Startup to provision, manage servers

US-based UXComm next month plans to release a server management product that the company says will save system administrators time when rolling out servers and lessen the possibility of human error.

"Automation is really the critical point people are focusing on to support utility computing. The software can automate what is manual by knowing holistically what the capabilities of a system are and then taking action in the form of provisioning," says Mark Sigal, UXComm president and CEO. He says the upcoming AutonomIQ for Dynamic Server Provisioning (DSP) is just part of a suite that will rival offerings from larger vendors.

The start-up plans to give industry giants such as IBM and HP a run for their money in the race toward delivering utility computing products. But to start, UXComm will challenge automated server provisioning software makers BladeLogic and Opsware with this new release, which focuses mostly on blades.

Industry watchers say the product will have to expand to include more servers if UXComm wants to compete with more established vendors.

"Blades are the product's initial focus, which makes sense because blades are more configurable and have more change, but at the end of the day, UXComm will have to expand beyond blades," says Corey Ferengul, a vice president at Meta Group.

The software uses a system of software agents that run on servers and software adapters that work with operating system, hardware, application and middleware components. The adapters talk to different layers of the system to provision the appropriate metrics on a new blade. For example, an adapter would set the measurements needed to roll out the resources.

On top of that, UXComm uses a policy engine to kick off pre-defined workflows. For instance, the software would indicate "if a hardware failure occurs, then implement wake-on-LAN capability" to the workflow engine, which would take the automated action.

Available in the US next month, pricing for AutonomIQ DSP starts at US$500 per server.

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