British virtualisation reseller Nebulas Solutions has developed a system that allows enterprises to automatically provision virtual services in an attempt to smooth out traffic spikes.

The company has combined F5's application delivery features with VMware's virtualisation features to allow servers to handle peak workloads better. The application adds processing power for busy periods and reduces it when demand dies down - all without the need for external intervention.

Owen Cole, F5's technical director for UK & Ireland explained how the system worked. "Nebulas have automated the processes using the F5 Open XML API. They've coded that as a standalone application integrating the virtualisation system and the F5's application delivery system enabling dynamic allocation of traffic."

He said that the new system would be perfect for organisations with large web infrastructures. Traffic goes into these systems and when things become busy then traffic can be moved to other servers. Alternatively, at weekends or nights when there's not so much workload, servers can be deprovisioned saving on power and cooling."

Cole acknowledged that what Nebulas has done wasn't new but the way that the implementation had been handled was. "Businesses have been looking for a way to automate provision like this for some time - people have tried to create something similar running on PERL scripts but it's been clunky."

He said that he'd seen such implementations in action. "I saw something like this five years ago when a financial institution created their own version. That was different - based on time-to-market software and with their own customised front end. People want smarter solutions these days and what is different about the Nebulas solution is that it's elegantly done."

Nick Garlick, managing director at Nebulas Solutions said "We're operating in very difficult times and customers are very keen to get more from their IT infrastructure than ever before. Virtual machines already offer cost savings, but by adding this level of automatic provisioning, systems can become far more responsive to the demands of the business. "

Although the concept has been developed using VMware, there's no reason why it couldn't handle other virtualisation systems. "We're vendor agnostic " said Cole.