Azul accelerates the datacentre

Azul Systems has introduced its Compute Appliance, an accelerator for virtual-machine applications, such as those using the Java...

Azul Systems has introduced its Compute Appliance, an accelerator for virtual-machine applications, such as those using the Java platform or Microsoft’s .net development framework.

At the heart of the Azul Compute Appliance is a 24-core, 64-bit SMP-capable microprocessor optimised for virtual machine-based applications. Several “network-attached processing” appliances from Azul can form “compute pools”, allowing tens and even hundreds of applications to share a common managed resource.

The product has been designed to eliminate capacity planning at the application level. The company said this should lower the cost and complexity associated with the delivery of computing resources, reduce the number of servers required to build a datacentre and simplify server management.

Vernon Turner, an analyst at IDC, said, “Azul Systems’ vision of network-attached processing allows virtual machine-based applications to tap into massively scalable compute resources, offering enterprise customers a much more efficient way of managing their datacentres. This will fundamentally change the economics of enterprise computing.”

According to Turner, multi-core processors and network-attached processing will make IT planners rethink the value equation of today's current infrastructure services.

Richard Partridge, an analyst at Ideas International, said, “Network-attached processing enables significantly higher utilisation, allowing IT managers to manage fewer servers, and removes the challenge of capacity planning on a per application basis.”

The financial services and telecoms industries are among those targeted by the Azul appliances.

There are three configurations available, with cores containing 96, 192 or 384 processors. The price for a 96-way symmetric multi-processing system with 32Gbytes of memory starts at $89,000 (£50,000).

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