Bull reinforces initiative for Data Centre efficiency
Introduces new POWER6-based Escala blade servers and infrastructure to combine x86 and POWER blades
Introduces AIX 6, the new version of AIX, across the whole Escala range
19, 2007 -
As part of its initiative to increase the efficiency of Data Center infrastructures, and to create a new class of optimized, energy-conscious Data Centers (defined by Bull as 'Bio Data Centers') Bull is today launching a new, flexible dimension to its Escala® Blade servers range, and announcing the availability of the latest version of the AIX® operating system, AIX 6. Bull is also announcing the capability of mixing server blade using x86 and POWER¿ technologies in the same blade chassis, further enhancing the overall flexibility of the Data Center and helping its customers to better manage heterogeneity.
Advanced virtualization features thanks to AIX 6
Customers should expect to significantly lower their costs of operations with AIX 6.
This new version of AIX provides new exciting virtualization capabilities, such as Workload Partitions (WPARs). WPARs enable advanced features such as 'cross-node' application mobility which brings a great deal of additional flexibility to AIX users. However, the most striking advantage is the potential reduction in administration costs and complexity. Customers who have to manage dozens or even hundreds of AIX images will have to spend significantly less time on repetitive tasks such as release maintenance, backup and deployment. Additionally, the restore of WPARs provides a cloning mechanism, thus offering a very simple installation process of complete application environments.
The entire Escala line runs the same AIX version and provides the same advanced virtualization from Escala EL460B Blade server to the 64-way PL6450R super-sized server. Both AIX 5.3 and AIX 6.1 are now available on Escala POWER6TM servers.
Greater flexibility with Escala EL460B Blades
Today Bull announced the addition of the POWER6 Blade server, EL460B, to its Escala Product line. Following the Escala PL1660R server, announced in February of this year, this is the second server introduced by Bull based on the record-breaking POWER6 processor. Escala EL460B runs the new version of AIX, AIX 6.1, as well as AIX 5.3.
"The Escala EL460B Blade server is a logical addition to the Escala product line," said Michel Bracquemond, Bull's Escala Business Unit Director. "It brings a high-performance scale-out server with unrivaled virtualisation capabilities, at a minimum investment, and provides ample room to grow". Bull decided to provide this offer for several reasons: Blade server technology is finally maturing to the point that early issues regarding power and cooling are being successfully addressed and Blade servers now present a realistic and power-saving alternative to server farms of 1U servers. "Thanks to the Escala EL460B," continued Michel Bracquemond, "coupled with Bull ARF, a high availability solution at an attractive price, Bull Performance Report, to optimize the management of virtualized architectures, and its dedicated services, Bull now has an extremely credible, affordable ecosystem for small to medium businesses and organizations with strong budget constraints, such as local governments, hospitals and universities."
First class features for Escala EL460B
Escala EL460B, running AIX or Linux® , is a one slot blade server with two sockets of 2-core POWER6 4GHz chips, providing high computing power for application farms, web servers, and more generally, scale-out applications. It contains a SAS drive of either 73GB or 146GB, and can hold up to 4 RAM memory modules, for a maximum of 32GB. The EL460B has an onboard dual Ethernet connection, but offers many additional optional I/O connection possibilities, including 10Gb Ethernet, Fiber Channel and High Speed Infiniband connections through optional mezzanine cards.
A unified platform for Bull Blades ecosystem
Today Bull is also announcing the introduction of the Bull Blade Chassis, a 9U high-performance blade chassis that provides the shared resources required to take advantage of Escala EL460B. It fits into the standard Escala and NovaScale® racks and can hold up to 14 Blade servers, which can be Escala EL460Bs and/or NovaScale Blade servers. The Bull Blade Chassis can provide redundancy of power supplies, management modules and all connectivity. Also included in the announcement are high speed Ethernet, Fiber Channel and Infiniband switches.
As a consequence, Bull's program for building turnkey, ready-to-use, integrated rack fabrics, R@ck'n RollTM, is now available to Escala customers as well. From now on, the extremely flexible R@ck'n Roll approach can be used to build any kind of infrastructure, combining Escala EL, NovaScale Blade Series and StoreWayTM storage subsystems. R@ck'n Roll provides systems that are factory rack-mounted, cabled, assembled, and fully integrated and tested, ready for easy and rapid installation at the customer's chosen location. All components, including the cabling and racks, are stress-tested in Bull's production facility and have been tested for standards compliance, including transportability, by an independent testing laboratory.
Bull has been addressing the blade server market since its early days, back in 2003, with the NovaScale Blade Series using Intel® Xeon® processors running Windows® or Linux, and has thousands of return customers. "This announcement will allow help our customers to achieve rationalisation of their IT infrastructure by mixing AIX, Linux and Windows applications in one single chassis" said Olivier Gaumont, Director of the NovaScale Business Unit. "Thanks to this announcement, our customers can move one step further in the management of heterogeneous Data Centers, a key requirement for many real-life situations."
Bull as a member of Blade.org
Bull has recently joined Blade.org, a collaborative industry consortium with nearly 100 member companies. These members work together to fulfil the objectives of creating broader market awareness for Blade computing solutions and services and of addressing market issues surrounding Blades such as energy consumption and cooling. The organization, with members such as IBM, Intel, Bull, Red Hat, EMC, Brocade, NetApp, and Emulex to name a few, aims to provide leadership to the blade market and fosters a thriving industry ecosystem focused on delivering valuable solutions to blade computing customers.
Availability and pricing
Escala EL460B servers are available immediately for shipment.
Entry configuration starts at 5750 Euros (One Escala EL460B with 4 cores running at 4 GHz with 2 GB of Memory)
Bull is a leader in secure mission-critical digital systems. The Group is dedicated to developing and implementing solutions where computing power and security serve to optimize its customers' information systems, to support their business.
Bull operates in high added-value markets including computer simulation, Cloud computing and 'computing power plants', outsourcing and security.
Currently Bull employs around 9,000 people across more than 50 countries, with over 700 staff totally focused on R&D. In 2011, Bull recorded revenues of 1.3 billion.
For more information visit: http://www.bull.com