IBM and Intel are looking to create new standards for enterprise customers and IT administrators looking to deploy virtualization in the data center.
One of the first initiatives from the two companies is a new methodology for IT managers to compare processor platforms and various system configurations within the data center. Called vConsolidate, the new benchmark can predict the effects of running multiple instances of consolidated databases, e-mail, Web and Java workloads in various virtual partitions.
The new methodology, which was officially announced Dec. 14, has been used with Intel-based System x servers and helps create real-world server performance in a typical enterprise data center environment.
IBM and Intel then used the information gathered through customer results to create new guidelines for IT managers who want to select and configure virtualization options throughout the data center.
These guidelines, developed using VMwares virtualization software, help provide different recommendations for utilization rates, as well as the total number of virtual machines and physical servers needed to run a particular application.
While developing the new guidelines and the vConsolidate benchmark, IBM and Intel found that memory would limit how many VMs could be loaded onto an Intel-based server.
To address that problem, IBM, and Intel developed a new System x3950 server that expands the memory from 64GB to 128GB.
"These new tools will help customers better understand how to deploy virtualization across the data center," said Jay Bretzmann, product marketing manager for System x at IBM, in Armonk, N.Y.
The new guidelines and methodology will be available to IBM and Intel customers through IBMs Virtualization Resource Center, which will open in 2007. The two companies have also submitted the guidelines to industry standards boards for consideration.