Topspin Rolls Out Virtual Server Software

The company rounds out its server virtualization offerings with the release of its VFrame software suite.

Topspin Communications Inc. is rounding out its server virtualization offerings with the release of its VFrame software suite.

The software—the fourth component of Topspins virtualization strategy—is based on InfiniBand interconnect technology, and is designed to enable users to provision and deploy data center resources in a utility computing model.

The other three components include the ability to connect industry-standard servers and blade servers into an InfiniBand grid; its Topology Transparency software and Ethernet and Fibre Channel Gateways, which enable I/O and storage connectivity; and virtualization and boot-over-InfiniBand capabilities for deploying "stateless" servers and using InfiniBand to load the applications, operating system and I/O technology.

The VFrame suite brings intelligence into the provisioning realm, according to officials with the Mountain View, Calif., company. The suite includes system logic for receiving and enforcing policies, middleware, and a software developer kit and software that centrally manages the policies.

Topspin, which has entered partnerships with a number of large OEMs, including Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc., also has created a VFrame Developers Program. Topspin also has partnerships with NEC Corp. and blade server pioneer RLX Technologies Inc.

Topspins offerings are designed to complement and integrate with the utility computing technology that those OEMs are developing, said Stu Aaron, vice president of marketing and product management.

Aaron said the set of virtualization products is part of Topspins overall plan to create a server switch environment to enable OEM partners and customers to create high-performance clusters, and then bring those clusters into a utility computing environment.

The VFrame, announced Wednesday, "is the piece that makes the switch programmable," Aaron said.

The virtualization initiative also is a way of helping move InfiniBand—a high-bandwidth, low-latency interconnect—out of its high-performance computing niche and into the enterprise, he said.

The VFrame is available immediately, starting at $10,000.

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