Three new software tools for Dell Virtual Integrated System are designed to speed up the shift to cloud computing and virtualization, while adding self-service to the mix.
Dell announced something old, something new and something to come for its Virtual
Integrated System cloud platform on Sept. 29.
The new tools add self-service automation, management and network monitoring
to the company's VIS
launched in spring 2010.
The announcement focused on enhancements to Dell's Advanced Infrastructure
Manager, a technology the company acquired as part of its Scalent
a few months ago. The enhancements include a VIS Self-Service
portal to automate deployments and a preview of VIS Director, an operations
management software tool. AIM and
Self-Service are available immediately; VIS Director is expected early in 2011.
The AIM update adds Fibre-Channel-over-Ethernet
support and gives virtual machine administrators more direct control over
physical servers and storage. It also includes Web services APIs to integrate
the management platform with third-party products. A single administrator can
allocate server, storage and network resources against application workloads by
use of graphical wizards.
Dell supports a modular approach to building private cloud infrastructure by
mixing and matching computing, networking and storage hardware from various
vendors with existing management tools, such as VMware's vCenter. Customers can
gradually build up instead of investing in a whole new set of systems. VIS
also supports multiple
including ones from VMware, Microsoft and
AIM abstracts the hardware and
virtualization layers from the data center so that customers can focus on
allocating a single pool of resources instead of managing various technologies.
This is in stark contrast to competitors like HP and Cisco
who offer closed proprietary solutions for the cloud.
VIS Self-Service allows administrators to set up a cloud computing service
that lets end users directly request IT resources with little to no
intervention from the internal IT department. With Self-Service, end users can
provision new virtual machines based on predefined templates. Governance controls
in VIS Self-Service restrict access to only those who need it. The product is
designed to balance the needs of the IT organization that controls the infrastructure
and the needs of end users while reducing deployment times.
VIS Director is an IT operations hub that monitors and optimizes the entire
system, according to Dell, checking whether virtual machines are the right size
for their workloads and reclaiming resources from any that are no longer used.
The module includes advanced reporting, what-if and trend analysis, capacity
and utilization reporting and cost allocation and chargeback solutions. Instead
of going through a separate management console for each virtual and physical
server, storage device, and networking component, VIS Director does it all at
With VIS Director, IT managers have a greater level of visibility into their
IT environment and better information upon which to take action, said Dell.
By using the VIS architecture and new management
products, customers can dynamically provision application workloads and unify
their existing infrastructure in a common pool, which lowers IT management
costs and adds flexibility to the data center, Dell said.