Unisys gives virtualization jolt to its data center strategy

Unisys gives virtualization jolt to its data center strategy

Company hopes less hardware-centric approach will turn financial troubles around

"This approach aims to reduce the IT staff time it takes to buy multiple point products and services associated with deploying a virtualized IT environment. Unisys is partnering with other companies, making this an open solution," IDC analyst Jean Bozman writes in an e-mail. The moves seem aimed at competing more directly with server vendors such as IBM, HP, Sun and Dell, all of whom are developing virtualization programs, Bozman says.

Unisys seeks to differentiate itself with "its focus on reducing operational costs related to IT staff time -- and on deploying virtualization in mission-critical computing environments," she says.

Unisys has partnered with Scalent to offer virtualization of network and storage interfaces, making it easier to shift server resources on the fly, says Al Bender, vice president and general manager of real-time infrastructure for Unisys. The company is also partnering with Enigmatec to provide run book automation services to orchestrate IT processes, Bender says.

A new set of middleware and services called the Unisys Infrastructure Management Suite includes several more tools for automation, related to disaster recovery, provisioning and management of virtual servers, and testing and development. The virtual server tool lets users request virtual servers or desktops and receive the resources within minutes, Bender says.

Unisys says its new servers will simplify virtualization and reduce power consumption and cooling costs. The ES5000 blade server line comes with "flexible I/O configuration options and advanced local and remote management interfaces," the company states. One blade server with Ethernet and Fibre Channel switching will start at US$17,500.

Three products in the ES3000 line of mid-range servers are being upgraded with Intel's latest quad-core Xeon processors, while a new server in this line is a two-socket, quad-core device. These servers start at about US$3,000 each, the company says.

Unisys also has the ES7000 line of servers for high-end enterprise customers, and will add a quad-core, eight-processor server in the second quarter.

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