10 Systems For Your Server Room: Part-2

Posted on 17 July 2009

With the blade competition getting more intense, IBM didn’t get the second best award sitting still. HP is having Shorty, and Big Blue coming with the BladeCenter S. The 7U unit is expandable to 11U to increase blades, storage or tape backup. Designed for smaller offices that mostly not have a separated server room, the BladeCenter S comes with two nice features: number of inbuilt air filters that prevent from dust & a noise attenuator, which muffles the noise of the fans.

Operating System

We will be fair to say it was this area that surprised us the most. Windows Server 2008 was introduced on Feb 27. It qualified for this awards program by just days. Windows gets a lot of press, but let’s faces it; it’s more often than not press that Microsoft doesn’t want.

Yet despite contest from what is most of times thought hipper and cooler — a stellar enterprise-class Linux, a well-known energetic variant, a mature Unix distro, and the cultish Leopard — Windows Server 2008 was the favorite OS by far. If this analysis is any kind of barometer, the rule of Windows Server 2008 in the data center has begun.

And really, it is not that much amazing when you cast an unbiased eye. It contains myriad new functionality and improved features: Read-Only Domain Controller, Hyper-V and Role-based installations are at their best. In addition to improvements to ever-present security features & terminal services, IIS 7 Web server has been enhanced to fulfill growing Web serving demands. However, the zeitgeist also had its day as Apple’s Mac OS X Server “Leopard” 10.5 gained the second best position. Not bad for an OS that in last few years has become entirely an afterthought. Brought in market in October 2007, Leopard’s jump to the desktops of Mac lowers was well-documented. Normally, Apple-enuthusiast’s love doesn’t go as far into the server room as in the case of enterprise, but it runs deep, so deep that it brings it to runner-up position.

Virtualization Platform

Here, as in the high-end server category, a couple of players play for a crowded space. For the third year running, VMware acquired best awards. Contrary to preceding years, however, where ESX made-up the way to victory, in the 2008 awards, VMware Virtual Infrastructure took home the gold.

VMware Virtual Infrastructure is not unknown to glory either. In 2007, it was second best in the Virtualization Tool category. Last year, we anticipated re-categorizing of the awards so that holistic virtualization presentations could be examined against each other.

VMware Virtual Infrastructure is placed as the groundwork of a VMware-based virtual infrastructure. Introduced in fourth quarter 2007, Virtual Infrastructure 3 is created to alleviate major pain points server admins confront in the physical & virtual worlds. Its core modules are VMware ESX Server 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5 modules. However, other modules are also available, like VMware Storage VMotion, VMware Update Manager and VMware Distributed Power Management.
As unsurprised as we were that VMware got the lion’s share of votes for top honor, we were as surprised when Citrix XenServer Enterprise Edition & Sun xVM finish in a tie for the second best position. In 2007, XenEnterprise for Windows achieved the silver.
xVM made waves in late last week when it declared it had moved past the 5 million download level. Without any doubt its x86 virtual infrastructure presentation is infect ready for prime time. The Sun xVM Infrastructure includes of xVM Server (a hypervisor part) and xVM Ops Center (number of different management tools). It scales across the shrinking server, storage and networking divide and to develope Sun’s virtual footprint farther along its native OS.

Virtualization Tool

This category of virtual tools is filled mostly with small players fulfilling certain defined needs. The votes were really tight, but VMLogix LabManager Manager edged out from the large number of participants.

VMLogix, apart from having competition with VMware Lab Manager, has nothing to do with VMware. Actually, the virtual lab automation solution claims to be the single player that supports Citrix XenServer (in addition to VMware ESX). Its focus is on automation and the system developing greater consistency and efficiency.
Hyperic HQ, in the meantime, achieved the runner-up position.
Hyperic HQ is known for automatizing systems & application management tasks for software in production. It can be run on more than 65 major technologies, throughout all big OSs, which includes Linux, Unix, Mac OS X and Windows. Of specific interest, here, is that the software will monitor all layers of the infrastructure — physical or virtual.
It takes in real-time and historical metrics from production hardware; network and application layers then make intelligent alerts that help admins to look to problems as they start. Moreover, metrics can be used for resources to more effectively evaluate equipment status.
Automation or Compliance Tool
The Automation and Compliance tool category was new to the Product Excellence Awards. It shows both the growing status of data center automation tools and the importance to insure compliance. It is all because of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure act; big thanks to it.
The Automation or Compliance Tool category addresses a broad array of products. Despite all that, users took no time zeroing in on CommVault Simpana Software Suite as the No. 1.
The Simpana Software suite is created to incorporate backup, recovery, replication & archive jobs into a one platform. The Web-based interface for the search facility is developed to be straightforward right for business, legal and compliance staff members to take benefit from.
In 2007, GridApp attained runner-up awards in the Server Appliance category. Last year, GridApp once again had a powerful demonstration to attain the silver in the Automation and Compliance category with their GridApp Clarity.
GridApp Clarity’s automation utility validates database and server configurations, provisions and patches new database schemes, and controls environmental changes on an on-going basis.
Green Initiative
Green is the color of the data center nowadays. So how is it possible that we not add a category that renders environmentally friendly (plus financially favorable) green opening moves?
The winner of Green Initiative award is very difficult to reason with, as it is an industry team attempt. The Green Grid is a specific for consortium needs and increasing energy efficiency in data centers and business computing environments. The group was formed by AMD in 2006. Its founding members are HP, IBM and Sun. becoming a part of the four founders on the Green Grid’s group is Dell, APC, Intel, Microsoft, Rackable Systems and Spray Cool.
While the finalists may have collaborated to develop and carry-on the Green Grid, HP, IBM, Intel and Sun were fighting it out for the second best honor. Sun made its peers green with envy when it came out as the deserving for runner-up position. The Sun Eco Innovation initiative is especially developed to reduce energy costs and IT environmental affect by evaluating, optimizing and virtualizing data center infrastructure.

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