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Cooling is Key For HP Management Software

With system management topping many IT departments' priority lists these days, HP  today added to its arsenal of server and storage management software.

The systems vendor unveiled HP Insight Control Environment, a management software suite targeted at its ProLiant ML pedestal and DL rack-mount servers, which run popular flavors of Windows, Linux and Novell operating systems.

HP Insight Control Environment, which covered strictly HP ProLiant BL blade servers as Insight Control Datacenter Edition in its previous incarnation, remotely monitors and deploys computer resources. The software also manages power consumption and server performance and conducts vulnerability scans and applies patches.

Insight Control Environment, which costs $549 per server for either ProLiant ML or ProLiant DL systems, includes Systems Insight Manager 5.1.

The glue of HP's infrastructure management software, Systems Insight Manager is a management console that allows customers to more easily manage HP servers and storage, as well as reduce downtime. SIM 5.1 boasts a warranty and service contract reporting utility, which reduces asset tracking.

Scott Farrand, general manager of industry standard server software at HP, said the latest incarnation of Insight Control Environment features two new products, entirely home-cooked by HP engineers: Insight Power Manager and Service Essentials Remote Support Pack.

As the name implies, Insight Power Manager helps customers improve the way energy is piped throughout the datacenter by measuring and reporting power consumption and inlet air temperature across hundreds of ProLiant or BladeSystem servers.

Farrand said the tool, at $99 per server, lets systems administrators set power regulation policies across Intel Xeon and AMD Opteron CPUs on servers so that power does not go to waste. This helps IT departments keep energy costs in check.

Such software is a boon at a time when the industry is burning up over the high temperatures in datacenters from maxxed out servers. Too much heat can seriously reduce the life of a server, preventing IT departments from realizing the planned return-on-investment of the machines.

HP, along with Sun Microsystems , IBM , Dell  and others all have proposed different ways to solve the power dilemma. HP introduced a Dynamic Smart Cooling system late last year.

Service Essentials Remote Support Pack, the other new tool in Insight Control Environment, reads the server and storage inventory from SIM. It allows users to click on a button to view the kind of warranty or support contract each machine has and lets administrators know when the support contract expires.

The tool will then provide an alert to HP services to help the admin learn about repair and replacement procedures, or even let the admin engage in an online support call with HP services to remedy a problem. If necessary, the admin may also request the dispatch of an on-site HP engineer.

The pack lets HP quickly respond to customer inquiries and provides greater accuracy in fulfilling the replacement process of warranted part failures.

Farrand also said HP is offering a Linux version of Insight Control Environment, albeit without the ingredients of the original system.

Acquired when HP bought RLX Technologies, Insight Control Linux Edition (formerly HP ControlTower) provides deployment and management for large farms of any class of HP BladeSystem Linux servers.

This software, at $199 per server, stands by itself and does not come with the other products found in Insight Control Environment.