Scalent’s beefed-up virtualisation suite promises big savings

Version 2.0 release reviewed

The release of version 2.0 of Scalent’s software, designed to help corporate users virtualise the server, network and storage resources in their datacentres, is expected shortly.

Scalent’s Virtual Operating Environment (VOE) supports virtualised servers, virtual machines on a single server, network connections and storage arrays. The software lets users change on-the-fly which servers are running, the software those servers are hosting and how those servers are connected to the network and to storage devices. All this can be done without having to touch any physical infrastructure. It can also virtualise all IP and storage addresses.

Scalent says the software aids in business continuity, development and testing, operational efficiency, and consolidation.

“With the virtualisation we can dramatically cut our hardware investment,” says Bill Rierden, president of RecoverySquad, a start-up offering disaster-recovery services. He says his hardware costs have dropped by up to 60% and VOE helps the company move workloads around quickly.

“This has allowed us to address the application layer and help customers image their applications and then quickly bring them up [in hours instead of days or weeks],” he says.

In the newest version of VOE, Scalent has added support for Solaris 10 on x86 and Sparc chipsets to its current support for servers running Windows and Linux. In addition, Version 2.0 will support Ethernet switches such as the Cisco 6500 series, and Scalent is adding support for web services, and Java interfaces for integration with third-party systems.

The VOE environment consists of a controller, which runs on a Linux OS and sits on an x86 server; a console, for web-based management and agents deployed on every physical machine in the environment.

Kevin Epstein, Scalent’s vice president of marketing, says a key part of the Scalent infrastructure is its deployment outside the normal data paths that run across the network. This means that even if the software goes down the network continues to function. VOE also supports physical and virtual machines, including technology from Microsoft, VMware and Xen.

VOE costs US$2,000 per managed server.

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