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IBM's goal of managing all virtual resources not yet reality

Jon Brodkin | Oct. 21, 2009
IBM is promising a single tool for customers to manage all of their physical and virtual servers, including mainframes, Unix boxes and x86 machines.

"VMControl allows combinations of physical and virtual IBM servers to be managed as a single entity," according to IBM's announcement. "This approach -- known as system pooling -- expands the benefits of virtualization by helping corporate data centers simplify complex management functions and better share and prioritize use of critical resources such as processing power, memory and storage."

Eventually, IBM's pooling system will let customers combine all their servers and treat them as a single resource pool, and dynamically send workloads to the processors best able to handle them, Clabby says. But since the Enterprise edition is only available on Power systems initially, this capability will be limited until IBM expands it to other platforms.

With this week's announcement, "they're sort of teaching the market what's coming," Clabby says of IBM.

IBM distinguished engineer Jim Porell said it's not yet clear when the standard and enterprise editions of VMControl will work with non-IBM servers. But he said IBM is committed to reducing the number of management tools customers need to handle their virtual resources.

"We look at the whole environment becoming hybrid," he says. "The whole point is to reduce the number of control points in a business, to work effectively across a variety of hypervisor managers and break down the barriers."


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