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February 24, 2009

VirtenSys debuts IOV Switch

First-to-market with PCI Express-based product

By CBR Staff Writer

VirtenSys has announced the release of pre-production units of its I/O Virtualisation (IOV) Switch. The system aims to reduce data centre operational expense and complexity by virtualising all the I/O resources used to connect servers and storage platforms to the networks.

The company says that the new switch can reducing rack and blade server management costs by more than 60%, power and cooling costs by up to 30% and equipment costs by as much as 50%.

VirtenSys IOV switches work by consolidating and virtualising standard I/O adaptors, and sharing them among multiple physical and virtualised servers. This does not require any changes to the servers, operating systems, I/O adapters or device drivers.

The company claims this can reduce I/O components and cables by abound 90%, and I/O utilisation is improved to greater than 80%. The systems attach directly to multiple physical servers and support Intel 10GE NICs, Neterion 10GE NICs and QLogic Fibre Channel HBAs.

Ahmet D. Houssein, president and CEO at VirtenSys, told CBR that one of the key aspects of the technology is that administrators do not need to physically move cables around when reconfiguring elements of the server, which contributes to the reduced management costs.

He said: “Changes can be made dynamically – an admin can add, delete or move elements with just a few clicks of the mouse. If you move things physically, then there is a huge amount of changes – the MAC code, for example.”

I/O Virtualisation Switches enables companies to operate more efficient IT infrastructures, where resources are virtualised, dynamically allocated on demand, independently scaled and optimally utilised. Configuration and management of the data centre becomes a remote, automated process, removing the requirement for human intervention.

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It is a completely transparent technology, so the server’s operating system or an enterprise’s network will not notice any changes.

Houssein added that although the idea behind the technology has been around for a long time, it was only recently that the all-important technological breakthrough was made. He believes that the industry is ready for this technology, as companies are increasingly looking for ways of doing more with less during the recession.

“No one was too interested when serves and storage was cheap,” he said. “But the world has changes and people are crying out for this technology.”

Houssein added that he expects the product to be available in late Q3/early Q4 2009. The company will be going to market through OEMs.

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