Egenera tucks Xen into management platform

Egenera is partnering with XenSource to tuck the open source Xen hypervisor into the management software it uses to group its blade servers into a pool of compute resources in which application workloads are shifted according to business demands.

By adding Xen into the mix, Egenera's Processing Area Network (PAN) Manager software can be used not only to provision and allocate physical servers, but also to provision and allocate virtual machines within Egenera's BladeFrame system. BladeFrame includes diskless processing blades, control blades, switches and interconnects, all managed with the PAN Manager software.

Egenera's new software, called vBlade, integrates XenSource's XenEnterprise package into PAN Manager. XenEnterprise supports both Linux- andWindows-based virtual machines running atop the Xen hypervisor, enabling users to provision virtual machines and then migrate them among physical servers as needed.

With vBlade, Egenera customers will be able to migrate workloads across both physical servers and virtual machines within one BladeFrame or among multiple BladeFrame systems, says Susan Davis, vice president of marketing at Egenera.

"VBlade allows customers to take advantage of all the benefits that virtual machines or hypervisors provide in terms of greater server utilization and greater efficiency, but without adding any complexity -- without having to add yet another set of management tools to provision and manage," Davis says. "Out-of-the-box high availability, disaster recovery and all of the capabilities that we've been providing in our product for five years is now extended to a virtual environment."

VBlade does not support VMware or Windows Virtual Server now, but Davis says Egenera could add support for those depending on customer demand.

Egenera competes with other virtualization management vendors such as HP, IBM and Sun.

A preview release of vBlade is available now. It will be generally available in the first half of next year and will be priced as a separate add-on to the BladeFrame system.

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