With data centers growing in complexity, users are increasingly using virtualization to move data in server clusters. This week, two announcements highlighted the growing momentum in this space, with IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) snapping up startup Meiosys for an undisclosed fee, and another startup, PlateSpin, unveiling its latest virtualization technology (see IBM Acquires Meiosys and PlateSpin Intros Portability Technology).
Meiosys has software called MetaCluster that dynamically shifts applications from one server to another, using virtualization to make the most of available computing space. MetaCluster was originally designed to move applications to higher-performance Unix and Linux servers during times of peak workload. Now, IBM is looking to adapt the software for its on-demand strategy, particularly for AIX environments (see FFIC Goes On Demand With IBM).
Dan Kuznetsky, vice president of analyst firm IDC, says that the best thing about MetaCluster is its ability to move applications from one operating system to another without modifying them in any way. Its a very interesting technology, he says. These applications keep their state without losing data.
Server virtualization is nothing new. EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) is already well established in the market following its acquisition of VMware Inc. last year (see EMC Completes VMware Acquisition). A number of startups are also playing in this space, including Cassatt Corp., Virtual Iron Software Inc., and Qlusters Inc.
Each of the startups is touting a different specialization. Qlusters says it helps manage applications instead of simply moving them from one server to another. Cassatt applies virtualization to middleware and operating systems as well as applications. Virtual Iron extends virtualization to processors, memory, and I/O elements within clustered devices (see Katana Becomes Virtual Iron and Qlusters: Pioneer of the Linux Qlass).