Announcing Fault Resilient Memory: A continuum of innovation in partnership with VMware

Today at the VMworld conference in San Francisco, Dell will be demonstrating a technology unique in the industry and important to customers in their ever-increasing reliance on virtualization.  The concept for this innovative technology was initiated several years ago by Dell engineers, who then approached their VMware counterparts with the idea of working collaboratively to provide customers an extremely stable virtualization platform. Fault Resilient Memory is the result of that effort.

Last week I spoke with Mukund Khatri, who is a Dell Distinguished Engineer and Technology Strategist for virtualization and availability, a recognized Dell “Inventor of the Year,” and a lead on the team that developed this new technology, which is a new milestone in our collaboration with VMware.  

Dell Fault Resilient Memory (FRM) is a specialized, Dell patented technology designed to work in conjunction with the VMware vSphere hypervisor to protect it and the virtual machines (VMs) it supports from the ramifications of encountering memory faults which would take them out of service.  The concept originated with the notion of having the hypervisor and its kernel provided a “fault resilient zone” by the platform firmware.  When provided with the FRM zone, the VMware vSphere hypervisor can place itself in this provided zone, protecting it from exposure against potential memory faults (as memory could deteriorate over time), providing a highly available virtualization solution.

Prior to FRM, an example of collaborative technology around server availability with VMware is Memory Page Retire, which was introduced in the launch of our PowerEdge 12th generation servers.  Memory Page Retire helps preclude correctable errors from becoming uncorrectable or crash scenarios.  This technology in the server tells the hypervisor and operating systems not to use a specific region of the memory – which could include a weak DRAM cell or a location that is not reliable. 

Though this is the initial introduction of Fault Resilient Memory, existing PowerEdge 12th generation server customers with Intel Sandybridge processors will also be able to take advantage of this technology. Dell adheres to a core value of our business which is investment protection in service of our customers across all product lines.

 In addition to the availability of Fault Resilient Memory, Dell is also announcing the launch of OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter version 2.0 that enables customers to streamline management of Dell PowerEdge servers through the integration of iDRAC with Lifecycle Controller capabilities within the VMware vCenter console. This new release delivers support for vSphere 5.5 and also displays the status of FRM-enabled systems. 

Dell is a Diamond Sponsor of VMworld and we will be covering many more products in our booth that Dell and VMware have developed by working together.  As our system architects like to say, “We’re working together to take virtualization to the next level."

About the Author: Kevin Noreen