Xsigo, Verari offer virtual storage, I/O combo

By Kevin Komiega

—Blade vendor Verari Systems and I/O virtualization specialist Xsigo Systems announced a joint product partnership this week that has the duo offering high-density blade systems with virtualized network and storage connectivity in the same enclosure.

Available now through Verari, the new system integrates Verari's BladeRack 2 SB5255 DataServer platform with Xsigo's VP780 I/O Director to saturate the interconnects in virtual server and storage environments.

Xsigo consolidates the I/O infrastructure and replaces physical network and storage interfaces such as network interface cards (NICs) and host bus adapters (HBAs) with virtual resources that are manageable from a single console.

Verari's SB5255 DataServer is a blade-based general-purpose application server with high-density storage capacity capable of supporting a wide spectrum of workloads. The system consists of one SB1205 server blade and up to two SB1056 disk blades.

The SB1205 server blade uses Intel's Dual-socket, Quad-core processors with up to 8GB of memory, while the two SB1056 disk blades together hold up to 24TB of RAID capacity, enabling a single BladeRack 2 platform to house up to 500TB of capacity and 176 processor cores.

By virtue of Xsigo's virtual I/O technology, the joint solution provides up to 32 storage connections and 64 network connections per blade, allowing server I/O to be configured, managed, and migrated system-wide from a single console.

IT managers can remotely configure connectivity from any blade to any storage device, and can provision I/O resources without disrupting network and storage configurations and without physically entering the data center.

Jon Toor, Xsigo's vice president of marketing, claims the combination of the Verari blade rack with the Xsigo director scales to at least four times the number of I/O connections compared to some competing products. "Users can run at least twice as many virtual servers per blade with virtualized I/O for any-to-any connectivity from any blade to any storage," he claims.

Verari and Xsigo are hush-hush on pricing, stating that the systems will be custom-built and prices will vary, but Dan Gatti, senior vice president of marketing at Verari, says there are cost savings to be had in virtual environments.

"Web 2.0, unstructured content, and the growth of VMware are really stressing today's systems," says Gatti. "Virtual machines are topping out in performance and need lots of I/O to work efficiently. The fact that we can virtualize I/O saves on hardware costs and reduces power and wattage requirements."

This article was originally published on May 29, 2008