A six-year-old Atlanta company, oddly named Racemi, has reinvented itself to speed up server disaster recovery and extend the benefits of utility computing to a range of environments, including those that are virtualized.
Racemi's software, called DynaCenter, eliminates the need for heavy-duty processing that typically accompanies server provisioning in IT networks. (See Racemi Unveils 2.2.) Instead of sending a layered operating system-plus-applications image across a LAN or SAN to recover or provision a server, Racemi's software sends a basic image that boots up from the network and "fakes out" the server into thinking network storage is its own local drive.
DynaCenter works with Windows, Linux, HP-UX, AIX, and Solaris, and it can support virtual machines in VMware and LPARs.
Racemi's technology draws on well known methods of booting from a network, to which the firm has added the ability to identify the network, not local storage, as the source of key configuration elements for each server. "We don't push anything over the network. We build a bootable image in the network and assign it to the server as needed," says Brian Hoffman, VP of product strategy and services at Racemi. "We separate hardware drivers from the operating system."
Racemi's technique has several benefits, according to Hoffman. First, it doesn't soak up bandwidth, since it uses the boot-up routine to provision a server. Second, it cuts down the time required to boot new servers from SAN, NAS, iSCSI, or local drives. "We can push a [server] image out in less than a minute," Hoffman boasts. "In fact, we can push out 100 images in under a minute."