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HP taps Scalent to virtualize I/O on c-Class blades

HP will sell Scalent Systems' Virtual Operating Environment software for its c-Class blade server platform to simplify blade provisioning, repurposing and failover.

Palo Alto, Calif-based virtualization software provider Scalent Systems Inc. announced Monday that its Scalent Virtual Operating Environment (V/OE) will be available through Hewlett-Packard Co. for c-Class blades by December 2007.

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Scalent V/OE infrastructure virtualization software lets users make changes to how running server images are connected to network and storage systems without making physical changes to the infrastructure. This means users can add or swap HP blade servers and ensure failover between blades as well, according to Kevin Epstein, Scalent's VP of marketing. That's different from VMware's and XenSource's (now part of Citrix Systems Inc.) virtualization offerings, which partition a physical server into multiple virtual machines.

Scalent draws success among users
Scalent's V/OE software has won the affection of analysts and users; it won the Product Excellence Award for Best Virtualization Solution at the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in San Francisco in August.

Chris Wolf, an analyst at the Midvale, Utah-based Burton Group, likes Scalent Software because "it is one of the few data center automation vendors that fully understands the problems facing automating server provisioning and repurposing."

"Deploying servers is not just about servers, but network and storage resources too. Scalent's [V/OE] makes it possible to seamlessly repurpose servers and their dependent resources [i.e., network, storage], which are just as critical as the servers themselves," Wolf said. "Other vendors can only repurpose servers and have no intelligence to automate network and storage integration."

The combination of HP c-Class blades and Scalent V/OE gives users a great tool for data center consolidation, virtualization, and automation, Wolf said. He predicts Scalent V/OE software will be fully integrated with the HP VirtualConnect architecture sometime in 2008, because the two products coincide well.

HP chose to support Scalent V/OE because it is a good complement to HP's automation and virtualization offerings for HP BladeSystem, an HP spokesperson said. In addition, Scalent already runs on and is shipping for BladeSystem and HP ProLiant servers, the spokesperson said.

The agreement with HP follows a similar one struck by Scalent and Unisys Corp. in October to use V/OE in its Unisys real-time infrastructure.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Bridget Botelho, News Writer.

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