Vendors Offer Data-Center Automation Tools

IT managers can use a variety of products to ease their workload.

Larry Greenemeier, Contributor

July 3, 2003

2 Min Read

The ability to subdivide Intel servers into virtual machines running Windows is crucial to business-technology managers seeking to automate their data centers and consolidate the number of servers they operate. That technology is available only from VMware Inc. today and, later this year, Microsoft. But there are a number of related data-center automation technologies that also can help systems administrators.

Ejasent Inc., a provider of data-center automation software, last week introduced Optimizer, a PC application that analyzes server-utilization rates and creates a server-consolidation plan. "We're seeing current utilization rates in the data center that are in the single or low double digits," says Gerry King, Ejasent's VP of sales.

The tough economy is forcing IT departments to do better. "IT invests thousands of dollars in equipment that gets 10% to 15% utilization," King says. "Consolidation at the data-center level is probably the lowest-hanging fruit in many cases."

SWsoft Inc. offers technology that's similar to VMware's products with its Virtuozzo software. Virtuozzo lets system administrators partition Intel servers running Linux into isolated environments. These environments, called virtual private servers, however, share the same operating system, instead of running separate copies of the operating system, as virtual servers do. Virtuozzo doesn't run on Windows, although SWsoft plans a Windows version for later this year. Virtuozzo is mostly used by hosting companies, not corporate IT departments.

A related product was introduced by Altiris Inc. last month. Its Server Provisioning Suite provides an integrated user interface to simplify server deployment and configuration management. The software includes new capabilities for patch management, backup and recovery, and performance and availability monitoring for dynamic provisioning. Hewlett-Packard uses Altiris technology as part of its Proliant Essentials Rapid Deployment Pack.

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