Dell EMC set the standard of Life Cycle Assurance for IT Transformation way back in 2009 with the release of the original Vblock. With the Vblock, we created the converged infrastructure (CI) category with the basic premise to simplify IT. Later we extended IT simplification with our hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) systems, and continued innovating on this idea all the way through the release in February of our VxBlock 1000, the industry’s premier all-in-one CI system.
Now we are taking life cycle assurance in a new, innovative direction as we release our Dell EMC Release Certification Matrix Portal (RCM Portal), a new, searchable online database aimed at quickly and easily providing the latest and greatest proactive system upgrade options for our customers.
I’ll give you the full story in this blog, and you can visit us at Dell Technologies World Booth 325 for a live RCM Portal demo.
A Little History about Life Cycle Assurance
The RCM provides a trusted life cycle assurance process: a systematic, certified and tested upgrade path documentation and codes (i.e., component firmware and hypervisor software releases) for our CI and HCI systems.
Since the RCM’s inception, we have delivered RCM updates and patches on a regular basis to our customers via emailed notifications and alerts. Leveraging RCM information from our online Technical Resource Center — as well as our Vision Intelligent Operations software — customers determine the level of RCM compliance and optimization across their CI or HCI systems. Customers directly download new releases and patches from the Technical Resource Center and then confidently apply the upgrades based on guidance from the RCM documentation.
In a lab review, the ESG analyst firm found that the entire upgrade process (Audit, Research, Plan, Download/Stage, Update and Validate) for an RCM-based system was 6 times faster than “do it yourself” and reference architecture based infrastructure upgrades. This can spare IT staff hundreds of hours of system administration per year, freeing them for more strategic IT priorities.
New Online Portal for Life Cycle Assurance
The RCM Portal, a new feature in the Technical Resource Center, simplifies the infrastructure upgrade process even more. It is a new proactive, database-driven, online tool for our customers to interact with the RCM, allowing them to dramatically cut the time to research and plan their systems’ upgrades and patches.
Using the portal, our customers will:
- Gain visibility into their entire RCM compliance environment – including primary and expansion components – from a dynamic central database
- Receive ongoing, proactive update recommendations customized for a specific system and RCM combinations
- Receive filtered security alerts, technical alerts and feature updates that apply to their specific, watched systems – no more manually filtering through alert emails and browsing and downloading dozens of irrelevant alert-related documents to find right patches
- Quickly compare RCMs (with deltas highlighted) and receive regular notifications of changes in watched RCMs
- Receive inclusion of RCM release updates within the primary RCM view making security and defect updates easier to consume
The following figures illustrate some of the capabilities.
Figure 1: RCM compare functionality allows users to display two RCMs and highlight changes quickly.
Figure 2: RCM Watch Lists allow users to select a system type and RCM combination to follow allowing them to get notified with information important to them.
Figure 3: Users can now quickly search for and drill down on Technical Alerts, Security Alerts, and Common Vulnerability and Exposures (CVE)
Figure 4: Quickly display, watch/follow, export system RCMs including any relevant addendums.
Life Cycle Assurance Innovation Yields IT Simplicity
Our customers will register their CI/HCI systems and RCM combinations in the RCM Portal and then receive proactive RCM updates and alerts filtered for their selected, watched systems. Once a profile is created and activated, the IT administration efficiencies will be even more dramatic than before, so customers can redirect significantly more time to more strategic projects.
But we won’t stop there. Stay tuned for more innovations with the combination of the new RCM Portal and our Vision Intelligent Operations software. This all adds up to Dell EMC offering new paths to making IT Transformation real.
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