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Egenera, Inc. is a multinational cloud management and data center infrastructure automation company with corporate headquarters in Boxborough, Massachusetts in the United States. Egenera develops and sells software that enables enterprises and service providers to virtualize their computing infrastructure and create highly available private, hybrid or public cloud services. Egenera also provides consulting and training services related to its products and technologies. Egenera is a privately held company with approximately 110 employees. Founded in March 2000, the company was named by Network World as one of the top 10 startups to watch in 2002 and was a winner in the annual "Red Herring 100 North America" award given by Red Herring magazine in 2006.
Egenera maintains overseas headquarters in the United Kingdom, Japan and Hong Kong.
Egenera was founded by Vern Brownell in March 2000. Prior to Egenera, he spent 11 years as chief technology officer for the financial firm Goldman Sachs Group in New York. Under Mr. Brownell's leadership, Egenera pioneered the Processing Area Network (PAN) which is designed to virtualize and interconnect computing, storage and network resources, creating shared pools that can be centrally managed. Mr. Brownell conceived of the idea for PAN based on his experiences with growing data center complexity at Goldman Sachs.
The company launched its first product, the Egenera BladeFrame, in October, 2001. BladeFrame is a combination of bladed servers, fabric backplane, firmware and management software.
In October, 2006, Egenera announced its plan to create a separate line of business in order to make its virtualization management software, called PAN Manager, available under OEM agreement to other server vendors.
In December, 2012, Egenera acquired Fort Technologies  who was a developer of cloud management software. That software was integrated with Egenera PAN Manager and PAN Domain Manager and became PAN Cloud Director. The three products combined are the Egenera Cloud Suite.
Egenera has received numerous patents for its technology, including the Processing Area Network, N+1 disaster recovery and virtualized server failover technology.
Technology and products
Egenera Cloud Suite
The Egenera Cloud Suite combines PAN Cloud Director, PAN Manager and PAN Domain Manager. The software is a complete cloud management platform designed to enable enterprises and service providers to design, deploy, manage and protect IT as a cloud service.
PAN Cloud Director
PAN Cloud Director software enables users to request and consume IT, and gives datacenter operators the ability to create user accounts, design IT solutions, track usage and arrange for billing and usage reporting. Cloud Director works by abstracting the IT infrastructure and presenting that infrastructure in a digital service catalog. This catalog contains all the components of the data center—physical servers, virtual servers, storage, switches, firewalls, hypervisors, operating systems, applications, back up services and more.
PAN Cloud Director is hypervisor-agnostic (supporting VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Xen and Red Hat KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) and, in combination with PAN Manager, provides lifecycle management for both physical and virtual resources – enabling clouds consisting of a mix of both bare metal and virtual resources.
Users leverage the catalog and the associated design palette to drag, drop and connect all the components of the desired IT service. They can also configure their services with high availability and disaster recovery options. Once the design is complete, users can deploy their application solutions with one mouse click.
Cloud Director capabilities also include usage tracking, billing, invoicing and customer support features to enable organizations to provide cloud services such as Infrastructure as a Service, Software as a Service, Desktop as a Service, Disaster Recovery as a Service and more.
PAN Manager is Egenera's management software for aggregating pools of compute, storage and network resources into a Processing Area Network (PAN) similar in architecture to unified computing systems. An XML-based specification, called an "abstract server definition", specifies a portable definition of system and application software along with associated PAN resource components such as network and storage addresses. The server definition capability allows IT administrators using PAN Manager to assign applications to any physical server or virtual server within the PAN for purposes of server provisioning, application availability and disaster recovery.
PAN Manager integrates XenEnterprise hypervisor software from XenSource into a service called PAN vmBuilder (formerly vBlade). vmBuilder provides the capability to automatically install and configure a hypervisor instance on any server within the PAN.
PAN Manager's high-level capabilities include:
- Server provisioning and management
- N+1 High Availability with automatic server failover
- N+1 Disaster Recovery
- Resource logging/chargeback
- Security services
BladeFrame is a hardware product that combines bladed servers together with storage and network virtualization technology in a single package. A BladeFrame consists of a chassis, backplane, specialty blades, and multiple bladed servers.
Each server, called a "pBlade", contains one or more Intel or AMD processors. pBlades are considered stateless because they are composed only of processors and memory, and do not contain disk drives, direct interfaces to external devices, or other elements that associate the server with a specific identity.
Specialty blades include a Switch Blade (sBlade) that implements networking protocols among the pBlades and a Control Blade (cBlade) that manages the BladeFrame and connects the BladeFrame to external storage and data networks. Communication among the blades takes place over a redundant, high-performance backplane fabric with up to 10 Gigabits-per-second throughput. All system and application software is loaded onto the server blades from an attached storage area network (SAN).
As of 2013, Egenera has OEM agreements with the following vendors:
- Cloud computing
- Storage virtualization
- Network virtualization
- x86 virtualization
- Blade Server
- Fabric computing
- Unified computing
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