IBM has started talking about its new Live Partition Mobility technology, now in beta.
Live Partition Mobility, currently in beta testing with general availability planned later this year, is a continuous availability feature that will enable POWER6-based servers, such as the System p 570, to move live logical partitions — including the entire operating system and all its running applications — from one server to another while the systems are running.
This sounds similar to the functionality that Evergrid is currently working on, some of which is deployed. While I believe that neither offering requires users to change their codes, the IBM solution is supported in hardware.
Because Live Partition Mobility is implemented in the POWER6 chip, hardware and its associated firmware, the feature is operating system independent, allowing the movement of AIX or Linux operating systems and associated running workloads. For instance, using Live Partition Mobility customers will be able to dynamically consolidate UNIX or Linux workloads — without interruption — onto fewer servers during off-peak times, allowing them to turn off computers and save energy.
The company is talking about this functionality in terms of business apps, of course, but HPC centers could use it to juggle load among machines for better balance, or to make room for high priority applications.