Software as a Service

Cisco Needs BMC To Supply Unified Virtual Management

At stake is Cisco's blade server, which will combine converged network components, then link to virtualized network and store resources under a single management interface.
BMC CEO Bob Beauchamp is an enthusiastic champion of Cisco's move, and said BMC will meet the goals laid out for it. The Cisco blade "is a game changer; they've cracked the code on several bottlenecks."

BMC's flagship product, Patrol, was an early in adding cross-vendor virtualization. Now it will try to graft on cross-resource virtualization. "The pain point," he concedes, "is where virtual machines and the virtualized network meet up with storage."

If Cisco produces standard Intel-based blades with a unified management tool assigning them VMs, allocating and reallocating their resources based on need, and is able to move them around physical servers atop a virtualized storage system, then Cisco will have simplified data center operations. Instead of buying a server that fits an application, IT managers will buy standardized blades and run each application in a VM that matches the application's needs, perhaps on an hour-by-hour basis.

"What we're bringing to the table is a top down view" and the ability to provision a small virtual machine, say, for running Oracle in a department versus a large one for running Oracle at the enterprise level, Beauchamp said.

The manager of the virtualized data center "shouldn't have to worry how many network interface cards are on the server or how much memory is available," said Beauchamp. Indeed, the Cisco blade design is aimed at making such configuration problems an issue of the past. Instead, the administrator using a cross data center tool will point and click on the resources he needs, and the underlying system will "make it so," he said.

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