Egenera grooms Nehalem EP blades

Dell re-ups PAN Manager deal


Among the many niche server makers that are readying products that make use of Intel's "Nehalem EP" Xeon 5500 processors announced last week, you'll find Egenera, the outfit that never quite made it as a volume server maker but that still has high hopes for its PAN Manager blade management software.

Back in October 2007, Egenera - an up-and-coming blade server maker hatched out of the IT bowels of investment banker Goldman Sachs - split its Processor Area Network Manager systems software and its BladeFrame blade server platform. The company didn't want to do this, of course, since the BladeFrame was a system and designed as such. But, economic reality compelled Egenera to seek OEM agreements for its management software with other server makers.

So, three years ago, Egenera moved in exactly the opposite direction that Cisco Systems is trying to go now with its "California" Unified Computing System blade setup that was announced three weeks ago. This only goes to show you the inertia in the server racket that Cisco, like Egenera before it, is facing.

While Egenera doesn't make a lot of noise these days, the company does still sell and support its BladeFrame servers, and it has expanded its OEM deal with Dell for PAN Manager to cover its Xeon 5500-based M610 blade servers.

According to Christine Crandell, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Egenera, the company is working to get its own Xeon 5500 blades to market, which it plans to get out the door "in a couple of months" and which the company did not announce last week because these blades are not generally available yet. (Unlike some server makers, who jumped the gun to try to grease the skids for some sales ahead of shipments).

Crandell says that Egenera company has over 300 customers and over 1,400 installations at this point, and as Egenera has been saying for years, it will continue to make iron for its existing customers and seek out new ones for the BladeFrames. Fujitsu Technology Solutions (formerly Fujitsu-Siemens) has an OEM agreement for the BladeFrame and PAN Manager setup that runs until 2010, an extension of $300m, 30-month deal that Egenera landed in September 2005. Right now, Egenera has four-socket server blades that are based on AMD's dual-core Opteron 8200 and Intel's six-core Xeon 7400s.

Those quad-socket Opteron blades are pretty long in the tooth, as are the two-socket blades using the dual-core Opteron 2200 series chips. But Egenera does have fairly recent "Harpertown" Xeon 5400 two-socket blades for customers to get by with until the Nehalem EP blades are ready. It seems clear that Egenera has not met with much success peddling Opteron blades. Otherwise, it would have already been shipping quad-core "Shanghai" Opteron 8400s and 2400s.

Crandell says that the March 2008 Dell OEM agreement to peddle PAN Manager - what Dell calls PAN System - on Dell's PowerEdge 10G blade servers was last summer extended to rack servers and to the PowerEdge 11G servers launched last week. The Dell deal is non-exclusive, says Crandell, and the company is in discussions with other server makers to get similar OEM agreements.

It is hard to imagine that IBM or HP would OEM the software, but Sun Microsystems or Fujitsu certainly could. But you would have thought they would have done it by now, 18 months after Egenera started pushing PAN Manager on an OEM basis. Fujitsu has its own Triole management software, however, and Sun is working on its own xVM OpsCenter management software for LDom and Xen partitions. That leaves a whole lot of whitebox players, which is a market but which takes a lot more legwork to make happen.

Maybe Egenera can do what a lot of software companies do: go open source. Egenera could take PAN Manager open source, letting it free in the hopes of turning it into a support-only business, as Red Hat has done with the Linux operating system to name the best example. This strategy doesn't always work, of course. And if you want to be honest, very few companies can make a profit this way, as Sun Microsystems has learned the hard way after open sourcing the family jewels of Solaris and Java. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Suspected phishing email crime boss cuffed in Nigeria
    Interpol, cops swoop with intel from cybersecurity bods

    Interpol and cops in Africa have arrested a Nigerian man suspected of running a multi-continent cybercrime ring that specialized in phishing emails targeting businesses.

    His alleged operation was responsible for so-called business email compromise (BEC), a mix of fraud and social engineering in which staff at targeted companies are hoodwinked into, for example, wiring funds to scammers or sending out sensitive information. This can be done by sending messages that impersonate executives or suppliers, with instructions on where to send payments or data, sometimes by breaking into an employee's work email account to do so.

    The 37-year-old's detention is part of a year-long, counter-BEC initiative code-named Operation Delilah that involved international law enforcement, and started with intelligence from cybersecurity companies Group-IB, Palo Alto Networks Unit 42, and Trend Micro.

    Continue reading
  • Broadcom buying VMware could create an edge infrastructure and IoT empire
    Hypervisor giant too big to be kept ticking over like CA or Symantec. Instead it can wrangle net-connected kit

    Comment Broadcom’s mooted acquisition of VMware looks odd at face value, but if considered as a means to make edge computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) more mature and manageable, and give organizations the tools to drive them, the deal makes rather more sense.

    Edge and IoT are the two coming things in computing and will grow for years, meaning the proposed deal could be very good for VMware’s current customers.

    An Ethernet switch that Broadcom launched this week shows why this is a plausible scenario.

    Continue reading
  • Ex-spymaster and fellow Brexiteers' emails leaked by suspected Russian op
    A 'Very English Coop (sic) d'Etat'

    Emails between leading pro-Brexit figures in the UK have seemingly been stolen and leaked online by what could be a Kremlin cyberespionage team.

    The messages feature conversations between former spymaster Richard Dearlove, who led Britain's foreign intelligence service MI6 from 1999 to 2004; Baroness Gisela Stuart, a member of the House of Lords; and Robert Tombs, an expert of French history at the University of Cambridge, as well as other Brexit supporters. The emails were uploaded to a .co.uk website titled "Very English Coop d'Etat," Reuters first reported this week.

    Dearlove confirmed his ProtonMail account was compromised. "I am well aware of a Russian operation against a Proton account which contained emails to and from me," he said. The Register has asked Baroness Stuart and Tombs as well as ProtonMail for comment. Tombs declined to comment.

    Continue reading
  • As Microsoft's $70b takeover of Activision nears, workers step up their organizing
    This week: Subsidiary's QA staff officially unionize, $18m settlement disputed, and more

    Current and former Activision Blizzard staff are stepping up their organizing and pressure campaigns on execs as the video-game giant tries to close its $68.7bn acquisition by Microsoft.

    Firstly, QA workers at Raven Software – a studio based in Wisconsin that develops the popular first-person shooter series Call of Duty – successfully voted to officially unionize against parent biz Activision. Secondly, a former employee appealed Activision's proposed $18 million settlement with America's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding claims of "sex-based discrimination" and "harassment" of female staff at the corporation. 

    Finally, a group of current and ex-Activision employees have formed a Worker Committee Against Sex and Gender Discrimination to try and improve the company's internal sexual harassment policies. All three events occurred this week, and show how Activision is still grappling with internal revolt as it pushes ahead for Microsoft's takeover. 

    Continue reading
  • Nvidia shares tumble as China lockdown, Russia blamed for dent in outlook
    Sure, stonking server and gaming sales, but hiring and expenses to slow down, too

    Nvidia exceeded market expectations and on Wednesday reported record first-quarter fiscal 2023 revenue of $8.29 billion, an increase of 46 percent from a year ago and eight percent from the previous quarter.

    Nonetheless the GPU goliath's stock slipped by more than nine percent in after-hours trading amid remarks by CFO Colette Kress regarding the business's financial outlook, and plans to slow hiring and limit expenses. Nvidia stock subsequently recovered a little, and was trading down about seven percent at time of publication.

    Kress said non-GAAP operating expenses in the three months to May 1 increased 35 percent from a year ago to $1.6 billion, and were "driven by employee growth, compensation-related costs and engineering development costs."

    Continue reading
  • Millions of people's info stolen from MGM Resorts dumped on Telegram for free
    Meanwhile, Twitter coughs up $150m after using account security contact details for advertising

    Miscreants have dumped on Telegram more than 142 million customer records stolen from MGM Resorts, exposing names, postal and email addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth for any would-be identity thief.

    The vpnMentor research team stumbled upon the files, which totaled 8.7 GB of data, on the messaging platform earlier this week, and noted that they "assume at least 30 million people had some of their data leaked." MGM Resorts, a hotel and casino chain, did not respond to The Register's request for comment.

    The researchers reckon this information is linked to the theft of millions of guest records, which included the details of Twitter's Jack Dorsey and pop star Justin Bieber, from MGM Resorts in 2019 that was subsequently distributed via underground forums.

    Continue reading
  • DuckDuckGo tries to explain why its browsers won't block some Microsoft web trackers
    Meanwhile, Tails 5.0 users told to stop what they're doing over Firefox flaw

    DuckDuckGo promises privacy to users of its Android, iOS browsers, and macOS browsers – yet it allows certain data to flow from third-party websites to Microsoft-owned services.

    Security researcher Zach Edwards recently conducted an audit of DuckDuckGo's mobile browsers and found that, contrary to expectations, they do not block Meta's Workplace domain, for example, from sending information to Microsoft's Bing and LinkedIn domains.

    Specifically, DuckDuckGo's software didn't stop Microsoft's trackers on the Workplace page from blabbing information about the user to Bing and LinkedIn for tailored advertising purposes. Other trackers, such as Google's, are blocked.

    Continue reading
  • Despite 'key' partnership with AWS, Meta taps up Microsoft Azure for AI work
    Someone got Zuck'd

    Meta’s AI business unit set up shop in Microsoft Azure this week and announced a strategic partnership it says will advance PyTorch development on the public cloud.

    The deal [PDF] will see Mark Zuckerberg’s umbrella company deploy machine-learning workloads on thousands of Nvidia GPUs running in Azure. While a win for Microsoft, the partnership calls in to question just how strong Meta’s commitment to Amazon Web Services (AWS) really is.

    Back in those long-gone days of December, Meta named AWS as its “key long-term strategic cloud provider." As part of that, Meta promised that if it bought any companies that used AWS, it would continue to support their use of Amazon's cloud, rather than force them off into its own private datacenters. The pact also included a vow to expand Meta’s consumption of Amazon’s cloud-based compute, storage, database, and security services.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022