Occasionally, a startup is born to try and challenge or ride the coattails
of IBM (Quote), Sun Microsystems
(Quote) and HP (Quote) in the
multi-billion-dollar market for computer servers.
3Leaf Systems emerged from stealth mode today to announce its candidacy in
the server market.
The Santa Clara, Calif., startup unveiled the 3Leaf Systems V-8000 Virtual I/O Server, which aims to offer customers performance-hungry and cost-conscious
mainframe-like availability and reliability for x86 commodity
3Leaf CEO Bob Quinn, who secured $20 million last September in a funding
round led by Intel Capital, said V-8000 addresses the pain points datacenter
managers feel by boosting server resource utilization far beyond its current
10 percent to 15 percent level.
“Due to the transition from scale-up to scale-out computing over the last 10
years, we’ve had to deal with extremely low utilization on our servers,”
Quinn told internetnews.com in a recent interview. “That low
utilization drives power and space, which really puts the datacenter in a
Quinn also said the V-8000 will help accelerate the deployment and
provisioning of new servers and provide high availability and management.
V-8000 Virtual I/O Server.
“In this day and age, it should be possible, particularly with
virtualization, to deploy servers — maybe not instantly but certainly in under
an hour,” Quinn said. “Most datacenters take from four to 12 weeks to deploy
a new server with a new application stack. That is unacceptable.”
Perhaps most importantly, Quinn said customers who try the V-8OOO may
realize capital expenditure savings of 50 percent from the get-go, as well
as operations savings as great as 60 percent.
The V-8000 aims to boost the efficiency of existing x86 servers by
delivering scalable I/O connectivity for machines in the 3Leaf Virtual
Compute Environment (VCE), which eliminates the need for excess network and
storage adapters, disks and switch ports in the data and storage networks.
This is because the servers are stateless nodes that connect to virtual
Network Interface Cards, virtual Host Bus Adapters, and virtual disks
through the V-8000. Fewer connections to the storage area network (SAN)
means significant capital savings, Quinn said, and because there is less to
manage, operating expenditures are reduced, as well.
Servers may be deployed faster with the help of the V-8000, too. Because the
V-8000 allows servers to be defined in advance, spare nodes can have new
profiles applied in minutes rather than weeks. Moreover, network and storage
interfaces have been pre-allocated to server profiles to eliminate the
provisioning of those products.