Cisco Releases Grid Computing Controlware

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2005-09-29
 
 
 
Cisco Systems Inc. Wednesday announced the availability of new hardware and software that aim to improve the control and monitoring of data centers and grid computing layouts in enterprise IT systems.

The InfiniBand-based Server Fabric Switch (SFS) portfolio and new VFrame 3.0 data center virtualization software are the newest offerings in the companys Data Center Networking Architecture portfolio.

VFrame serves as the connecting layer between server hardware and the grid (or utility) computing deployment. It is an intelligent data center control system that provisions data center computing, I/O, switching, load balancing, security and storage resources on-demand across a programmable high-performance network fabric or grid.

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Cisco said it will eventually become the foundation for a new virtualization software suite that will deliver end-to-end manageability, control and virtualization across the data center network.

"By taking advantage of Cisco VFrame 3.0 server virtualization software and SFS products, we are able to deliver virtual server services to our enterprise customers," said Larry Lozon, vice president of hosting and storage services at EDS. "This enables us to connect standard server, storage and network components together into a flexible hosting fabric to enable utility-based computing services to our clients."

VFrame offers a single interface to provision Cisco data center infrastructure rather than addressing each Cisco product and technology individually. Instead, VFrame makes systemwide intelligent decisions and then marshals the appropriate infrastructure resources that are required to provision a new application on-demand and deliver its required performance, security and availability attributes, the company said.

VFrame 3.0 supports applications on both Linux and Windows operating systems.

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On the hardware side, the new SFS product portfolio provides a unified, high-performance fabric for connecting servers into grids of computing resources. Designed to work with Ethernet and Fibre Channel gateways, they connect server grids with shared LAN and SAN resources.

"While InfiniBand has received early acceptance in the high-performance clustered computing market, it is exciting to see the adoption of this technology now in mainstream enterprise deployments as well," said Vernon Turner, group vice president and general manager of IDCs Enterprise Computing.

"Combining InfiniBand with the virtualization capabilities of VFrame, Cisco has essentially delivered an open utility computing infrastructure that allows customers to get the benefits of on-demand computing with their individual server and storage platforms of choice."

Cisco InfiniBand customers span the high-performance computing (HPC) and enterprise data center markets, including financial services, entertainment, energy, transportation and education. Customers include Airbus, Brigham Young University, Fitch Ratings, Georgia Institute of Technology, National Center for Supercomputing Applications and Ordnance Survey.

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