BMC, Sun partnering on load-balancing package

BMC Software and Sun Microsystems are working on dynamic load-balancing software for Sun's E10000 multiprocessor servers that would automatically shift workloads to other processors or system domains, to maximise performance and reliability.

Dubbed "automatic dynamic reallocation," or ADR, the product is intended to provide seamless load-balancing without requiring any operating system shutdowns, system slowdowns, or human intervention, according to officials of the two companies.

ADR is being demonstrated in a pre-released version at BMC's Assurance 2000 conference here this week. It will function as an add-on module to BMC's Patrol 2000 application management system. No release date has been set.

Intended for a range of applications, including e-commerce or ERP (enterprise resource planning), the package is intended to provide automation and seamlessness not offered in other load-balancing systems, BMC and Sun officials said. Users set pre-determined performance thresholds.

"When the load hits a certain trigger point set by the user, it will automatically reconfigure the domains, said BMC's Jim Kolins, a San Jose, California-based business development strategist responsible for the Sun platform.

An official at a Sun and BMC value-added reseller expressed excitement over the product.

"That sounds very cool," said Jim Kerick, systems engineer at Strategic Technologies, of Cary, North Carolina. The product could make for better response times, he said.

"The ultimate goal is to make it seamless," Kerick said.

BMC's Kolins said he could not say whether BMC plans to port the software to any other vendor's systems, such as Hewlett-Packard or IBM. Conversely, John R. Phillips, group manager for enterprise and Web systems infrastructure in Sun's software products and platforms unit, said Sun's contribution to the project is not necessarily exclusive to BMC.

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