Fujitsu Laboratories officials say they have developed a platform for physical servers in cloud environments that can be installed and configured in 10 minutes, making these systems more responsive to changing workloads and as easy to configure as virtual machines.
While virtual servers are used in most infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) environments, there are data-processing applications that require the higher performance and stability that come with physical systems, according to Fujitsu Laboratories officials. The problem has been installing and configuring those physical servers, they said.
It currently can take several days for IT professionals to install physical servers and then configure the software manually, creating a lag time between the time an order for a server comes in and when the server is up and running online. By comparison, virtual servers can be spun out quickly, in a matter of minutes.
In an announcement made July 4, Fujitsu officials said they have fixed the problem through the development of a new technology that leverages another Fujitsu Laboratories innovation, called Resource Pool Architecture, which enables the on-demand configuring of physical servers. The Resource Pool Architecture is used with Fujitsu’s Software ServerView Resource Orchestrator, a cloud-platform management software solution, to create the physical IaaS platform, the officials said.
With the Resource Pool Architecture, this technology, individual hardware resources that are scattered through the data center—such as CPUs, memory and disk storage—are pooled together as part of an architecture created within a physical server. The Resource Pool Architecture leverages the disk area network as a high-speed interconnect that brings together the CPU and memory pool with the disk storage pool.
This pooling of resources makes it possible to rapidly configure the physical servers in an on-demand fashion, according to the Fujitsu officials.
The combination of Resource Pool Architecture and ServerView Resource Orchestrator creates a platform for leveraging physical servers in an on-demand environment. The IaaS functions in ServerView Resource Orchestrator provides both physical servers and virtual machines that are based on system configurations that are defined by a customer, the officials said. The ServerView Resource Orchestrator comes integrated with capabilities for provisioning physical servers that are dynamically configured using Resource Pool Architecture.
Through this platform, the physical servers are configured to the customer’s specifications via Resource Pool Architecture, fixed information such as MAC addresses and BIOS settings are assigned, and the servers are made available to the customer on demand.
According to Fujitsu Laboratories officials, the platform technology not only means that customers can get on-demand access to high-performance physical servers that can be quickly configured, but that they also can change the number of servers available to them online and the performance of those servers, all within the same timeframe already available with virtual machines. In addition, service providers can improve hardware resource utilization and reduce operating costs.
The platform technology is currently in prototype, and Fujitsu Laboratories plans to begin internal trials this month. Officials did not say when they expect the technology to hit the market.