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The problem of provisioning servers in a data center environment includes coordinating access to and sharing of physical resources, loading servers with the appropriate software images, supporting storage access to users and applications, and providing basic monitoring and control services for those servers. We have developed and adapted systems—Hop-scotch, Sysman, and the InfiniBand™-attached IBM Storage Area Network (SAN) Volume Controller (SVC)—that automate the provisioning and monitoring processes for large collections of servers. Our solution relies on directory services to implement access control. It uses network boot disks and managed root disks to control the image of each server. We leverage the IBM Global Storage Architecture and SVC to provide storage to users and applications. Finally, interfaces are provided to access the services both programmatically and interactively.
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