New Features:IBM PureFlex System under the hood

On December 3rd, a bunch of firmware and software updates were released in IBM Fix Central and today I wanted to provide you an overview of the updates.

So what’s new for IBM PureFlex System?

Besides specific fixes, firmware and device driver updates, the most significant update is the new Flex System Manager (FSM) code. As a reminder, the FSM is that special management node that enables hardware management of the entire PureFlex solution.

But enough said. Let’s look at the list of new FSM software features:

  • The FSM now has a new graphical user interface (called the FSM Explorer) that makes it easier and more intuitive to find what you’re looking for. If you’re wondering what it looks like, see the following YouTube demo. If you are familiar with the IBM XIV and Storwize V7000 user interfaces, it will look familiar.

    • The FSM, Chassis Management Module (CMM) and Integrated Management Module (IMM) can now use the same user registry (that of the FSM; this is known as centralized user management). Whereas before you had one user registry on the CMM that was also used by the IMMs, now those components can all use the FSM user registry. That means fewer user accounts to manage.
    • The FSM can now manage the new storage node (the integrated Storwize V7000 node that you can insert in a Flex chassis).
    • The FSM can now manage and configure the IBM System Networking 5000V distributed network switch for VMware vSphere. In fact, the FSM can be used as a Virtual Station Interface (VSI) types database for supporting the 802.1Qbg automated network configuration standard that is implemented in vSphere using the 5000V. For more information on the 5000V and 802.1Qbg, see the following YouTube video.


    • SELinux is now supported on Linux operating systems, meaning you won’t have to disable it anymore in order to be able to manage your Linux operating systems from the FSM.
    • The FSM can now provision Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and VMware ESXi automatically on internal storage: source images are stored on the FSM, and the deployment process is fully automated. This feature is demonstrated on YouTube here.

    • You can now connect to your FSM from a mobile device (iOS, Android and BlackBerry). This is demonstrated here.


  • Additional wizards to create configuration patterns have been added that make it easier to configure the hardware (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface [UEFI], IMM, internal storage and so forth) of your compute nodes. You can essentially configure it once, then capture the configuration and use it as a template for other nodes. Configuration patterns can also be used with server profiles to provide rip and replace and automated server failover using standby server pools.

So while the holiday season may be over, there are definitely Christmas presents in this code release that you will enjoy throughout the year!

No doubt there will also be Easter eggs later in the year as future release codes continue to add great features to the product.

Editor’s Note:

Learn more about PureSystems at these events:


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Stephane Bourdeaud

About Stephane Bourdeaud

Stéphane Bourdeaud is a certified infrastructure architect for the IBM Global Technology Services® a Services Delivery organization. He is based in Aubière, France. Stéphane has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry and focuses primarily on virtualization technologies on Intel platforms. He also works for the Global Technology Services Delivery Technology and Engineering organization, where he is a member of the core team for the Virtualization and Distributed Server Management Specialty Area. In this capacity, he develops virtualization reference architectures and strategic outsourcing global offerings. He is a VMware Certified Professional and teaches a class on virtualization at the Institute Supérieur d’Informatique de Modélisation et de leurs Applications (ISIMA), an engineering school in Clermont Ferrand, France. Follow Stephane on Twitter @BourdeaudS