IBM Aims to Cure Virtualization Management Headaches

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2007-06-23
 
 
 
IBM is introducing a version of its server virtualization management software that adds new automation capabilities for the management of virtual and physical systems across multiple platforms.

The software, which conforms to an industry trend toward more automation in data center management, is now available on IBMs POWER-based servers. This capability makes use of the expanded virtualization features recently announced with the launch of the POWER6 microprocessor.

The new POWER-based Systems Director Virtualization Manager aims to ease virtualization management by incorporating a Web-based interface to ease access, tasks and processes; providing a single set of interfaces for managing all POWER-based hardware and virtual partitions; and discovering virtualized resources of the Virtual I/O server, providing users a fine-grained view of their POWER-based virtualization resources.

"These three features share a common goal: to take some of the headaches out of complex, common virtualization management tasks," Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT, told eWEEK. "Its a strategy the companys Unix competitors would do well to follow."

Click here to read about Emulexs introduction of an acceleration appliance for SAN (storage area network) virtualization.

Given the number of product releases over the past couple of years, it would be easy to assume that virtualization is everything and everywhere it needs to be, but that would be a mistake, King said.

"The fact is that virtualization comes in a wide variety of flavors, in portions available to suit most any kind of appetite. To its credit, IBM has the deepest set of virtualization technologies of any vendor, with offerings ranging from VMware and Xen on its System x x86 solutions, to POWER Virtualization on its System p and System i servers, to zVM on its signature System z mainframes," King said.

"This new announcement expands the management features of two of those systems; Xen-based x86 servers and updated virtualization technologies [and] features supported on IBMs new POWER6 processors."

To read about Hewlett-Packards efforts to enhance the capabilities of its virtual storage arrays, click here.

IBMs Systems Director is also being leveraged to benefit users of the Xen hypervisor, simplifying availability and virtual image management, King said.

"These new features are interesting on their face, but also point to the reality of working with Xen-based virtualization, where solutions are anything but equal," King said. "By enhancing Xen virtualization management, the company is also drawing a differentiating, value-added line between what businesses can accomplish with IBMs solutions and competitors."

IBM Systems Director Virtualization Manager V1.2 will be available in the third quarter of 2007, said a spokesperson for IBM, based in Armonk, N.Y.

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