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.
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.
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.