Monday, September 14, 2009

An Ideal Datacenter-in-a-Box, Part II

Last week I posted a Blog outlining Dell & Egenera's latest Datacenter-in-a-Box offering. More than one person took note of how I compared its simplicity in contrast to other offerings in the same space, but failed to detail the specifics of Egenera's PAN Manager software and how it mapped to 13 common IT Service Management functions.

The 13 different functions are mapped onto the data center "stack" at right. They span management of both physical and virtual software, servers, I/O, networking, etc. -- as well as higher-level functions such as High-Availability and Disaster Recovery.

The Dell PAN offering unifies 12 of the 13 functions, and provides them from within a single console is called PAN Manger. (The 13th function if provided via the Dell Management Console.) This single-console infrastructure management software consists of the base PAN Builder software, as well as two optional modules, PAN Server Portability, and PAN Portability.

So, using the diagram from last week, the functionality maps as follows:

PAN Builder:
  • VM server management
  • Physical server management
  • Software (P & V) provisioning
  • I/O virtualization & management
  • IP load balancing
  • Network virtualization & management
  • Storage connection management
  • Infrastructure provisioning
  • Device (e.g. switch & load balancing) failover
PAN Server Portability:
  • Physical N+1 failover (HA)
  • Virtual host N+1 failover (HA)
PAN Portability:
  • Disaster recovery (DR) for entire mixed P & V environments
I hope this helps detail not only the Egenera product, but also illustrates what's possible when the industry combines server management with virtual I/O and virtual networking & switching. It's the perfect complement to O/S virtualization, and massively simplifies traditional IT Operations Management.

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