter 8. Workload Partition Manager
    1. 8.1 WPAR Manager
    2. 8.2 Install IBM WPAR Manager
      1. 8.2.1 Prerequisites
      2. 8.2.2 Installation
    3. 8.3 Accessing WPAR Manager
    4. 8.4 Managing WPARs’ infrastructure with WPAR Manager
      1. 8.4.1 WPARs
      2. 8.4.2 Relocation
      3. 8.4.3 Patches and upgrades
      4. 8.4.4 Backup
    5. 8.5 Best practices
    6. 8.6 Additional documentation
  12. Chapter 9. Network Control
    1. 9.1 Overview of Network Control
    2. 9.2 Planning for Network Control
    3. 9.3 Discovering and managing virtual networks
    4. 9.4 Discovering and managing IBM Systems Networking switches
    5. 9.5 Discovering and managing the IBM Systems Networking 5000V
    6. 9.6 Best practices
  13. Chapter 10. Service and Support Manager
    1. 10.1 Service and Support Manager
    2. 10.2 Launch Service and Support Manager
    3. 10.3 Connectivity to IBM
    4. 10.4 Enabling systems for service and support
    5. 10.5 Serviceable event processing
    6. 10.6 Managing support files
    7. 10.7 Best practices
  14. Chapter 11. Storage Management solutions and Storage Control
    1. 11.1 Storage management solutions in IBM Systems Director
      1. 11.1.1 Terms to know
      2. 11.1.2 Storage device support and management
    2. 11.2 Base edition: IBM Systems Director Storage Manager
      1. 11.2.1 Planning for storage management
      2. 11.2.2 SMI-S provider installation and configuration
      3. 11.2.3 IBM Systems Director Platform Agent installation
      4. 11.2.4 IBM Systems Director Storage Manager: Discovery
      5. 11.2.5 IBM Systems Director Storage Manager: Inventory collection
      6. 11.2.6 IBM Systems Director Storage Manager: Managing storage
    3. 11.3 Advanced edition: IBM Systems Director Storage Control
      1. 11.3.1 Planning for Storage Control
      2. 11.3.2 Installation of Storage Control
      3. 11.3.3 IBM Systems Director Storage Control lifecycle operations
      4. 11.3.4 Discovering storage devices
      5. 11.3.5 Discovering Fibre Channel fabric in IBM Systems Director
      6. 11.3.6 Inventory collection on Storage Control-managed devices
      7. 11.3.7 IBM Systems Director Storage Control: Allocating storage volumes to virtual servers
      8. 11.3.8 Removing Storage Control-managed devices
    4. 11.4 Storage management: smcli references
    5. 11.5 Best practices
  15. Chapter 12. Troubleshooting
    1. 12.1 Troubleshooting the installation of IBM Systems Director components
      1. 12.1.1 Pre-installation check
      2. 12.1.2 Post Installation Validator
      3. 12.1.3 IBM Systems Director messages
      4. 12.1.4 IBM Systems Director log files
    2. 12.2 Troubleshooting security-related issues
      1. 12.2.1 Restoring local OS authentication
      2. 12.2.2 Additional information
    3. 12.3 Troubleshooting VMControl
      1. 12.3.1 KVM troubleshooting
      2. 12.3.2 VMware vSphere troubleshooting
      3. 12.3.3 PowerVM troubleshooting
    4. 12.4 Troubleshooting AIX Profile Manager
    5. 12.5 Troubleshooting Workload Partition Manager
      1. 12.5.1 WPAR-capable system does not appear in WPAR Manager console
      2. 12.5.2 Remove WPAR from Director
      3. 12.5.3 Creating WPARs
      4. 12.5.4 WPAR logs
    6. 12.6 Troubleshooting Storage Control
      1. 12.6.1 Runtime log locations
      2. 12.6.2 Troubleshooting
  16. Appendix A. Technical articles
    1. A.1 Information center
    2. A.2 Social media and support
    3. A.3 Forum
    4. A.4 Wiki
    5. A.5 YouTube channel
    6. A.6 My Notifications email announcements
    7. A.7 Education and training
    8. A.8 Integrated education modules in IBM Systems Director
    9. A.9 Education courses
    10. A.10 Downloads
    11. A.11 Other useful links
  17. Related publications
    1. IBM Redbooks
    2. Online resources
    3. Help from IBM
  18. Back cover