The ability of a network administrator to continuously monitor the health of an organization’s information system infrastructure can help identify potential problems and perhaps prevent them from ever occurring. Administrators who run Sun or Fujitsu Sparc servers can use the Sun eXtended System Control Facility or XSCF to oversee their systems on-site as well as from remote locations.
Sun XSCF, which is now owned by Oracle, is a combined hardware and software management system that is attached to each server cabinet. XSCF operates independently with its own processors, memory and controllers. It can access, monitor and control a server even when the server is shut down, turned off, malfunctioning or has crashed.
XSCF monitors the server's central processing unit, RAM, attached drives, power supply, cooling system function and operating temperatures, network configurations and network access. Administrators can also remotely reset or turn servers on or off, kill network connections and produce operating system dumps to record the server's operating state. XSCF maintains logs of all its monitoring activity and can be configured to send email alerts out to network administrators.
XSCF monitors can be accessed through the telnet virtual terminal protocol or via SSH – Secure Shell. XSCF can also be accessed through an ASCII terminal or Solaris and Windows workstations by using an RS232 serial connection. The network administrator can monitor server status, turn the server on and off, configure the server or configure XSCF itself by entering commands at the XSCF shell prompt.
Access to XSCF is password-protected and has two levels of authority. Users with "root" authorization have full XSCF access and command privileges. The "others" group has a more restricted command set.
XSCF Web Interface
An XSCF monitor can be accessed over a TCP/IP network using a browser-based Web interface called XSCF Web. The Web application has the same monitoring and command capabilities as the shell interface. XSCF Web gives a virtual view of the front and back of the XSCF monitor. Switches can be manipulated through the Web application; in addition, XSCF error and power use logs can be viewed, and the list of users who have had access to the monitor can be reviewed. Like the shell, XSCF Web access is password-protected.
- Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images