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Hitachi Unveils Virtage on Xeon-Based Blade Servers; Embedded Firmware Virtualization Available across Datacenter for First Time
In a continued demonstration of its commitment to enterprise computing customers, Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT) (TOKYO:6501), today announced that it has made its breakthrough Virtage embedded firmware virtualization feature available on Intel® Xeon®-based blade servers for the first time. Available in North America since November 2006 on Intel Itanium®-based blade servers, Virtage brings embedded firmware virtualization and with it lower costs and increased functionality to the enterprise datacenter.

With the new release of Virtage capabilities for Xeon-based servers, Virtage technology now allows users to scale and virtualize models of Hitachis BladeSymphony® 1000 blade servers utilizing either (or both) Intel Itanium 2 processor-based blades, which support dual-core Intel Itanium 2 9000 Series processors, and dual-core and quad-core Intel Xeon processor-based blades within the same chassis. The advancement makes embedded firmware virtualization available to all three tiers of the datacenter (edge, application and database) for the first time.

Users may mix-and-match Xeon solutions with Intel Dual-Core Itanium 2 processor-based server modules a unique capability of BladeSymphony 1000 to tackle virtually any workload from applications and Web services to multi-threaded, mission-critical processing tasks. BladeSymphony 1000 with Virtage, originally announced in November 2006, is the first and only blade server to provide users with enterprise-class datacenter functionality.

By extending Hitachi Virtage to Intel Xeon-based platforms, Hitachi brings embedded virtualization to a whole new class, said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intels Server Platforms Group. Together, Intel and Hitachi have once again answered the call of enterprise customers by giving them the added choice they have come to expect.

Tony Iams, senior analyst at Ideas International, Inc., said: Hitachi entered the North American market last year with the BladeSymphony 1000 and Virtage, which introduced a compelling new functionality for bridging blade servers and virtualization. Now that Virtage is available for industry-standard systems across the entire datacenter, Hitachi has established itself as a force to be reckoned with, in both the virtualization and the blade server markets.

Virtage brings mainframe-class virtualization to blade computing, delivering high-performance, extremely reliable, and transparent virtualization for BladeSymphony systems. Virtage is built-in firmware and requires no separate OS layer or third-party virtualization software, so it safely shares resources without the performance hit of traditional software-only virtualization solutions. With Hypervisor-type virtualization, Virtage has a natural performance advantage over host-emulation virtualization offerings, leveraging Intel's Virtualization Technology (VT) to ensure that processor performance is optimized for the virtual environment.

With this announcement, weve completed the first iteration of Virtage, as promised. While it was imperative to release Virtage on Itanium in 2006 to make it available for databases and applications with greater computing needs, our goal was always to make it available to all customers at all three tiers, said Steve Campbell, vice president of marketing and solutions, Hitachi Server Systems Group. By adding Virtage on Xeon, that part of our mission is complete. That said, we will continue to innovate and provide breakthrough technology to the enterprise datacenter.

Availability

Virtage for Intel Xeon-based BladeSymphony 1000 blade servers will be generally available by the first quarter of 2008. It also will be available to select customers as part of an Early Access Program. For more information, contact serversales@hal.hitachi.com.

Published Wednesday, September 19, 2007 5:53 AM by David Marshall
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