Dell is bound and determined to expand its horizons into the wild and wide-open world of data center software management. It's already involved in producing a cloud storage appliance, and it recently acquired Kace to handle all of its application virtualization needs.
The world's best-selling IT hardware manufacturer co-announced a deal April 26 with enterprise management software maker Egenera to make available Egenera's PAN Manager 6.0, an open-standards, cross-platform control center for converged infrastructures.
The companies made the announcement on the opening day of Interop in Las Vegas.
The new functionality in Egenera's flagship product for Dell servers and storage arrays includes larger failover domain sizes and support for increased data center fabric, Ethernet and Fibre Channel speeds, Egenera Market Vice President Ken Oestreich told eWEEK.
PAN Manager 6.0, designed for standard x86 server blades and standard Ethernet components-which Dell uses-integrates cross-enclosure converged fabrics for as many as three Dell blade chassis and 48-blade converged domains.
Egenera's PAN System abstracts server and network resources in the same way a SAN (storage area network) abstracts storage devices. The result is a virtual pool of computing resources-from processing to networking to storage-that can be dynamically provisioned and allocated depending on workload demands.
Multiple applications on a single floor tile
This type of server management package is designed for enterprises that use multiple physical applications or thousands of virtual machines or both. Using this new software, a Dell stack can be deployed on a single floor tile-with all the needed integrated high-availability and disaster recovery features.
On the Dell platform, the converged infrastructure software is capable of enabling 10G-bps Ethernet connections, converged fabric speeds up to 40G bps, and Fibre Channel speeds of 8G bps.
PAN Manager 6.0's key features, according to Egenera, are: eliminating costly I/O and networking components such as NICs (network interface cards), HBAs and cables; eliminating the requirement of costly networking transports such as FCOE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet) or InfiniBand; simplifying unified management of physical, virtual and mixed environments using a single console; and enabling server profile definitions, policy-based provisioning and event management that automatically adjusts to changing demand-all with a single GUI.
The software is also simpler to install, typically configured and up and running within one day, Oestreich told eWEEK.
"A typical infrastructure includes complex I/O, networking and switching, and is largely physical, static and manually configured," he said. "In the manner that OS virtualization is revolutionizing cost structures in the software domain, converged infrastructure is now revolutionizing cost structures in the infrastructure domain-the forgotten half of the data center. Plus, converging management tools radically simplifies operations such as providing application availability."
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