The V-8000 is ready to virtualize
Lower-cost Intel and AMD servers can be combined to serve the same purpose, Quinn says, by using 3Leaf's I/O virtualization engine. The V-8000 Virtual I/O Server acts as a front-end traffic manager, the equivalent of a large computer backplane moving data among the other 30 to 32 low-cost servers in the data center rack.
This is "a RAID approach to server management," says Bryan Doerr, CTO of Savvis, a company that hosts data centers and provides data center services. A redundant array of independent disks is managed as a single pool of storage for many users. Similarly, 3Leaf's Virtual I/O Server treats the 30 to 32 standard-issue servers in a rack as a pooled resource. The V-8000 can assign large enterprise applications, such as database servers, a specific share of the CPU and memory from the servers in the rack it manages.
Savvis would like to build a server that meets its high-end needs simply by plugging more processors, memory, and network interface cards into one box, similar to what 3Leaf is doing, using standard-issue Intel or AMD rack-mount servers, Doerr says.
In evaluating the V-8000, Savvis has found it can virtualize the I/O of a rack of servers as claimed. "They're expanding the virtual machine's borders across hardware boundaries," he says. "To us, that's kind of cool."