Richard Whitehead, one of the interesting people from Novell I speak with on an irregular basis, contacted me to tell me about an update to the PlateSpin portfolio and how Novell the PlateSpin product family and the former ZenWorks Orchestrator have been rebranded. Novell's products in the area of virtualization technology and management of virtualized environments appear both powerful and easy to integrate into many existing datacenter configurations.
Here's what Novell has to say
Novell today announced significant enhancements to its PlateSpin Workload Management solution. Leveraging Novell's strengths in interoperability, the new PlateSpin ReconTM, PlateSpin MigrateTM, PlateSpin ProtectTM and PlateSpin OrchestrateTM enable customers to profile, migrate, protect and manage server workloads between physical and virtual infrastructures in heterogeneous IT environments. Through these new enhancements, PlateSpin Workload Management is the only solution on the market today to support 32-and 64-bit Windows and Linux servers, as well as all leading hypervisors including Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V and Virtual Server, VMware ESX and ESXi and Xen integrated in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
As data centers increasingly deploy diverse hardware platforms, operating systems and virtualization technologies in heterogeneous environments, the artificial boundaries between physical and virtual machines are being erased by workloads – the combination of an operating system, application and data software independent from the underlying physical or virtual platform. PlateSpin workload management products enable data center administrators to optimize the distribution of workloads to provide the best performance for users and applications across both physical and virtual machines. As a result, customers can transform their IT environment into a more efficient and resilient next-generation data center.
How Novell describes the PlateSpin family of products
PlateSpin products, optimized for workload management, include:
- PlateSpin Migrate: Leveraging the unique workload portability technology of PlateSpin PowerConvert, PlateSpin Migrate decouples server workloads from their underlying hardware and enables anywhere-to-anywhere migration over the network between physical servers, virtual hosts and image archives. New features in PlateSpin Migrate include broader hypervisor and platform support and significant security, automation and scalability enhancements.
- PlateSpin Protect: Developed from PlateSpin PowerConvert, PlateSpin Protect provides whole workload protection by replicating entire workloads for flexible image back-up and hardware independent restore, as well as consolidated recovery using virtualization as a recovery platform for physical and virtual workloads. Similar to PlateSpin Migrate, new features in PlateSpin Protect include broader hypervisor and platform support and significant security, automation and scalability enhancements.
- PlateSpin Recon: PlateSpin Recon, an updated edition of PowerRecon, is a sophisticated workload profiling, analysis and planning solution that eliminates guesswork and provides data center managers with the intelligence needed to effectively manage and optimize server workloads across physical and virtual environments. New to this release are increased assessment accuracy, the ability to import resource utilization data from other monitoring tools and additional hypervisor and operating system support.
- PlateSpin Orchestrate: PlateSpin Orchestrate, the evolution of ZenWorks Orchestrator, interacts with configuration and storage resource management servers to manage the relationship between physical computer and storage resources. PlateSpin Orchestrate also manages virtual resources, controlling the entire life cycle of each virtual machine. New features in PlateSpin Orchestrate include a powerful, easy -to-use interface and expanded hypervisor and operating system support.
Novell has long offered technology that can be the "glue" that ties a multi-vendor, multi-platform environment together into a better integrated, useful tool for organizations. Having worked in an environment protected by ZenWorks and supported by other Novell products, I've long been impressed with the power and simplicity Novell brings to the market.
What's notable about this announcement is that Novell has taken steps to better integrate PlateSpin's products into a broader environment and to separate client management and server management products into two families - ZenWorks for client oriented and PlateSpin for server oriented products.
It is also notable that these products support a broad array of operating systems and hypervisors allowing organizations to build a virtual server environment that best fits their requirements. That being said neither KVM nor Virtual Iron's products were in the supported hypervisor list. Since SUSE Linux Enertprise Server (SLES) includes KVM and Virtual Iron works with SLES-based workloads, I suspect these omissions were largely due to constraints of space and time rather than real restrictions.