IBM to Help Clients Manage Cross-Platform Virtual Servers

IBM announced new systems software for managing virtualized servers, designed to help clients plan, build and maintain data centers while reducing costs. IBM is also helping clients protect their long-term investments in Power Systems by announcing an upgraded path to its next-generation servers that will include POWER7 microprocessors.

The new systems software, IBM Systems Director VMControl, gives clients a tool to manage heterogeneous virtual servers. It allows users to discover, display, monitor and locate virtual resources; create and manage virtual servers; and deploy and manage workloads with a common interface across IBM System z mainframes, System x x86-based servers, BladeCenter, and Power Systems AIX, Linux and i platforms.

Management of virtualized servers is a key priority for businesses and can help make them more efficient, orchestrated, and effective. The new IBM software provides lifecycle management of virtual servers, with its ability to create, modify and delete virtualized resources, as well as move them to other locations.

VMControl is part of the IBM Systems Director family of software for the management of IBM servers, storage and networking, and provides automatic discovery, as well as monitoring and updates for physical and virtual resources. Systems Director can help businesses maintain the performance and availability of their servers and simplify operations in a dynamic infrastructure.

Committed to protecting customer investments, IBM also announced an upgrade path to the next-generation of Power Systems based on the POWER7 microprocessor. In addition to existing customers, clients can purchase a POWER6 based 570 or 595 server, and can upgrade their existing system when POWER7 becomes available.

A Power 595 or 570 system upgrade can be accomplished during planned downtime by simply replacing the processors, memory and system controllers with new POWER7 components within the existing system frame. POWER7 processors will offer two to three times the performance of POWER6 using the same amount of energy (and will be available in four, six and eight-core varieties).

For either system, once upgraded to POWER7, applications from POWER6 systems can be moved to the newly upgraded Power 595 or Power 570 servers using IBM’s PowerVM Live Partition Mobility or AIX Live Application Mobility software, without impacting availability of the applications.

The new POWER7-based systems will include PowerVM virtualization enhancements, allowing clients to consolidate up to 1,000 virtual machines per system. The systems will use 45-nanometer technology for the new processor and will feature coordinated upgrades across other technology components, including firmware and systems software.

Capitalizing on the strength of IBM’s Power Systems Migration Factory, which has helped more than 1,750 clients move from competitive systems to Power in the last three years, IBM also introduced a TCO Center of Excellence to help customers reduce server sprawl and overall infrastructure costs by eliminating under-utilized UNIX and x86 servers. Power Systems and IBM’s PowerVM virtualization software are specifically designed to support the consolidation of multiple workloads on a single server. With the new TCO Center of Excellence, IBM experts will assist consolidation planning for clients by analyzing the opportunity, identifying potential areas of savings, and offering financing and leasing recommendations.