Unisys Improves Virtualization Capabilities in Its Servers

Unisys is incorporating Intel's new Xeon 5500 series chips-also known as Nehalem EP-into its ES3000 rack servers and ES5000 blades. Unisys also is supporting VMware's new vSphere virtualization platform in all of its x86 enterprise servers. Unisys officials say the moves not only will improve the virtualization capabilities of its enterprise servers, but also close the gap between scale-out and scale-up virtualization environments.

Unisys is ramping up the virtualization capabilities of its enterprise x86 servers by upgrading to Intel's Nehalem EP processors and VMware's latest version of its virtualization platform.

Unisys announced April 21 that it is incorporating the Xeon 5500 series chips into its ES3000 rack systems and ES5000 blade servers, and will support the new VMware vSphere 4 platform in all of its lines of enterprise servers.

The vendor is looking to help businesses grow their virtualization environments as well as enhance their cloud computing management and deployment capabilities.

"It's focused around doing virtualization right," said Rod Sapp, marketing director for Unisys' enterprise servers. "We can help clients with their end-to-end deployment of virtualized environments."

Sapp said Unisys can now help businesses with any type of virtualization environment. Intel's new Nehalem EP processors-which were announced March 30-not only help businesses improve performance and reduce costs, but also come with improved virtualization capabilities, which Unisys wants to take advantage of in its rack and blade servers.

"This is very much a scale-out virtualization [environment]," Sapp said.

Unisys joins a host of other system makers, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Rackable Systems, that unveiled new servers based on the processor.

The new VMware vSphere platform-which also was announced April 21-lifts the ceiling on many of the scalability limits on the hypervisor, making it more of a scale-up play, he said. The new platform enables Unisys to offer customers the capability to run significantly more virtual machines on a single physical server, according to Sapp.

The new systems also help bridge the cost gap between scale-out and scale-up, he said. Previously, the cost per virtual machine was five times more in scale-out environments. With the new generation of servers, that cost difference has dropped to three times more for scale-out deployments. The cost savings in scale-up environments center around licensing, server management, and power and cooling.

Sapp said the new capabilities give Unisys a strong framework to help enterprises create virtualization environments, from the hardware and software to services and best practices.

The new capabilities come at an opportune time for IT administrators, who-thanks in large part to the global recession-are being asked to improve service levels while reducing costs.

"There's more pressure being put onto IT to start using virtualization more to cut costs," Sapp said.

The new rack and blade servers will be available starting April 28, he said. A 5U tower server with the new technologies will be available around July 30.