Fujitsu Siemens hails virtual server software

Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC) has launched two new server products, one a self-managing server, the other a system for managing virtualised and physical servers.


Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC) has launched two new server products, one a self-managing server, the other a system for managing virtualised and physical servers.

Dubbed Dynamic IT for Microsoft, the self-management system, is aimed at medium to large enterprises, especially those running Windows-based applications such as SQL Server, Exchange and SAP. It combines FSC's virtualised Primergy BladeFrame servers with self-management functionality provided by Microsoft Operations Manager.

According to FSC, the key benefit is the ability to match computing demands with the resources required and do so automatically. It means that resources can be switched around to meet needs at any time. According to FSC, resources can be reconfigured within minutes to cope with workloads' peaks and troughs.

Microsoft Operations Manager continually monitors system performance, such as CPU and memory usage, network load, error counts, hard disk space, network response times, and provides application awareness. It does so by tracking application-specific responses such log file, event log entries and running threads.

According to Fujitsu, monitoring this information enables what it called "an intelligent, dynamic response to system alerts". In other words, instead of a traditional SNMP alert which calls the IT manager to the console, the system takes action based on pre-defined rules. Such actions can include allocating more computing resources, or bringing a higher-capacity server online. Unused capacity can be reclaimed when demand falls.

The system offers similar benefits to VMware's Vmotion technology, which allows you to move a live virtual machine from one server to another, as long as you're running VMs on top of the company's ESX Server product.

FSC's CTO Dr Joseph Reger said: "Today we are addressing a key customer need in building the Dynamic Data Centre: the need for end-to-end flexibility. We have delivered the industry's first data centre grade solution that combines application level monitoring and optimisation with system level virtualisation and provisioning."

The product is available now.


Meanwhile, the company's vBlade software is a new add-on to FSC's Primergy BladeFrame system, and allows you to manage both physical and virtual servers.

Based on XenSource's open source virtualisation technology, it provides a single environment for configuring and managing resources. According to FSC, it "eliminates the complexities associated with virtual machine management." Data centre managers can consolidate multiple server workloads onto a single processing blade, including workloads based on different operating systems.

The advantage is that this provides the same benefits for virtual machines as exist for physical ones, including high availability, N+1 failover, disaster recovery and dynamic repurposing. Executive VP Dieter Herzog said: "With the introduction of vBlade, customers can now take advantage of the benefits of virtual machine technology without adding another layer of management or domain expert into their data centres.

"This is a very different approach than is being advocated by other vendors, who continue to add layer upon layer of software, only adding to the chaos of complexity that enterprises are trying to get away from."

Rather than tie a specific operating system and application to a server, FSC's PAN architecture creates pools of compute, storage and network resources that can be shared and automatically re-purposed based on business priorities and service-level agreements.

vBlade will be available in the first half of 2007, although a preview version is available now.

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