IBM has introduced a powerful array of systems software, hardware and improved availability ‘best practices’ to help companies substantially reduce energy consumption and more effectively manage their computing environments.
The new technologies and services allow clients to use fewer servers, make better use of existing technology and actively monitor power usage, while eliminating significant blocks of planned downtime and freeing up IT staffs on weekends and off-hours.
The announcements include:
* A wide-ranging variety of software solutions designed to improve customers’ ability to easily deploy, virtualise, manage and upgrade their systems;
* New Power6 processor-based IBM BladeCentre JS22 Express systems, bringing the power of the world's fastest chip to a blade form-factor for the first time;
* A new Availability Factory, allowing qualified customers to get a no-charge assessment of how to implement their own roadmaps to improve application availability and energy efficiency.
At the heart of IBM’s announcement is new virtualisation software that enables customers to move running applications, or even the entire operating system partition from one physical machine to another with no impact on application availability. These features, including Live Partition Mobility and Live Application Mobility allow applications to be consolidated onto fewer machines while active, helping to reduce energy consumption.
The same features combined with the ability to update hardware, firmware and software, including the Unix operating system kernel itself, while it is running, are the cornerstone to a new roadmap.
The software enables customers to perform systems maintenance, updates and application migrations and consolidations at, for example, 2pm on Tuesday instead of 2am on Sunday and is designed to eliminate blocks of planned downtime and create less work on weekends for IT staffs.
IBM also anounced a broad Power Systems Software initiative which includes a six-layer integrated, yet modular, systems software stack for Unix, Linux and i5/OS customers including virtualisation, operating systems and integration, high availability, security, energy management and platform management. Within the stack, IBM announced a number of new and updated offerings, extending its lead in Unix virtualisation and energy-management capabilities.
The software, which supports the new Power6 processor-based blade servers as well as applicable IBM System p and System i servers, includes the following:
* Advanced Power Virtualisation (APV) Standard Edition effectively turns a single server into a machine with up to 10 “virtual” servers per processor core, eliminating the need for multiple physical servers, which reduces energy costs while enabling the creation of resource pools (memory, networking, etc.) that can be shared by each virtual server. The combination of IBM POWER processor-based servers and APV Standard Edition can lower the total cost of ownership up to 72% when factoring costs such as maintenance, software support, personnel and facilities, according to a recent International Technology Group study.
* A new version of APV announced today, APV Enterprise Edition, includes the addition of the UNIX-exclusive Live Partition Mobility, a unique virtualisation technique that integrates chip technology, firmware and POWER Hypervisor technology to enable POWER6 processor-based servers to move live logical partitions, including the operating system and all associated applications, from one server to another while the systems are running.
* A new offering, part of the IBM Systems Director family, called Active Energy Manager (formerly IBM PowerExecutive) exploits the energy management features of POWER6 EnergyScale(TM) technology. It provides features such as power trending, power-saving, capping of maximum power and thermal measurement/reporting that enable better facility planning, energy and cost savings, and peak energy usage control. For instance, clients can leverage EnergyScale technology to customise the power consumption of their systems and tailor it to their particular data centre needs. The power-saving feature may reduce processor power consumption by up to 30%.
* AIX 6, IBM’s newest version of the Unix operating system, which recently completed a highly successful open beta programme that featured rigorous customer and ISV testing with more than 14,000 downloads, will be made generally available later this week. AIX 6 now comes complete with a new binary compatibility guarantee for applications which run on prior releases of AIX, role-based access control at an operating systems or Workload Partition level, an encrypting file system, and support for concurrent updates to the operating system kernel. The concurrent kernel updates and WPAR help reduce planned downtime and improve continuous application availability. i5/OS on System i servers and Linux on Power on System i or System p servers are also part of the Power Systems Software operating systems and integration layer.
* The new IBM Workload Partition Manager for AIX allows a single copy of AIX 6 to have multiple defined partitions, each with its own security settings for administrators, users and application workloads. Workload Partition Manager also includes Live Application Mobility which allows all the applications in a Workload Partition to be moved while still running to another copy of AIX 6 even if on another physical Power4, Power5 or Power6 processor-based server. Also new with AIX 6 is Security Expert, which allows administrators to control more than 300 security settings from a single console. Security settings can be exported and imported as a security profile to multiple systems.
* New versions of High Availability Cluster Management Programme (HACMP) V5.4.1 and Cluster Suite Manager V1.7 for AIX and Linux operating systems, designed to help customers maximise system availability and performance for AIX and Linux. iCluster for i5/OS, which provides data mirroring across disks and servers, is available now to customers from IBM.