With some of the biggest I.T. buzzwords of the moment being “virtualisation” and “consolidation” is it not reasonable to expect that a company the size of IBM ,could invest a little time and effort into standardising a set of tools that would allow pre-sales consultants, to configure a BladeCenter that can utilise a set of “intermixed” blades comprising of Power, Intel and AMD blades and shared interconnect modules completely from start to finish without having to resort to multiple configuration tools.

eConfig or SSCT…???

I am currently looking at specifying a system that will require a BladeCenter H chassis to be built comprising of a combination of the extremely powerful (excuse the pun) PS701 8 Core Power 7 blades and several of either the HS22 Intel Blades or possibly the new ex5 blades.

In order to put together a specification I have found that no matter how I try to do it I am unable to put together and validate the entire configuration with a single IBM configuration tool.

As I see it, I have two options for putting the configuration together:-

Option 1

Build the BladeCenter H Chassis with interconnect switch modules and Power blades using eConfig (the IBM AIX, iSeries and zSeries configuration tool) and then separately configure the individual Intel or AMD blades using the X Series SSCT (Standalone Solutions Configuration Tool)

Option 2

Build the BladeCenter H chassis complete with Interconnect Switch Midules and the Intel or AMD Blades using SSCT and then separately configure the individual Power blades with eConfig.

With either configuration scenario I am unable to fully validate the entire configuration as a working solution which really is not an ideal situation to be in, and one which IBM should fully understand.

If anybody has any other suggestions as to how this can be achieved then I would be really keen to hear from you!

However, in a nutshell this is a situation that is just begging for a solution from IBM, so come on IBM help us out here please! As Technical Consultants we are I am sure going to be called upon more and more to put together these types of configurations, so help us to ensure that we get it right and show our clients how IBM can provide a perfect fit solution to their virtulisation/consolidation needs!