Cassatt Corp., a specialist in the growing market for triggering tasks
on virtual and physical servers in corporate datacenters, has added more
pieces to its flagship Collage software suite.
Collage automatically allocates and controls application server
instances and virtual and physical machines, removing some of the manual
operations associated with hardware, freeing up administrators to tackle
Now with Collage 4.0, the software uses new Network Virtualization Service (NVS)
software to configure network switches so resources can be pooled and shared
across networks in a virtual local area network (VLAN).
Whereas prior versions of Collage manage one network, version 4.0 can
administer resources across several, significantly expanding a platform’s
footprint and usefulness.
“The belief is if you’re really going to help manage applications and pool
resources, then you need to do that across the network,” said Ken Oestreich,
director of product management at Cassatt. “Whenever we create a new
machine, we also decide what network it belongs to.”
For example, the NVS lets Collage “talk” to switches from Cisco (Quote), Dell (Quote), Nortel Networks (Quote) or Extreme Networks to determine what new server needs to be
assigned which IP address on what network.
In the spirit of utility computing, NVS also allows applications on several
networks to draw from a single free pool of resources to boost server
In a practical scenario, a business requiring peak financial computing
resources may have many IT resources that cannot be pooled or shared to
Collage NVS can tell network switches to return resources to a pool across
network domains, re-allocate those resources into the desired domain, and
provision them with whatever application needs them, Oestreich said.
“For example, say there aren’t enough machines on the LAN that’s supporting
the finance department,” Oestreich said. “So we want to take our machine,
assign it to that VLAN, give it a new IP address and spin up another
instance of Oracle or whatever it is. We now have the ability to do that.”
The result is that IT departments may now use Collage 4.0 to manage
physical, virtual, application server, and network resources to facilitate
utility computing in an enterprise.
Oestreich said other upgrades in Collage 4.0 include the ability for the
Cross-Virtualization Manager (XVM) module to simultaneously support the
automated management of VMware ESX 3.0, Xen 3.0 and XenSource XenEnterprise
3.0 virtual machines.
Previously, Collage could support either physical servers or VMware virtual
machines but not both at the same time, Oestreich explained.
He said Cassatt will support all major vendors’ virtual machines,
including Microsoft (Quote) hypervisor
(define) when it arrives, to avoid “vendor lock-in.”
Controlling the LAN, as well as whether applications are powered physically
or virtually “gets us closer to making the datacenter look like a utility,”
Cassatt Collage 4.0 and the new release of the Cassatt Collage
Cross-Virtualization Manager (XVM) are scheduled to be generally available
and ship Dec. 29.
Cassatt is one of a handful of software startups seeking to better manage
computing resources at a time when datacenter sprawl is forcing
administrators to practically tear their hair out with stress over the
number of machines — physical and virtual — they have to manage.