Fine-Tuning Data Centers

New and enhanced Software and hardware will let enterprises more easily manage data center resources.

New and enhanced software and hardware from BladeLogic Inc. and RLX Technologies Inc. will let enterprises more easily manage data center resources.

Version 5 of BladeLogics Operations Manager software, which will be launched this week, offers improved provisioning, compliance management and security.

When developing Operations Manager 5, the Bedford, Mass., company focused on five areas: provisioning and change management, patch management, security, management reporting, and building an enterprise-scale product that can support thousands of servers in multiple locations. Users can undo changes to files, rather than reproduce all the files, and can provision bare-metal servers.

Version 5 gives greater control over what administrators can do; better visibility into the changes in the infrastructure; and the ability to manage patch requirements in Windows, Linux and Unix environments.

Application service provider BrassRing LLC has been using Operations Manager 5 to more quickly provision and deploy the growing number of Web servers it is bringing in.

"As were bringing in more and more Web servers, you can deal with it in two ways," said CIO Andy Cooper, in Waltham, Mass. "You can either throw more people at it, or you can use software and process. ... [Operations Manager 5] enables us to do lots of stuff faster. If it took 7 hours to build out a server, it now takes an hour."

Data center dance

Tools coordinate computing resources


Key features

BladeLogics Operations Manager 5

Automatic provisioning of entire server stack; enhanced patch and compliance automation; central control console

RLXs Control Tower XT 1.3

Basic management for non-RLX servers; HPC Cluster Manager virtualization

For its part, RLX is looking to expand beyond its blade server roots over the next two months by launching almost 20 new hardware and software products designed to move the company into the modular computing field.

Next month, RLX, of The Woodlands, Texas, will roll out three blades with the latest Intel Corp. Pentium 4 technology.

In addition, the company is upgrading its Control Tower XT software to enable it to manage non-RLX and 1U (1.75-inch) servers and will roll out its HPC Cluster Manager, a tool that can virtualize resources for high-performance computing clusters. The software enables users to allocate resources with the click of a button and get status updates of jobs.

RLX will also roll out interconnect options, including the 600ex Dual Gigabit Ethernet Switch, a 20-port integrated switch for the companys 600ex chassis, and the Fibre Channel SAN Interconnect, which will be a dual 2GB Fibre Channel host bus adapter for its ServerBlades. In addition, the Fibre Channel SAN Passthrough will enable users to directly connect the blades to external Fibre Channel devices.