Novell rolls out its Service-Driven Data Center initiative

An offshoot of its Linux and open source software activities, Novell's new Service-Driven Data Center initiative revolves around three components: SUSE Enterprise Linux Server (SLES) 11, PlateSpin Workload Management solutions, and Novell Business Service Management tools.

Announced at the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) last month, SLES 11 features data center enhancements such as the Xen 3.1.1 hypervisor, for virtualization; a new Swap over NFS capability for remote storage; and new control groups and CPUset features for more fine-grained management of CPU, memory, storage, and networking resources.

Novell's PlateSpin Workload Management solutions, on the other hand, are based on technology obtained through the company's acquisition of PlateSpin in February of 2008.


In a conference call to announce the buyout, Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian said that PlateSpin's technologies fit into multi-operating system virtualization and physical infrastructures with support not just for Xen, but also for hypervisors from Microsoft and VMware.

Platespin and its flagship PowerConvert product are "now owned by Novell and the key thing to understand is [the] principal of 'workload portability,' where a 'workload' is a server/application/data combination on a server or virtual machine," wrote Simon Gallagher, a senior technical architect for Novell partner ioko, in a blog post last fall.

Gallagher described PowerConvert as allowing systems administrators "to be totally flexible in how you provision, change or decommission server instances by removing almost all dependencies on underlying hardware or hypervisor choices."

Novell has since changed the name of PlateSpin PowerConvert to PlateSpin Migrate, noted Patrick van der Veen, a Novell PlateSpin engineer.

Novell's new Business Service Management tools -- also announced in March, but a couple of weeks before the OSBC -- are designed to help organizations reduce costs, manage complexity, and mitigate risks.

The tools include Business Service Manager; Business Service Level Manager; myMO Executive Dashboard, for role-based visualization; Business Experience Manager, for application performance monitoring; and myCMDB, for IT infrastructure configuration modeling and analysis.

Novell's Service-Driven Data Center will also use blueprints for ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), a set of standardized concepts and policies for managing IT infrastructure, development and operations.

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