Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Server Management Software

A very underappreciated tool: server asset management.  Just knowing basic info about your servers, documented in one place, can save your people tons of time and hassle.  The ROI for keeping this type of system up to date is off the charts.  Which is why I was so surprised at my current company when I found their tool with incomplete info and missing data.  I did a complete 8 hour audit of the datacenter and true'd it up with their mgmt software.  Here were my results:

-          15 servers for which we had no record of their location or our records were wrong.
-          15 servers whose front label were incorrect.
-          5 live servers whose front labels were missing.
-          33 servers not labeled or labeled incorrectly in the back of the rack.
-          10 servers where the recorded rack info was correct, but the position in the rack was not.
-          80 servers for which we didn’t have the submodel (e.g. 7979-XXX) or the submodel that was recorded was incorrect (This hasn’t been a requirement in the past so this was mostly information gathering on my part).
-          All of the serial numbers were correct (wow).

The Rack Visual portion of of our software is now in harmony with no overlaps - before, servers were mapped as being inside other servers, or on the roof :-).  I created tickets for things I wasn't able to immediately resolve like locating hardware and working with security to get their racks properly documented.

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