Novell beefs up PlateSpin management with Linux support

New PlateSpin solutions address server migration and disaster recovery needs of heterogeneous physical and virtual server environments

Novell's NetWare business is no longer what it used to be, so it's no surprise the Linux distributor has been pushing forward in other directions such as its system management and monitoring solutions.

With its virtualization offerings, Novell is joining the rest of the virtualization industry in looking toward the clouds for answers to its future. The company said its vision provides a simple path to the cloud without replacing existing technology investments, and Novell believes that its PlateSpin Workload Management products reinforce that vision.

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In a recent announcement the company stated, "Virtualized, protected workloads are a prerequisite to the cloud, and PlateSpin Migrate, PlateSpin Protect, and PlateSpin Forge support the company's Intelligent Workload Management strategy to deliver solutions that significantly reduce the risks and challenges of computing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments."

Back in February 2008, Novell scooped up PlateSpin, an early virtualization management pioneer, for a whopping $205 million. At that time PlateSpin was concentrating its efforts on two key software solutions: PowerConvert, which performed image conversions (physical-to-virtual, virtual-to-physical, and virtual-to-virtual) that provided anywhere-to-anywhere portability and protection for workloads in the datacenter; and PowerRecon, which collected inventory and utilization metrics to provide chargeback billing and virtual machine growth reporting. The two products were available for installation or offered as an appliance built by PlateSpin called Forge.

After the acquisition Novell mixed things up a bit by merging these products into the Novell ZENworks management platform. While the product names may have ultimately changed, the underlying technology and migration engine from PlateSpin remained. Rather than just focus on VMware's ESX hypervisor, Novell added support for Xen and Microsoft Hyper-V to become a more heterogeneous product.

Fast-forward and there are new changes coming, with Novell recently announcing it will offer new versions of its three leading PlateSpin Workload Management products: PlateSpin Migrate, PlateSpin Protect, and PlateSpin Forge. The new versions will be beefed up by adding support for Linux, which only makes sense now that Novell owns the technology. The company said it has received much stronger demand for Linux support, and therefore they've added support for Novell Suse Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 10 and 11 as well as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 4.x and 5.x. Doing so makes Novell the first virtualization management solution to offer live migrations of workloads from anywhere-to-anywhere regardless of operating system platform.

Along with its newfound Linux support, Novell added more features to these three products.

PlateSpin Migrate 9 decouples server workloads from their underlying hardware and enables anywhere-to-anywhere migration over the network between physical servers, virtual hosts, and image archives. Two features that were previously available only to Windows platforms, Live Transfer and Live Server Sync, are now available for Linux images. This allows Linux workloads to migrate without having to first take down the host server (no-downtime migrations). Additionally, as organizations move more critical server workloads into a virtual infrastructure, PlateSpin Migrate now supports the movement of Windows Clusters between physical and virtual infrastructures.

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