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back to article HP stuffs XenServer into ProLiants

Er, before we get to HP's rather unfortunate "iVirtualization" roll out, we'll note that HP plans to offer Citrix's XenServer software as a pre-installed option across the ProLiant server line. Starting March 31, customers can purchase servers with XenServer burned into memory - or rather burned into a USB stick that plugs into …

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Don't forget the "Secret Sauce"

Granted, booting off a Flash drive is no incredible feat. But don't forget that before Citrix forked over such a large chunk of change to fill it's server Virtualization gap with XenSource, it had filled in a WORKLOAD DELIVERY gap with the acquisition of Ardence a year prior.

With the Ardence product (now dubbed Provisioning Server) .. [Why not XenProvision ??] they have a game-changing solution. While Provisioning Server cannot yet stream the XenServer platform to Hosts, users can go absolutely DISKLESS by booting Xenserver from flash drives, and STREAMING guest instances over the network.

In most cases, they can use a SINGLE IMAGE of a guest OS to stream HUNDREDS of OS instances, and workloads from shared storage devices to server farms that have NO INTERNAL DISKS !!

Bad news for the likes of EMC (and granted, HP, IBM, HITACHI et. al.) when data centers don't need to store (and patch, and update) hundreds of one-to-one images.

Good news to the carbon-footprint-worrying crowd who can stop spinning (and cooling) a pair of mirrored 15K disks in every host in their racks.

Virtualization may be getting increasingly commoditized, but Citrix knows a thing or two about streaming stuff over networks, and regardless of whether Xen or Hyper-V end up as the chosen hypervisor, this is still a real solution to an enormous problem.

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Single (unreliable, unredundant) flash drive in each server?

I know it's all the latest-and-greatest-thing-since-sliced-bread, but I do worry about having servers reliant on a single flash drive. Having had a couple of USB sticks die on me before, I do wonder if having multiple USB sticks (in RAID1 maybe?) might not be a better idea. After all, USB hubs are ten a penny, it might even offer the capability to have different flash images for different tasks preloaded and shipped inside the server.

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a bit of smokle/mirros here methinks

If they are being vague about the Insight bit then my guess is that its less functionality and more marketing smoke/mirrors

ie - fuinctionality may be limited to the externt that if the VMs are running SNMP agents then they'll be seen by Insight

Call me an old cynic but I think its unlikely they'll have written VM specific ILO functionality for a hype (rather than function) led initiative like this one.

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HP has traditionally had pretty good V-support

HP has always had good support for VMware and MSFT Virtual Server (who cares?) with the ProLiant Essentials add-ons to SIM. Actually, they fill in a lot of gaps (P2V, V2V) that XenServer has in their Citrix offering. You'd have to go to third party products and pay more than what HP charges for such things as migrations, etc.

I understand flash drives can die, but I suspect that these will be limited to booting the Xen OS, and will not otherwise have a lot of I/O.

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