10 Data Center Products The Midmarket Needs Right Now

Software And Hardware Products For Improving The Midmarket Data Center

Midmarket companies long ago graduated from depending on the server closet to investing in one or more data centers to handle the increasingly complex tasks related to doing business.

As data centers grow in size, they also grow in complexity, requiring continual investment in hardware and software.

Even more important, to keep their growing data centers running at their best, midmarket companies also need new ways to manage their hardware and software components, reduce heat, and improve power efficiency.

Here are 10 data center products which give a hint at ways to help customers improve the performance and efficiency of their backend operations.

Citrix XenServer: Microsoft's Partner For Midmarket Virtualization

Citrix has in the last few years become a major player in the virtualization market, both on its own and in conjunction with Microsoft, its ally against market leader VMware. For the midmarket, Citrix's XenServer server allows multiple virtual servers to be hosted on a physical system. XenServer is available free of charge, and has options for management across larger data centers. XenServer also integrates well with Citrix XenDesktop, the company's desktop PC virtualization platform which allows specific applications or entire desktop images to be accessed on a variety of devices, with management done from a central location.

Federspiel DASH: Automating Data Management

The Datacenter Automation Software and Hardware (DASH) from Federspiel Controls, when combined with the company's wireless mesh network sensing and control modules, automatically reduces data center energy consumption and improves data center thermal management. The DASH software understands how changes to the cooling equipment or on-off operations impact datacenter temperatures and power consumption in order to determine which servers need to run, coordinate the operation of the cooling units, and optimize the temperature of the datacenter to minimizing overall energy consumption.

HP Insight Control: Integrating Physical And Virtual Server Management

Hewlett-Packard's Insight Control management software is an integrated management solution for physical ProLiant servers and for virtual servers in Microsoft System Center and VMware vCenter environments. It includes a central management console, HP Systems Insight Manager, which provides a comprehensive interface for running an entire set of server management tasks. With HP Insight Control, customers can quickly deploy physical and virtual servers, managed server health on a proactive basis to cut unplanned downtime, optimize data center power, and do remote data center management.

IBM Power Servers: Focus On Data Center Uptime

For customers focusing on data center uptime, IBM's Power servers running AIX (IBM's version of Unix) or Linux operating systems is one alternative to the X86 platform. The Power servers, based on the company's new POWER7 processors, can help consolidate multiple smaller servers while cutting data center energy costs, according to IBM. IBM's POWER7 processors feature eight cores per processor, each of which can run up to four threads. The rack mount Power servers can be configured with up to eight 8-core processors and 2 TB of memory.

Microsoft Windows Server 2008: Windows For The Data Center

Microsoft's Windows operating system has taken over nearly all but the most mission-critical functions of the data center thanks to years of development focused on ease-of-use, increased security, and virtualization. With Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft has integrated Hyper-V virtualization technology that is starting to take on market leader VMware. It also offers significant increases in reliability and scalability over previous versions of Windows, along with major enhancements in managing data center storage.

Oracle/Sun X4640: Sun Server For Oracle Software

With its acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Oracle inherited the Sun server line, including a full range of rack mount and blade servers based on Intel and AMD x86 processors. Oracle is positioning those servers as the platform of choice for its applications, including Oracle Database, particularly the Sun Fire X4640. The X4640 is built around six-core AMD Opteron processors, and puts up to 48 processor cores in a 4U rack space. It supports up to 512 GB of memory across 64 memory slots for accelerating data access and analysis.

Pano Logic Device: Creating Virtualized Desktop Environments

Pano Logic's Pano Device is a low-cost way to replace desktop PCs or other types of computing devices in a virtual desktop environment. The Pano Device has no CPU, memory, operating system, drivers, software, or moving parts, but instead only connects such peripherals as a keyboard, mouse, VGA display, and audio output along with other USB devices to a virtualized Microsoft Windows desktop operating system running on a server using standard IP protocols over a LAN.

Rackwise DCM: Visualizing The Data Center

The Rackwise Data Center Manager (DCM) software lets customers visualize and manage an entire data center with from one rack to thousands. DCM analyzes data from the various components in a rack in tabular and graphical formats so users can make more informed decisions, improve day to day efficiencies, and proactively manage their data center. It has a high-level dashboard display, and generates custom reports showing how data center resources are used. That data can also be used to model "What if" scenarios.

Riverbed Steelhead: Optimizing Data Center Connections

WAN optimization has recently become a darling of the midmarket data center because of its ability to accelerate data traffic between data centers in order to improve the performance of such functions as disaster recovery, replication, and allowing users to access resources across wide area networks with as close to local performance as possible. Riverbed's Steelhead WAN optimization appliances are 1U rack-mount devices that provide WAN bandwidth from 2 Mbps to 45 Mbps, and offer up to 6 GB of memory and 1 TB of storage capacity.

VMware ESXi: Making Virtualization Ubiquitous

Of all the technologies in a midmarket data center, VMware's server virtualization software could be the most ubiquitous. VMware's ESXi lets customers virtualize the workloads of multiple servers to a smaller number of physical boxes in order to control acquisition, deployment, and power costs, and it gives midmarket solution providers opportunities to add management and other value-adds. vSphere 4 builds on that server virtualization base to let customers start building private clouds or to build disaster recovery and business continuity solutions. It is also the base on which virtualized desktop environments are being built.