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December 3, 2008

Novell tackles physical, virtual management

Builds on its PlateSpin acquisition

By Jason Stamper

Novell announced enhancements to the data centre management tools it garnered through its $205m acquisition of PlateSpin in February of this year.

The new PlateSpin Recon, PlateSpin Migrate, PlateSpin Protect and PlateSpin Orchestrate enable customers to profile, migrate, protect and manage server workloads between physical and virtual infrastructures in heterogeneous IT environments, Novell said.

PlateSpin Workload Management is claimed to be the only offering on the market today to support 32-and 64-bit Windows and Linux servers, as well as all hypervisors including Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V and Virtual Server, VMware ESX and ESXi and Xen integrated in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

PlateSpin Recon, PlateSpin Migrate and PlateSpin Protect are available now. PlateSpin Orchestrate will be available in the first quarter of 2009.

“Today’s announcement strengthens our position as the leading cross-platform provider of workload management products for the mixed IT data centre, said Joe Wagner, senior vice president and general manager of Systems and Resource Management at Novell.

As virtualisation hypervisor technology becomes ubiquitous, the next frontier is data centre management technologies, especially those that are able to manage the heterogeneity found in most data centres.

As Novell put it, As data centres increasingly deploy diverse hardware platforms, operating systems and virtualisation technologies in heterogeneous environments, the artificial boundaries between physical and virtual machines are being erased by portable workloads – the combination of an operating system, application and data software independent from the underlying physical or virtual platform.

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New features in PlateSpin Migrate and PlateSpin Protect include broader hypervisor and platform support as well as security, automation and scalability enhancements.  PlateSpin Recon gets improved assessment accuracy, the ability to import resource utilisation data from other monitoring tools and additional hypervisor and operating system support.

PlateSpin Orchestrate — formerly known as ZENworks Orchestrator — interacts with configuration and storage resource management servers to manage the relationship between physical computer and storage resources, as well as virtual resources. New features include a more powerful, easier-to-use interface and expanded hypervisor and operating system support, Novell said.

Troy Szabo, senior systems engineer at Nvidia Corp, said he wouldn’t be able to do his job without PlateSpin’s capacity planning and workload profiling. Managing our enterprise data centre means keeping track of large numbers of physical and virtual servers and continually monitoring them to make sure we minimise expenses and maximise resource usage, while getting the most out of our VMware Virtual environment,” he said. “PlateSpin’s capacity planning and workload profiling takes away all the guesswork.

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