Use the iPad to manage your datacenters

Use the iPad to manage your datacenters

Summary: IO Datacenters IO.OS gives your datacenters an operating system of their own with your iPad giving you control and monitoring capabilities.


IO, the datacenter provider that has built some huge facilities based around the concept of modular datacenters, has learned a few lessons from the requirements it faces in operating hundreds of discrete modules all with differing power and cooling requirements. Those lessons have resulted in the creation of their IO.OS software. More than just a DCIM product, IO.OS can be considered an operating system for your datacenters.

When I sat down with Kevin Malik, CIO of IO, he had an iPad in his hands. From that device he could see the status of all of IO's datacenters worldwide, and drill down to a very detailed level on all of the infrastructure components of his datacenters. More than just meeting the need for a single pane of glass view of the infrastructure, Mr. Malik was quick to point out that visual approach to the management of the datacenter infrastructure was one that fit the model that the latest generation of computer users expected as consumers of information.

The view of IO.OS, which is available in three versions; Service Provider, Standard, and Enterprise to meet the needs of different types of customers, is provided through the IO.OS Dashboard. The Dashboard gives the user a visual look at their datacenter infrastructures and allows them to drill down to the operation and status of individual systems with a simple tap of the finger.

iPad view of IO datacenter modules in IO.OS

iPad view of IO datacenter modules in IO.OS

Configuration of devices, sensors, alarms, etc., is handled through the Central Data Manager which gives the user the ability to manage the complete IO.OS configuration. Rules-based notification, role-based security, alarm thresholds, and even customer contact information is configured here.

iPad histogram view of a single cooling system valve in IO.OS

iPad histogram view of a single cooling system valve in IO.OS

The Dashboard is an interface to the IO.Anywhere System Core. This is the software that handles the real-time monitoring of the datacenter systems in every IO modular datacenter unit. A web interface is also available that uses HTML 5 to deliver a smartphone optimized view of the infrastructure. And leveraging the .NET architecture of IO.OS, there is an IO.Notify module which integrates directly with the Windows Phone 7.5 OS. This interface allows the user to make changes that aren't possible through the more generalized HTML 5 interface.

Additional interfaces in the software provides for IO.OS integration building management tools so that complete facilities control is possible. On the IT side, the ITN module allows for the integration of information from tools such as SNMP, and the hooks to VMware and EMC storage information.

IO.OS provides a good feeling for what future generations of infrastructure and system management tools will look like to most users, foregoing multiple screens of detailed data for a simplified view that gives a graphic representation to the data mast needed by IT users in their specific roles.

Topic: iPad

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  • The thing is... there's absolutely no reason this is an iPad function

    Everything on the IO.OS side is Windows based (if it's running .Net). It's clearly exposing a set of web services and .Net WCF services. It even presents its data in HTML5 if you don't want to use the web/WCF services.

    So, the only reason there's no Android client (if in fact there isn't one - I find that pro-Apple articles often neglect to mention that there's an Android verion of an iOS app) is entirely an arbitrary one - they didn't write one.

    If the HTML5 interface is as well constructed as their iOS one - and it should be possible - that's what everyone keeps saying - then the iOS app is really just a sop to Apple fans (or it indicates some inherent weakness in either HTML5 OR iOS).

    In other words, nothing here argues that the iPad is better at this kind of thing than any other tablet (Android, Windows), rather that the popularity of iPads is causing a feedback loop that encourages people to write more apps for the iPad, thus helping it be more popular. It's really a sign of a *lack* of courage, innovation and imagination as much as anything else.
    • The iPad has two things going for it here

      The first is that it's simply the most popular corporate device in it's particular tablet niche. Numbers sold mean that people write apps for it. Not a pro-Apple issue, just a market force.

      the 2nd is the standardized resolution. Having walked through the IO.OS app, optimizing the layout works best if you know exactly how it is displayed.

      Both being said, I would think that when Windows 8 hits there will be an even more richly featured version for that platform, since, as you point out, it is developed in .NET.
      David Chernicoff
      • Perhaps you could use a Speak and Spell

        Apparently any toy can be used with enough money and effort.