Egenera Working With Dell On Clustered, Converged Infrastructure Solutions

Egenera on Monday unveiled the latest version of its software that merges IP and storage networking traffic on an appliance, and said that Dell is implementing that software to create a clustered, converged infrastructure solution.

Egenera's new PAN Manager 6.0 is aimed at providing customers and partners, including Dell, with an alternative to Cisco's UCS and Hewlett-Packard's Matrix solutions, said Pete Manca, president and CEO of the Marlboro, Mass.-based vendor.

PAN Manager 6.0 and Dell's new PAN System 3.0, based on Dell servers and the Egenera software, were introduced at the Interop conference, held this week in Las Vegas.

Converged infrastructure refers to tying server, storage and IP networking into an integrated solution in order to give customers a single vendor source for building data centers and moving towards cloud computing.

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However, vendors such as Cisco and HP are building their converged infrastructure solutions with their own hardware and software stacks, Manca said.

"For those vendors, it's very natural to build a stack of their own hardware and software," he said. "But it's not a heterogeneous solution. Our solution runs on any platform."

Next: PAN Manager 6.0 Works Across Dell Servers

PAN Manager 6.0 now includes the ability to expand up to three Dell blade server chassis and 48 blades to support multiple physical applications and thousands of virtual machines, Manca said. It includes high-availability and disaster-recovery features.

It works by treating a server blade as a stateless resource onto which any server "personality" based on application requirements can be applied as needed. "It can turn any server blade into any application profile at any time," he said.

The software can be installed on any server platform, and Dell is currently one of Egenera's main go-to-market customers, Manca said.

Prior to the release of PAN Manager 6.0, Egenera's software could be used to converge the networking and server infrastructure of one chassis, but now that capability can be expanded across three chassis, which are treated as if they were part of a single system, he said. It also handles storage and server networking through multiple 8-Gbps Fibre Channel and 10-Gbps Ethernet links.

Egenera's business through Dell has of late been doubling quarter-to-quarter, Manca said. However, the company also has other OEM customers, although Manca declined to discuss their names.

Egenera is also starting a channel program that will allow solution providers to either sell an appliance based on its software and a Dell server, or provide the software as part of its own hardware offering.

However, the version of the software that scales across three chassis is currently available only through Dell, although that capability will be expanded to other platforms, Manca said.