Back at the end of life of the Systems Director Management Console (SDMC) - a short life - you may have caught a statement that the HMC was going to be offered as an appliance. But let me back up a bit. The SDMC - a strategic direction to replace the HMC, was ready to take over systems management of Power Systems servers but came out of the gate already out of date, as it didn't support our most recently announced servers, and was withdrawn. Here is the text:
IBM intends to enhance its systems management capabilities for Power Systems hardware as follows:
- Continued integration between the base platform management capabilities in HMC and advanced capabilities in IBM Systems Director
- Enhancement of the HMC to add support for Power Systems blades and mixed rack and blade server environments
- New HMC virtual appliance offering
- New process for transitioning from SDMC to HMC
- Improved usability
- Enhancement of HMC to provide RAID1 support
You may have seen this deliverable: http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/redp4872.html?Open A paper on how to migrate from the SDMC to the HMC (mostly a reinstall). There were clients of ours that deployed the SDMC in their datacenters, and we wanted to assist them as much as possible. One of the nice features was the SDMC had the unique option of being able to run as a virtual software appliance (http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg247860.html?Open). And this is what people were using. In fact, we did most of the Redbook development using the appliance.
I felt this was embracing the fact that IBM understood that there are clients that don't want to purchase a dedicated hardware client (or two) to manage their servers.
So today I asked the room of residents writing about new PowerVM and PowerVC features if they new of anyone running the HMC as an appliance. Yes. Sure, it isn't supported, but it couldn't be too hard in this day of hardware virtualization to emulate a CR6 HMC. And, that is probably the hardest part.
Should we write a Redbook on how to do it? It isn't supported so we can't, and the cost of the HMC hardware includes the software license (and development). A new offering would be the best solution.
We're back to the statement regarding the future virtual appliance offering for the HMC. What should come first, a virtual appliance of the existing function, or offer the appliance with the next major HMC revision?