Definition

hands-off infrastructure management

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Tools for IT shops seeking full-stack control and unified operations

Hands-off infrastructure management is the remote, automated administration of server, storage and network resources. When products are marketed with the label "hands-off," it means they have been designed and configured to run with minimal human assistance.

Cloud providers use the term "hands-off" to emphasize the fact that they handle the physical elements of infrastructure management for clients. The term is often used by vendors to imply that a given system can, for the most part, run by itself. For example, it may have artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities built in and use machine learning algorithms to correlate events in the IT infrastructure with problems in application and business environments.

Data center administrators can use hands-off management software tools to manage diverse infrastructure from a tablet or smartphone. The executive dashboards that allow admins to collect relevant data and receive alerts also allow them to respond to events without having to physically touch infrastructure components. Operations that can be performed remotely include rebooting, shutdown, troubleshooting, patching, fan-speed control and operating system re-installation.

Some automated infrastructure management tools can even monitor and manage passive physical infrastructure, such as cabling, within an enterprise data center. The software provides administrators with visualizations for physical rack space availability, available patch panel ports and switch ports, as well as other elements that are useful for equipment deployment and moves. 

 

 

This was last updated in January 2018

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