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Adapter vendor Emulex Corp. has a plan and a partner to broaden its capabilities for provisioning and managing bare-metal rack servers. Egenera Inc. is joining Emulex in its quest to simplify deployment of a large number of servers in hyper-scale and cloud data centers.
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Emulex is adding an OpenWorks Connector to its OneConnect OCec1400 Cloud Adapters that connect servers to a LAN and back-end storage. It is also opening the OpenWorks Connector RESTful API to third-party tools, beginning with Egenera PAN Manager 8. The OCec1400 is Emulex's latest generation of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and 40 GbE devices. PAN Manager allows admins to perform pre-boot configurations and imaging of servers.
The OpenWorks Connector Boot Manager allows admins to configure each server with its own boot profile for the Emulex cloud adapters. It enables on-the-fly provisioning of servers. Admins can control configurations down to the I/O adapter level.
When used with Egenera PAN Manager, OpenWorks Connector allows a cloud service provider to deploy new rack servers with a full machine image.
"This is for cloud and Web-scale deployments," said Mike Jochimsen, Emulex's director of product marketing. "It is for environments where a customer or end users are trying to deploy a large number of end servers very quickly. When you deploy blade and rack [servers], it is difficult to deploy a standard image across heterogeneous server environments."
OpenWorks Connector resides in an x86 server or on a virtual machine, and can be integrated with third-party management software to access the OneConnect adapters. Emulex intends to build a series of partners to join Egenera.
This is just the first step in Emulex's plan to give its provisioning tools complete control of bare-metal servers. To be successful, the company must continue to add partners, frameworks and features.
"They are basically opening up their APIs to third-party services," said Bob Laliberte, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass. "Leveraging [OpenWorks] will accelerate your time to deployment. Picture a huge data center with racks and racks of servers. The need is to simplify management of these server pools.
"The idea that you can provision faster should be interesting to cloud providers," Laliberte continued. "[But Emulex] needs to test this out and quantify it. This is a bit of 'the proof is in the pudding.'"
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