Voltaire, uXcomm Look to Streamline Provisioning, Management

New products target grid environments and systems builders.

Grid product vendor Voltaire and uXcomm, which develops systems management platforms for systems and device manufacturers, are introducing new products designed to create a more flexible environment within the data center.

Voltaire on Sept. 25 is unveiling its GridVision Enterprise product, which officials at the Billerica, Mass., company call the missing link in the provisioning and managing of scalable grids.

For its part, uXcomm is releasing its XManage 2.0 offering the same day.

The Beaverton, Ore., companys product is designed to bring disparate systems and systems management software onto a common platform, bridging the gap between the myriad systems management software being offered on the market today from the likes of CA, IBM and Hewlett-Packard.

Voltaires GridVision, by leveraging the I/O and virtualization technology in the companys switches, is designed to unify the disparate server, networking and storage environments within a data center and automate much of the provisioning tasks that many times now must be done manually, said Patrick Guay, senior vice president of marketing for Voltaire.

The product, which currently is in beta testing and will be generally available in December, is designed to reduce provisioning time from days to seconds.

The software uses a GUI and an open Web services-based API to create an environment in which users can quickly assign and connect data center resources based on business demands., Guay said.

The technology doesnt offer new virtualization or management capabilities, but a way of linking offerings already out on the market, he said.

"What were trying to do is unify all these things," Guay said. "Were not trying to recreate them."

GridVision Enterprise gives a framework and user interface to help map out the relationship between virtual and physical grid resources—such as service-level objectives, CPU type and network connections—provides both physical and virtual views of the data center and offers an open architecture that can work with products from multiple vendors.

The software initially is designed to work with environments that use Voltaires Grid Director multi-service switches as the high-performance interconnect.

Grid Director features integrated InfiniBand, Ethernet and Fibre Channel.

However, the company is working with such vendors as Advanced Micro Devices, IBM, Intel, Platform Computing, VMware and XenSource to integrate GridVision Enterprise into their grid computing and virtualization offerings.

uXcomms XManage 2.0 is aimed at helping systems makers offer differentiated products that also have the ability to link disparate management software offerings.

For data centers right now, they have a large number of vendors who offer systems management software, not all of which are interoperable, said Craig Wassenberg, vice president of product planning at uXcomm.

/zimages/2/28571.gifRead more here about open-source data center provisioning.

"They take a rather rigid approach to systems management," Wassenberg said.

"We provide complementary value to those frameworks."

Using an XML-driven, SOA (service-oriented architecture)-based approach, uXcomm offers interfaces for the major management platforms, an integrated development environment based on Eclipse and a customizable management services engine that can be used by systems makers.

XManage 2.0, which is available immediately, can be used as a stand-alone management appliance, or as a universal management agent that can work with any systems management application.

IT administrators and industry observers have said that having management capabilities that extend across platforms is a key going forward for data centers, many of which have myriad systems from different vendors in them.

Deborah Nelson, senior vice president of marketing and alliances for HPs Technology Solutions Group, said in an interview that the Palo Alto, Calif., company has enabled its OpenView management software to manage other vendors hardware for that reason.

"We want [customers] to have that flexibility," Nelson said.

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