IBM sees virtual need

New technology from IBM that promises mainframe-like virtual partitioning is being pitched as relevant to companies of all sizes.

New technology from IBM that promises mainframe-like virtual partitioning is being pitched as relevant to companies of all sizes.

The “virtualisation engine”, implemented on IBM’s I-series 5 server, allows easy control of scores of CPU partitions running separate workloads.

The technology, claimed to increase physical processor utilisation greatly, derives a good deal from mainframe practice. But even small and medium-sized enterprises typically have secondary servers that may, for example, run program development or the company’s website. These can now be consolidated into the same physical machine.

Virtualisation is not new, even to the I-series, says IBM server product manager Sam McCluskey. “What the virtualisation engine does is to assign resources [flexibly] to those partitions, which can be entirely logical [as opposed to physical].”

IBM had one of the biggest attendances ever for a launch, more than 90 people, when it debuted the virtualisation engine in Auckland earlier this month.

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