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Server Specs: Egenera creates virtual blade server management software

Mark Fontecchio
Egenera launches virtual blade server management software

Egenera has created an add-on to its blade server management software allowing deployment of virtual machines onto any of its blade servers at any time.

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The Marlboro, Mass.-based company said the software, called vBlade, will be integrated into its PAN Manager software. Egenera's PAN Manager, short for Processor Area Network Manager, was updated earlier this year. But previously, users could only deploy one server image onto one physical server at a time. With vBlade, a user can deploy multiple virtual machines onto a physical server at any time, with all applications streaming across a network and not sitting on the physical hardware.

The foundation of Egenera's hardware and software is using blade servers as commodities with just processors and memory. Applications are streamed across the network to the blade when needed. In this way, IT shops can customize their blades to work for applications, rather than being cornered into having a particular server provide a particular function.

"You can have a virtual or full blade running Linux and could literally repurpose that in two minutes to become a Windows Exchange Server," said company vice president Susan Davis . "It's simply a configuration that's applied when it's asked to."

PAN Manager and vBlade works only on Egenera blade servers running Red Hat, Novell, Windows or Solaris 10. Egenera customers can preview the vBlade software now, but it won't be available for general purchase until the first half of next year. Pricing was unavailable.

HP releases servers with quad-core chips

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) released nine tower, rack and blade servers today that use the new quad-core Intel Inc. Xeon processor.

The models include ProLiant ML150 G3, ML350 G5, ML370 G5, DL140 G3, DL360 G5 and DL380 G5, and the BladeSystem BL20p G4, BL460c and BL480c. Dell Inc. and IBM have also released servers using Intel's new chip. HP said that its new servers can improve performance up to 48%. Prices start from about $2,000 to $3,700, depending on the model.

The Intel Xeon 5300 processor, nicknamed Clovertown, consists of two dual-core server chips tied together by a frontside bus on a multichip module. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) claims that is not a native quad-core, which it said would be four cores on a single die and what it plans on releasing next year. Intel also plans on releasing a new "native" quad core next year, so the race continues.

HP has also released a 2U rack server, the DL320s, that has extra storage and is designed for "media-rich" computing environments, according to the company. The server has Intel Xeon 3000 dual-core processors with 8 GB of RAM and up to 9 terabytes (TB) of storage.

Sun adds HPC server to blade platform

Sun Microsystems Inc. today announced a blade server and chassis designed for high-performance computing (HPC).

Sun unveiled its blade platform in July, dubbing it the 8000 Modular System. The new HPC blade fits into a specialized chassis that is 14U, or 5U less than the original blade server chassis. The space reduction was made possible by taking out I/O cards, trading off network connection options for more computing density.

As a result, Sun said a single rack can support 240 CPU cores and provide for 1.2 teraflops. The company announced support services for Sun HPC customers to go with it.

Sun also announced that 20 software companies are working to host applications on Sun Grid in the hope that the utility computing service will expand. Much of the criticism of Sun Grid is around the applications, or lack thereof, hosted on the service.

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Mark Fontecchio, News Writer


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