Editor’s note: This is a guest post by IBM Senior Technical Staff Member Patrick Bohrer, a research scientist working in mobile systems management.
You can start a car and read a book with a smartphone. But manage a server?
A systems administrator can now monitor an IBM BladeCenter or System x server with the IBM Mobile Remote Systems application – for free.
Walk down an aisle of servers and it’s a myriad of buttons and system indicator lights. Checking on or making changes to a system can be confusing. The IBM Research team in Austin, Texas put the entire interface into a mobile app. Now an administrator can manage and monitor multiple servers from anywhere.
Currently only available for iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad), the app can check systems’ health in a single view, then drill down to examine an individual system’s state, and even perform tasks such as restarting blades, and changing ownership of the media tray or keyboard-video-mouse (KVM) on BladeCenter servers.
In a datacenter, an administrator logs in to a system via a power-on password or maybe a screensaver password. On a mobile device, this credential check may mean unlocking a phone through a simple power-on password.
To avoid this potential breach, the Mobile Systems Remote app requires its own application password. The password is required again when the user wants to make a system change. And the app will erase all of its data after too many incorrect password attempts.
User feedback: expanding devices and systems
Administrators can currently access BladeCenter management modules and System x racks that have RSA2 cards (a PCI card service). The app will soon expand to System x boxes with the latest System x Integrated Management Modules (IMM).