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IBM extends Virtualization Manager for Power6 servers

IBM has extended the range of platforms Virtualization Manager supports, plus added tools to tame virtual sprawl.

When IBM begins shipping servers running its new Power6 processor later this month, its Virtualization Manager software will be able to coordinate the servers' new virtualization capabilities.

Power6 chips, which can be found in upcoming IBM System p AIX Unix and System i servers, are able to do what IBM calls Live Partition Mobility. With it, administrators can now not only grow and shrink the resources in a given logical partition (LPAR), but also quiesce the applications in the environment and move it from one physical box to another. In this way, Live Partition Mobility brings VMware VMotion-like live migration functionality to IBM's midrange server platforms.

The latest release of Virtualization Manager, meanwhile, can be used to orchestrate the movement of those partitions in conjunction with the resource monitoring capabilities of IBM Director software.

Imagine, for example, two servers, said Rich Lechner, vice president of IT optimization for IBM: One is running highly utilized; the other is lightly loaded. "The vision here is when the power spikes, to be able to completely quiesce the system, power it down and power it back up again" on another box, Lechner said. This coordination between physical and virtual resources is where Virtualization Manager comes in to play.

In addition to new Power6 support, Virtualization Manager 1.2 now supports Xen hypervisors included in Red Hat and Novell Linux distributions. Previous versions included support for VMware, Microsoft Virtual Server and XenSource.

Finally, Virtualization Manager 1.2 offers administrators an image management with which administrators can create, maintain and deploy virtual machines for all its supported platforms.

Keeping track of virtual machines has emerged as one of the problematic aspects of virtualization. "When customers deploy a virtual server, they usually create a template," Lechner said. "What they're finding is that keeping track of and managing all those templates becomes a real resource drain."

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Alex Barrett, News Director.

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