Blade server manufacturers are developing new management capabilities that should make it easier for customers to deploy and run the slim-form-factor machines in combination with traditional rack-mount and tower servers.
Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and RLX Technologies Inc. are planning features for their respective blade products that will take some of the management burden off administrators.
Dell, of Round Rock, Texas, next quarter will begin selling blade servers that offer the same management features as in its traditional servers, said Tim Golden, director of PowerEdge servers. For example, the as-yet-to-be-named blade servers will include VMware Inc.s ESX 2.1 virtualization software, which is found in Dells existing two-way PowerEdge 2850 and 1850 systems and four-way 6650 system.
HP is offering upgraded virtualization and management capabilities in blades sold through its Blade System division, which the Palo Alto, Calif., company unveiled last week. HP also integrated its Utility Data Center management software into the system, which enables the virtualization of various data center resources.
Other management tools integrated into HPs blade servers include SIM (Systems Insight Manager) 4.2, which has been optimized for blades and provides a single console for controlling system components.
RLX in the first half of next year will extend the reach of its Control Tower management suite with APIs to enable greater integration with management software from such vendors as IBM and HP, officials said.
RLX also will grow the number of automated rules for managing an IT infrastructure. RLX now offers 50 predefined policies in its Automation Policy Manager module. The Woodlands, Texas, company will add more standardized rules for the most common service-level agreements, officials said.
24/7 Real Media Inc. will take advantage of those standardized rules over the next few months as it reworks how it runs applications on RLX servers, said Jeff Marcus, senior vice president of technology solutions, in New York. "I dont think we use [the policy-setting tools] enough in the current environment," he said. "They are something Im going to need a lot more of in the environment in the next three to six months."