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CA Teams With Cisco To Manage UCS Blades

Three established CA Technologies management tools now detect and manage Cisco Unified Computing Systems blades.

Three system management tools supplied by CA Technologies can now natively manage the latest entrant in the blade server market, Cisco's Unified Computing System.

The combination of CA Technologies (formerly CA) and Cisco will enable "a more holistic approach" to managing racks of Unified Computing Blades as a pool of virtualized servers, said Roger Pilc, senior VP and general manager of the CA virtualization and service assurance business unit, at a press conference during CA World 2010 in Las Vegas Monday.

The move is part of a more general shift from managing physical systems to managing resources as a virtualized pool, which allows greater flexibility and responsiveness to creating servers for business needs.

"It's the equivalent of changing IT from a solid to a liquid," Pilc added, underscoring his point on agility.

CA and Cisco have jointly integrated connections between the monitoring and management systems to give purchasers of Cisco's Unified Computing System an additional way to manage the system. UCS blades are often employed in a heavily virtualized environment. Better management tools are needed because the Cisco UCS blades are frequently loaded with large amounts of memory, and employ a rapid I/O data management system for the large numbers of virtual machines run on the servers.

The Unified Computing System architecture uses Fibre Channel over Ethernet to move both networking and storage traffic off the virtualized server, without distinguishing between the two. Once the data has been moved into the network fabric, it is split to proceed to its respective destinations--to the Ethernet network for the communications traffic and to a Fiber Channel over Ethernet network for the storage traffic.

Shifting the need to distinguish between the two from the virtual machine's hypervisor frees up the hypervisor to do more application processing work.

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