Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Unisys to deliver its own virtualization for x64 boxes!


Given all this, you might be wondering why Unisys is working on its own software-level partitioning technology for the ES7000 line. But, according to Colin Lacey, vice president of systems and storage for the Systems and Technology group at Unisys, this is indeed what Unisys is planning to do.

The details are a bit sketchy at the moment, but Lacey says that the company is working on its own of stack of virtualization software, which is probably based on its mainframe partitioning but Lacey didn't want to say anything more about the details. It is also possible that Unisys is cooking up its own variant of a Xen hypervisor.

In any event, this unnamed software partitioning technology will allow users of the 7600R server to create partitions that scale down to the single processor core and that carve up the appropriate memory and I/O out of the system to support these partitions. Presumably, this partitioning will support Windows and Linux, and presumably it will not just be limited to the 7600R server, but also be deployable on the full expanse of the Unisys X64 server line. When pressed for a delivery date, Lacey said Unisys was shooting for the second quarter of 2009.

In addition to the new Dunnington server and the hints about its software partitioning project this week, Unisys also announced some systems management software and related services.

The company's uAdapt provisioning software, which was announced earlier this year on ES7000 rack servers now comes in a blade edition that works on the rebadged Dell boxes that Unisys is peddling. (The software allows administrators to wipe out and change the personality of a server in around 5 minutes, according to Unisys, and the real question most of us have is will it work on mothers-in-law?)

Unisys is also launching a server lifecycle management suite called uProvision, based on code licensed from BladeLogic (now part of BMC software). This software does patch management and access control for physical and virtual servers.

uGovern

Jody Little, vice president of solutions and services at Unisys, says that the coders at the company are working on an uber-management tool called uGovern, which will take a look at the people and IT policies set up by managers, both in the business units and in the data centers, to orchestrate how all of this hardware and software changes over time.

On the services front, Unisys has three new services, all of which are part of its Real-Time Infrastructure repositioning of the company, which really means resell other people's servers as well as Unisys mainframes and concentrate on services and software sales that help make IT flexible instead of brittle. Good luck on that one.

These include a disaster recovery planning service, which costs between $75,000 and $90,000; a backup modernization service, which costs $50,000; and a data protection optimization service, which costs $60,000. These services are just audits of existing facilities and practices and advice on how to change them; implementation services for the advice Unisys gives are extra.



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