Preview: IBM Virtualization Engine delivers on demand virtualization functions to multiple operating systems and platforms

IBM United States Software Announcement 204-096
April 28, 2004

 ENUS204-096.PDF (22KB)

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At a glance Description
Overview Product positioning
Key prerequisites Reference information
Availability date  
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At a glance

With IBM Virtualization Engine Systems Services and Systems Technologies, you can help transform your business into an on demand business.

  • Build a dynamic management fabric for virtualizing resources across your IT infrastructure with services providing workload management, systems provisioning, and grid services.
  • Realize higher levels of optimization and performance with hypervisors and technologies such as dynamic logical partitioning.
  • Build a common, consistent, cross-platform systems management solution for IBM servers, storage, and operating systems.
  • Better optimize resource utilization and help reduce cost and complexity while providing cost-effective IT solutions for heterogeneous environments.
  • Deepen the integration of IT with business via advanced virtualization technologies and management services.

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Building on IBM's mainframe leadership and strong 35-year heritage of virtualization across IBM systems, IBM Virtualization Engine™ enriches these industry-leading and innovative competencies across the entire IBM eServer and TotalStorage® portfolio to help further simplify and optimize the management of a heterogeneous IT infrastructure. These innovative offerings provide a key component on the on demand operating environment, addressing a wide range of user needs, ranging from provisioning to workload management (IBM Enterprise Workload Manager) and system management (IBM Director Multiplatform).

IBM Virtualization Engine is a suite of systems services and technologies that can help your business improve the effectiveness of IT as it treats resources of individual servers, storage, and networking products to function as a single pool or entity, allowing access and management of resources across an organization more efficiently, by effect and need rather than physical location. Virtualization is a key component of the on demand operating environment, which can help you align your IT environment more effectively with the needs of your business.

IBM Virtualization Engine will include two main components: Virtualization Engine Systems Services and Virtualization Engine Systems Technologies. These services and technologies are designed to provide you with a more comprehensive approach to enterprise-wide virtualization and resource management across the IBM eServer and TotalStorage brands. Bringing the systems services together in one place is the Virtualization Engine console, providing health-monitoring capabilities across system resources, as well as the capability to integrate with other management systems. The reach of the Virtualization Engine also extends to other resources in your enterprise, including networks, servers, and storage devices.

Virtualization Engine Systems Services can provide the fabric to help connect individual systems into a more integrated infrastructure. These capabilities will work in concert to help satisfy the resource needs of an on demand operating environment. This announcement focuses on the capabilities of systems services.
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Key prerequisites
  • IBM eServer iSeries™, pSeries®, xSeries®, or zSeries® servers
  • AIX® 5L, OS/400®, or z/OS®
  • SUSE LINUX, Red Hat Linux, Microsoft™ Windows™, or Sun Solaris
  • TotalStorage

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Availability date

April 28, 2004

Previews provide insight into IBM plans and direction. Availability, prices, ordering information, and terms and conditions will be provided when the product is announced.

All statements regarding IBM's future direction and intent are subject to change without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.
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Enriching the innovative competencies of IBM systems, the IBM Virtualization Engine Systems Services may include:

  • Enterprise Workload Manager, which will allow you to identify work requests based on service class definitions, and track performance of those requests against stated business goals. It may provide problem isolation and IT resource optimization of a heterogeneous multi-tier workload through a set of self-managing capabilities.
  • Systems provisioning, which is designed to provide automated change management for deploying and re-purposing IT resources to react to changing business demands.
  • Business resource services, which uses software discovery techniques to assist you in identifying the IT infrastructure resources that are associated with a specific, user-defined business workload or process deployed in a heterogeneous environment.
  • IBM Director Multiplatform, which is designed to provide a consistent systems management infrastructure so that heterogeneous systems and their resources may be managed in a homogeneous way. It leverages proven capabilities from IBM Director. Coupled with the Virtualization Engine console, which provides a common Web-based console for monitoring and managing the overall health of your on demand operating environment, you have a set of powerful system management capabilities.
  • The IBM Grid Toolbox V3 for Multiplatforms, which is designed to help enterprises that deploy, manage, and control grid computing and developers who create products that assist in managing and deploying grids.

Building off of existing leading-edge IBM systems, the IBM Virtualization Engine Systems Technologies may include:

  • Hypervisor support to allow multiple operating systems to be supported in one server and enables multithreaded CPUs and subprocessor partitioning. This support also enables dynamic logic partitioning (LPAR) within the same physical footprint.
  • Virtual I/O, where I/O resources such as disk, tape, and CD-ROM can be shared between operating systems, other partitions, and hardware.
  • Virtual LANs, including virtual Ethernet, where partitions can communicate together within a high-speed virtualized network, yet have outside access via routing through one set of physical I/O devices.

Completing the virtualization portfolio for IBM systems is the set of Storage Virtualization services that are already available:

  • TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller is designed to virtualize disk volumes and allow infrastructure changes to be made nondisruptively. For instance, more storage may be added to the pool or moved to different media types without impacting the application.
  • TotalStorage SAN File System can virtualize file systems.
  • TotalStorage Productivity Center, which can simplify the management of heterogeneous storage devices through open interfaces, can help optimize utilization of storage assets in the enterprise by virtualizing, sharing, and pooling these assets.

This set of technologies and services is planned to be available as part of the IBM Virtualization Engine fabric portfolio. It will help enable the management of heterogeneous partitions, servers, and storage, allowing you to better exploit your IT investments by enabling improved efficiencies and productivity.

The IBM Virtualization Engine Systems Services offering is designed to provide:

  • Open architectures

    Virtualization Engine supports open and industry standards that support the interoperability of heterogeneous IT resources. Standards and technologies such as the Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA), Linux, XML, WDSL, and SOAP give IT solution providers a more cost-effective way to provide solutions for heterogeneous environments while increasing the compatibility between components within an infrastructure. Support of these standards and technologies is planned across all eServer platforms.

  • Workload management

    Enterprise Workload Manager enables you to automatically monitor and manage heterogeneous workloads across an IT infrastructure to better achieve defined business goals for end-user service. These capabilities will enable you to identify work requests based on service class definitions, track performance of those requests across server and subsystem boundaries, and manage the underlying physical and network resources to achieve specified performance goals for each service class.

    By bringing this self-tuning technology to the set of servers, routers, and other devices enabled with Java virtual machine support, Enterprise Workload Manager can help enable greater levels of performance management for distributed systems. Its extremely flexible management reach can encompass your infrastructure or be deployed to handle a critical subset of your applications. Enterprise Workload Manager will offer monitoring capabilities to allow analysis of activities across your enterprise and manage resource allocation and utilization based on business requirements.

  • Systems provisioning

    The systems provisioning capability celebrates autonomic computing by opening the door to greater systems self-management, which is virtualization or the encapsulation of logical and physical resources. This encapsulation is designed to permit changes to be made in the deployment of physical resources independently from any changes in the logical use of the encapsulated physical resources.

    Provisioning of systems is a sequence of activities that need to happen in a specific order. The activities have dependencies on previous activities. Typical activities include installing operating systems, remotely booting networks, configuring networks like VPNs and storage environments like Storage Area Network (SAN) or Network Attached Storage (NAS), and deprovisioning resources that are no longer needed back into an available pool.

  • Systems management

    IBM Director Multiplatform will help deliver a common, consistent, cross-platform systems management solution for IBM servers, storage, and operating systems. It will provide a single administrative console for management tasks (OS, storage management, distributed systems management, and platform management), a common management infrastructure for upward integration with Tivoli, and a management foundation for the on demand architecture. It may also be enabled to provide these functions for certain third-party enterprise management solutions.

    IBM Director Multiplatform is integrated into the Virtualization Engine console two different ways. Virtualization Engine console will offer a health function for which IBM Director Multiplatform provides information and processes requests. Additionally, the Java™ client user interface of IBM Director Multiplatform can be launched from the Virtualization Engine console Launchpad function.

  • Grid computing

    IBM Grid Toolbox V3 is designed to exploit the existing virtualization on the eServer and TotalStorage subsystems and allow partitions, blades, and virtual machines that run alongside existing systems to be managers. These managers can be responsible for managing certain tasks on the servers and for creating and participating in the enterprise services communications.

    Instead of building separate data centers and enterprise infrastructures, and separate grid workstation and desktop systems, enterprises will have the ability to build a resource pool that connects disparate resources.

Rather than being separate, competing technologies, the IBM Virtualization Engine systems services are tested together and integrated to support the delivery of an on demand operating environment. This is implemented in such a way that nonparticipating environments can be managed by and participate in on demand, but do not have to make major changes to benefit from the Virtualization Engine systems services and technologies. An on demand operating environment can provide an IT infrastructure that will help your business better align its IT operations with its business strategy.

IBM Global Financing

IBM Global Financing offers competitive financing to credit-qualified customers to assist them in acquiring IT solutions. Offerings include financing for IT acquisition, including hardware, software, and services, both from IBM and other manufacturers or vendors. Offerings (for all customer segments: small, medium, and large enterprise), rates, terms, and availability can vary by country. Contact your local IBM Global Financing organization or visit the Web at

IBM Global Financing offerings are provided through IBM Credit LLC in the United States and other IBM subsidiaries and divisions worldwide to qualified commercial and government customers. Rates are based on a customer's credit rating, financing terms, offering type, equipment type, and options, and may vary by country. Other restrictions may apply. Rates and offerings are subject to change, extension, or withdrawal without notice.

Financing offering/capabilities: Financing solutions from IBM Global Financing can help you stretch your budget and affordably acquire the new IBM Virtualization Engine Systems services and technologies offerings. But beyond the initial acquisition, our end-to-end approach to IT management can also help keep your technologies current, reduce costs, minimize risk, and preserve your ability to make flexible decisions throughout the entire technology life cycle.
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Product positioning

IBM Virtualization Engine is an aggregation of pretested and preconfigured industry-leading technologies and functions delivered on IBM servers and storage platforms that simplifies the heterogeneous IT infrastructure and reduces management complexity. This key element of the IBM on demand operating environment is intended to help align the IT infrastructure with on demand business process needs.
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Reference information

Refer to Software Announcement 203-352 , dated December 16, 2003.


IBM Virtualization Engine and iSeries are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
The e-business logo, TotalStorage, pSeries, xSeries, zSeries, AIX, OS/400, and z/OS are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

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