IBM Pushes Open Virtualization

Toward that end, Big Blue unveiled Virtualization Engine 2.0 and pledged to create an open, Web services-based approach for integrating its virtualization products with those from other vendors.

Virtualization Engine 2.0 includes a new Resource Dependency Service that provides a portal view of all system resources in the enterprise, new tools for configuring and deploying virtual servers, as well as better integration with existing IBM systems management tools.

Virtualization adds a layer of abstraction on top of operating systems and storage devices to make them easier to manage. But while they may be easier to manage, such technologies typically engender massive social and technical changes throughout the IT organization. Not surprisingly, change begets fear.

“Virtualization gets a lot of interest because everybody is trying to do more with less. But there&'s a certain fear factor for IT people because they don&'t know how virtualization will affect the IT staff from a job-protection perspective,” said Bob Venero, president of Future Tech Enterprises, Holbrook, N.Y.

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Such fears have slowed the broad adoption of virtualization technologies across the enterprise infrastructure. IBM hopes a more open-standards approach will alleviate this market condition, said Rod Atkins, vice president of development for IBM&'s Systems and Technology Group.

Atkins said IBM, Armonk, N.Y., plans to work closely with industry organizations such as the DMTF, OASIS, W3C and the Open Group to help proliferate open interfaces around virtualization technologies.

IBM has not yet lined up endorsements for its open virtualization approach from other major vendors such as Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, EMC, Dell, Intel or Advanced Micro Devices. But the company did draw support from existing IBM partners such as Cisco Systems, Network Appliance and VMware, an independent unit of EMC.