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Voltaire Envisions Mondo-Provisioning

Voltaire has announced a set of configuration capabilities that could make life easier for users of its InfiniBand switches.

The vendor today unveiled GridVision, a Linux-based software package that automatically locates storage devices, servers, and nework equipment connected to its Grid Director switches, then automatically provisions the associated resources by application. (See Voltaire Simplifies Provisioning.)

The linchpin in GridVision is an object model for which Voltaire has created a Java-based user interface and a set of APIs. The APIs can be used by third parties to integrate the provisioning interface with virtual servers, virtual storage, and management applications. IT pros can click their way, Voltaire says, to assigning storage and CPU power -- including virtual LUNs and servers -- to specific users, groups, and applications.

It sounds terrific. Too bad it's not here yet. Problem number one: GridVision itself won't ship until the end of December, through Voltaire OEMs that include HP, IBM, NEC, SGI, and Sun. Problem number two: GridVision does not support virtual devices or connections on its own, but requires integration by partners to bring virtual servers and storage products under the interface. While AMD, FalconStor Software, IBM, Intel, Mellanox Technologies, Novell, Platform Computing, United Devices, VMware, and XenSource have pledged partnership, only XenSource has been integrated so far, and that integration was done by Voltaire. Problem three: You'll need to be a fan of InfiniBand to use GridVision.

At least one potential customer isn't letting any of this dampen his enthusiasm for what Voltaire is trying to do. "It's very cool stuff," says Alex Perez, senior technology architect Assurant Solutions Inc., an insurance firm in Miami. He is preparing to test GridVision against solutions from several unnamed vendors, but he's impressed with what he's seen and heard so far.

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