IBM beefs up virtualisation offerings

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New software offers better security and more virtual machines.

IBM has released information on a pair of upcoming products to support server virtualisation. 

The company rolled out an updated version of its z/VM virtualisation software and a new security application designed for virtualised systems.

The z/VM software allows for one large mainframe to be broken down into multiple smaller virtual machines which appear to users as separate servers.

Higher energy costs and the desire for more cost-effective IT programmes have made virtualisation much more appealing to enterprises.

The advances in multi-core CPUs and larger storage systems have in many cases made virtualised networks that use a single large mainframe a cheaper and more energy-efficient alternative to adding large numbers of smaller individual server systems.

The new version of z/VM allows for the creation and management of more than 1,000 virtual images on a single 'hypervisor' machine.

IBM allowed the z/VM software to take advantage of larger memory configurations and up to 32 CPUs to support the expanded machine capacity.

The security software, dubbed the IBM secure hypervisor architecture (sHype) offers what IBM calls "Fort Knox-like" security for servers using virtualisation.

SHype, which works with IBM and third-party server systems, is largely based on open source software, the company said.

The architecture works by adding a layer of software protection at the hypervisor level, protecting the components that administer the various virtual machines and sealing off the various virtualised systems from each other.

IBM's z/VM software is slated for release in late June. No release date was given for sHype.
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