Systems management vendor Open Country announced it has upgraded its provisioning software to restore Windows and Linux servers in case of disaster.
OCM Provision 4.0 performs operating system installations on server hardware, according to Laurent Gharda, Open Country co-founder and CEO. The software performs imaging -- much like competitive products such as Symantec's Ghost -- tasks that enabled it to "do a bit for bit and byte for byte copy" from the disk of a failed machine, which saves administrators time by helping them more quickly restore machines to the best known state following a failure. Past versions provided tools to provision Linux systems.
"Imaging products are often hardware-dependent, but Provision is designed to work in heterogeneous and homogeneous environments, whatever the customer has," Gharda says. "Ideally it replaces a homegrown provisioning application or manual, time-consuming tasks."
The software can be installed on any Windows and Linux systems Open Country supports, and can perform both native installations and cloning installations of Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server, and Windows 2000, in addition to more than 20 Linux distributions including offerings from Red Hat, Novell, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, Ubuntu, Asianux, Red Flag, Haansoft, Co-Create, CS2C, Miracle Linux, Turbolinux, and Mandriva.
The software uses both push and pull techniques to provision operating systems. In the pull-based scenario, when the machine boots to the network, Provision will read, say, the MAC address of the machine and configured it as was pre-defined. In the push case, systems administrators can specify, say, an IP address or block of them and push configurations from a long list of parameters out to machines on per machine basis.
OCM Provision 4.0 software is part of a larger suite from the vendor, which includes OCM Manager. OCM Manager is used to configure, manage and provision Linux PCs, database servers, blade servers and appliances. The management software requires a 1MB software agent and a management PC, which can be Linux- or Windows-based.
Open Country doesn't compete directly with BMC, CA, HP and IBM, but provides Linux-specific management features that could complement those suites.
OCM Provision can be purchased as either a standalone product or as part of the OCM suite
OCM Provision 4.0 is starting beta tests this week and is scheduled to be available Dec. 20. Open Country offers a starter kit that costs US$600 for five machines. Customers typically sign on for an annual subscription to its software, which costs about US$50 per year per managed machine.