B.V. Jagadeesh, CEO of 3Leaf Systems, and I had a long, interesting discussion of what it would take to create the proper hardware platform for an agile, highly reliable, high performance environment using industry standard components when and wherever possible. It was pretty clear that that path requires the creation of systems that allow the processing, the I/O subsystems and the memory subsystem to be separately assignable in a way that was largely invisible to the operating system managing that hardware. That has been the end goal of 3Leaf systems. Could such a concept grow on large organizations as they push towards virtualized workloads and place heavier and heavier reliance on industry standard systems?
What 3Leaf Systems AnnouncedHere's a snippet from the 3Leaf Systems recent release:
3Leaf Systems™, a provider of next-generation virtualization solutions for enterprise data centers, today announced the Virtual Compute Environment, a fully virtualized data center infrastructure that allocates server resources on demand to support rapidly changing business needs. By virtualizing memory, CPU, and I/O resources of standard x86 servers, 3Leaf Systems’ Virtual Compute Environment (VCE) delivers unparalleled flexibility and mainframe-class availability to commodity servers while optimizing data center resources. 3Leaf Systems’ VCE is a core enabling technology for the “Dynamic Data Center,” allowing businesses to quickly and efficiently allocate resources on demand to meet business needs while at the same time significantly reducing costs.
What is 3Leaf really doing?Here's more from 3Leaf's announcement
3Leaf’s Virtual Compute Environment is an advanced virtualization solution for the growing x86 server market that virtualizes compute, memory, and I/O resources. 3Leaf has licensed AMD’s Coherent HyperTransport technology, and announced last week an agreement to license Intel® Corporation’s QuickPath Interconnect technology, enabling 3Leaf to support one hundred percent of the x86 server market. 3Leaf’s technology is unique in that it delivers a complete enterprise solution that fully virtualizes the CPU, memory, and I/O resources within the data center. This scalable, flexible, and dynamic data center infrastructure enables allocation of all server resources on demand, moving them in a just-in-time fashion to and from the applications, thereby maximizing resource usage and minimizing power consumption. This vastly simplifies management and allows businesses to effectively respond to spikes in utilization. As a result, data center infrastructure is more agile and flexible, and operational and capital costs are dramatically reduced.
Although the approach 3Leaf is taking is a bit different than those taken by other suppliers, the goals are larely the same. Egenera has been marching down this path for years using their own technological approach. Other blade computer suppliers, such as Dell, HP, IBM and Sun have also spoken similar words when announcing new systems. What appears to be different is the strict approach to using industry standard components and interfaces as much as is possible.
Stepping up to support both AMD’s Coherent HyperTransport technology and Intel® Corporation’s QuickPath Interconnect technology means that 3Leaf didn't have to direct its limited engineering resources to building everything. It could use the tools created by both AMD and Intel as foundations for the magic it planned to build.
It seems that the technology that 3Leaf is building will be of interest largely to large and very large companies. Getting through to decision makers in those organizations can be a challenge for folks such as Dell, HP, IBM and Sun. 3Leaf has its task cut out for it if it hopes to get technology, even better technology, into their hands.
If you're interested in applying high performance or grid computing concepts to commercial workloads, 3Leaf's approach just might be of great interest to you.
What do you think it would take for 3Leaf to climb the ivy covered towers of large businesses?