Thursday, September 10, 2009

An Ideal Datacenter-in-a-Box

Today's announcement marks a modest but meaningful step in Egenera's relationship with Dell, and in overall Simplification of IT .

Essentially the punchline is this: We've taken the most commonly-purchased hardware configuration and management tools used by mission-critical IT Ops, and integrated them into a single product with a single GUI that you can install and use in ~ 1 day. That's essentially the idea behind the "Datacenter-in-a-Box:"
Most common configuration: Blades + Networking + SAN Storage

Most useful
tools to manage VMs + physical servers + network + I/O + SW provisioning + workload automation + high availability
That's what Egenera's done with Dell. It's a "unified computing" environment (to borrow a term) - but has integrated with it all of the most popular higher-level management functions too. That's to say it includes I/O virtualization, a converged network fabric (including virtual switches and load balancing - based on std. ethernet), and then includes tools for software provisioning, VM management, and high-availability to "universally" manage both physical and virtual workloads simultaneously. Pretty cool - and highly simple to use.

Don't believe all this stuff can be so simple? Here's evidence & illustrations why this move will help drive data center management toward greater simplification:
  • (1) Check out how easy it is to provision a complete compute environment with N+1 failover in 6 steps
  • (2) Compare the level of complexity reduction compared to some similar products
  • (3) The Dell PAN Datatcenter-in-a-Box (DCIB), together with the Dell Management Console, provides a massively simplified management landscape as compared with alternative solutions. To wit:
The set of "traditional" products you'd need to buy/integrate.
ALL of these functions are already integrated within the Dell PAN DCIB:

Then, the roughly-equivalent solution you'd compose with HP:

And finally, the roughly-equivalent solution you'd compose with Cisco and their partners:

I'd also be remiss without pointing out that this product SKU configuration is available directly from our friends at Dell - and was born directly from customer requests for such a building-block. Folks who've already purchased this technology based on the Dell PAN System include
  • Federal users who may replicate an entire mission-critical environment across dozens of aviation-related locations
  • Financial-services users who wanted a consolidated approach to ensuring high-availability across dozens of blades w/different workloads
  • Commercial customers wanting a flexible environment on which to run the company's SAP
  • A Federal hosted services provider wanting five-9's of availability plus being able to re-configure systems/capacity a la an "internal" cloud
  • Overseas users acting as an internal IT service provider seeking 'universal' HA and DR for all workloads
Plus thousands more worldwide locations where you can find the same PAN Manager software.
If you don't believe Dell hardware is ready for the Data Center, then think again.


jan.wiersma said...

Good article, thanks.

Could you, for comparison sake, also create the picture with the Dell PAN modules and their position ?

Ken Oestreich said...

Thanks Jan. I will post a blog tomorrow detailing what Egenera's approach has been.