Hands-off infrastructure management is the administration of server, storage and network components that minimizes the need for physical interaction with the components, in particular by the organization that the infrastructure supports.
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The term is often used by vendors and marketers to imply that a given system basically runs autonomously. Products said to enable hands-off infrastructure management have been designed and configured to run with a significant degree of automation. Cloud providers use the term to emphasize the fact that they handle the physical elements of infrastructure management for clients.
Hands-off infrastructure management also describes both in-house and remote automated systems that an organization manages for itself. In a lights-out management system, for example, the LOM module and associated software facilitates continuous monitoring of variables such as microprocessor temperature and utilization. Other operations that can be performed remotely include rebooting, shutdown, troubleshooting, alarm setting, patching, fan-speed control and operating system reinstallation. A system administrator can monitor data center operations remotely -- hands off. "Lights out" is a reference to the fact that, because no humans need be in the data center, it doesn't have to be lit.