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Summit To Highlight New Server Blade Applications

Posted by inet - 2006-04-19

This week's Server Blade Summit conference in Garden Grove, Calif., will see vendors rolling out a variety of technologies aimed at growing the market for server blades.

IBM is working with a couple of other vendors and Avnet Partner Solutions to bring out two "Security in a Box" solutions based on its server blade architecture, said Juhi Jotwani, director of IBM's xSeries and BladeCenter solutions and alliances.

The first solution adds realtime management of security threats to server blades that have been configured for security purposes such as firewalls, VPNs and Check Point appliances, said Jotwani. Though such server blade-based appliances have been available since late 2004, this week they are getting realtime management based on software from OpenService, Marlborough, Mass. The software allows the collection of different aspects of threat situations, Jotwani said.

"OpenService collects the data, analyzes it, and suggests possible actions," she said.

The solution is available now to channel partners via Avnet and directly from OpenService.

The second BladeCenter offering is a digital video surveillance solution based on technology from Hot Springs, Ark.-based DataCom Systems. The 32-port blades are designed to replace the existing videotape-based video storage systems, used in large operations such as retail stores and casinos, with a hard-drive-based system, said Jotwani.

The digital video surveillance blades are available exclusively to the channel via Avnet, said Sara Jensen, vice president of product marketing at the distributor.

"This solution replaces videotape with disk," said Jensen. "That's a significant offering. The companies that need it first are casinos. Think of all the video they generate."

An Avnet spokesperson estimated that a casino with 1,000 video cameras capturing high-resolution video would require about 100 Tbytes of storage per week.

Several vendors are bringing new 10-Gbit Ethernet offerings to the conference.

Neterion, Cupertino, Calif., plans to unveil its Hyperframe IO Virtualization architecture, which makes it possible to virtualize the entire enterprise data center infrastructure, a company spokesperson said.

Hyperframe IOV allows the company's Xframe line of 10-Gbit Ethernet network interface controllers to be set up with multiple separate receive and transmit queues, independent Direct Memory Access (DMA) engines, separate network address, and other features to virtualize the storage and server infrastructure, the spokesperson said.

Several parts of the Hyperframe IOV architecture are available with the currently shipping Xframe network interface controllers, with the full feature set expected to be available in the near future.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup NetXen is showing its recently introduced 10-Gbit Ethernet network interface controllers. A company spokesperson said the cards are the first to offer a dual-port 10-Gbit Ethernet solution, as well as the first to offer native PCI-Express (PCIe) support. They are now available through system OEMs such as Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

Blade Network Technologies, a Santa Clara-based developer of server blade switches, is using the conference to introduce its first products that comply with Europe's Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directives. RoHS specifies the allowable level of certain environmentally unsafe chemicals. Similar restrictions are also in the process of being adopted in many U.S. states.

A company spokesperson said all the vendor's blade switches are expected to be RoHS-compliant by the end of this month.



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