Use this roadmap to understand how you can attach and integrate your IBM BladeCenter or System x servers with your IBM System i using iSCSI host bus adapters (HBA).

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When it comes to simplifying your IT environment, you need to look well beyond basic hardware or server consolidation. In complex environments necessary to support your business needs, one way to regulate costs is better management, better administration and better control.

The integrated design, advanced systems management and enhanced virtualization technologies make the IBM® System i™ platform ideal to help you reduce costs, improve productivity and increase responsiveness. The System i family allows you to integrate, extend and grow your business applications like never before by integrating a variety of operating systems, including IBM i5/OS™, IBM AIX 5L™, Linux® and Microsoft® Windows Server™ 2003. You choose and run the best mix of applications for your business and manage them centrally. By helping reduce complexity and enabling a high level of IT flexibility, System i integration with IBM BladeCenter® and the IBM System x™ platform offers an uncomplicated approach to gaining real business value.

How it works
IBM System x™ and IBM BladeCenter® servers integrate with the System i platform using Internet SCSI (iSCSI) host bus adapters (HBAs). iSCSI is an industry-standard storage networking protocol for linking data storage facilities. iSCSI commands are sent across an Ethernet network in TCP/IP packets. By taking advantage of iSCSI HBAs, you can attach one or more diskless System x or BladeCenter servers to the System i platform through standard 1 Gbps Ethernet switches and cables.

After the physical iSCSI connections are established, you then create virtual drives for your System x or blade servers. These virtual drives are created and managed by the IBM i5/OS operating system and are allocated from the System i disk. All physical disk capacity and utilization of these virtual drives is automatically managed by the System i platform for improved performance and asset utilization.

System i Navigator is the graphical user interface (GUI) used to manage the System i and attached BladeCenter and System x servers. With System i Navigator, you can easily start and stop servers, enroll i5/OS users in a Microsoft Windows® domain, and perform storage management tasks such as adding new virtual disks to a Windows server. i5/OS and Windows Server user IDs and passwords can be managed centrally. For example, as a user is added to i5/OS, they can also be automatically added to the Windows environment with proper authorizations. If a user changes his or her i5/OS password, the corresponding Windows password can be automatically updated. Backup and restore of critical data is simple because you can use the same robust i5/OS save and restore facilities that you have relied on for years.

Learn more about server consolidation using iSCSI
Continue to the Assess section to learn more about why you should use iSCSI technology to consolidate IBM BladeCenter and System x onto IBM System i.

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