Blade server vendor Verari Systems is rolling out an enhanced version of its Verari Command Center, the latest step by the company to create a suite of hardware and software offerings designed to create flexible and dynamic data centers.

VCC 3.0, announced Oct. 10, enables users to gather data—including power status, system temperature and overall performance information—from Verari’s BladeRack 2 hardware system, and manage and monitor those systems from a single point of control.

The software creates a more efficient data center environment and enables businesses to reduce the number of administrators needed to run BladeRack 2 hardware.

The software is now available in three editions—VCC Standard, VCC Advanced and VCC Enterprise. The Standard edition comes with BladeRack 2, and offers simple management and monitoring of the systems, power management, hardware-level monitoring and auto discovery of blades.

The Advanced and Enterprise editions include operating system-level monitoring, and remote management and provisioning, as well as remote BIOS upgrades. The Enterprise edition also offers capabilities such as remote system debugging, e-mail alerts and the ability to control multiple racks from a Web-based GUI or command-line interface.

Verari founder, Chairman and Chief Technology Officer David Driggers said the launch of VCC 3.0 and the company’s hardware-based asset tagging technology—which enables IT administrators to “tag” systems for certain jobs, such as a Web server or database server—are the latest moves by the San Diego-based company to bring products to market that address the growing demand for flexibility in the data center. Tagging generally is done now through software, he said.

“Our general design philosophy is to look at the data center from the outside in,” Driggers said. “Looking at it more holistically.”

That means looking at everything from cooling methods in the data center to how power is distributed. Verari’s Vertical Cooling Technology, found in its BladeRacks, brings cold air into the racks from the bottom and lets the warm air out of the top, in contrast to the traditional front-to-back method, which Driggers said won’t scale as newer, hot-running processors are introduced.

“People spend a lot of energy moving air around [the data center with wall-mounted air conditioning units],’” Driggers said. “We let [the hot air] do what it does naturally—hot air rises.”

In addition, through its services unit, Verari helps users look at power distribution throughout the data center, a key point in the issue of power and cooling. Traditional data centers bring AC power into the facility, then send it through several conversion points—changing it to DC and back—with power being lost and heat generated at each point.

Unlike some companies, like Sun Microsystems, Driggers said Verari is not a proponent of facilitywide DC power distribution, instead opting to bring high-voltage AC power—as much as 480 volts—directly to the racks.

A demonstration comparing AC and DC power shows that DC power in the data center can save 15 percent on energy consumption and cost.
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As with Vertical Cooling Technology, the idea is to see how existing data centers can be improved efficiently, rather than introducing disruptive technology, he said.

Verari also is continuing on its path of creating basic blades that can be used in multiple roles, as either a server, storage device or workstation, depending on the workload. At the Storage Networking World show starting Oct. 31 in Orlando, Fla., Driggers said Verari will introduce a chassis that can support server, storage or workstation blades.

He said the idea is comparable to what Hewlett-Packard envisions with its new BladeSystem c-Class chassis, the basis for an environment where most data center hardware is in a bladed form factor.

“We figure we’ll be selling everything in a bladed form,” he said.

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