Comparison between Flex System Manager and Lenovo XClarity Administrator

Lenovo XClarity Administrator is an optimized hardware manager for Flex System servers. It is also designed to integrate with industry leaders in virtualization management, such as VMware vSphere and Microsoft System Center.

The following table compares the features and functions that are available with the Flex System Manager and with the XClarity Administrator.

Table 1. Functional comparison between Flex System Manager and XClarity Administrator.
Feature Flex System Manager Lenovo XClarity Administrator More information
Provide a graphical representation of all supported managed devices.  
Support failover of the management server   XClarity Administrator is a virtual appliance. Therefore, it can leverage VMware High Availability and Hyper-V clustering for failover. For more information, see Implementing high availability.
Manage rack and tower servers   XClarity Administrator manages Converged, NeXtScale, and System x servers.

XClarity Administrator manages the hardware only. It does not require the installation of agents on the rack or tower servers.

Manage Flex System servers Both Flex System Manager and XClarity Administrator manage Flex System servers.

Flex System Manager requires the use of agents installed in the servers to discover, inventory, and manage the server and installed operating system.

XClarity Administrator manages the hardware only. It does not require the installation of agents on the servers.

Manage Flex Power Systems servers   If you are managing a chassis that contains both Flex System servers and Flex Power Systems servers:
Managing RackSwitch switches   XClarity Administrator manages RackSwitch switches.

XClarity Administrator manages the hardware only. It does not require the installation of agents.

Manage storage devices, such as the Flex System v7000 Storage Node or external devices   If a Flex System v7000 Storage Node is installed in a managed chassis, it is displayed in the graphical chassis view, and you can view properties and status for the storage device. However, management of the storage device must be done through the management controller web interface or command-line interface for the storage device.
Manage virtual addressing for servers On Flex System Manager, you can define virtual address ranges and allocate those virtual addresses to managed servers using IBM Fabric Manager (IFM). You can choose to configure IFM to distribute an address to a server through the CMM (called push mode), or to distribute the address directly in response to server request (called pull mode).

XClarity Administrator uses a different approach to define virtual address through Configuration Patterns. Managed servers pull the virtual-address information from XClarity Administrator.

Update firmware for managed devices Flex System Manager updates firmware and device drivers.

XClarity Administrator updates the firmware. Devices drivers are updated through your normal operating-system update processes.

Centrally manage configurations for managed chassis and servers. Both management applications support the use of configuration patterns to manage configurations for managed chassis and servers.
Deploy operating systems to managed servers Both management applications support the deployment of operating systems to managed servers.
Manage virtualized resources XClarity Administrator can be used with Lenovo XClarity Integrator options (previously known as Upward Integration Modules or UIMs) to integrate with virtualization managers.

For more information about Lenovo XClarity Integrator options, see Lenovo XClarity Integrator online documentation.

Script management functions   XClarity Administrator includes both REST APIs and Microsoft PowerShell cmdlets to provide scripting capabilities for management functions.

For more information about support for REST APIs and Microsoft PowerShell, see Scripting management functions.