Timothy Morgan, writing recently on IT Jungle, was very impressed with the FastScale Composer, saying it offers a new way to coordinate the multiple elements of your software stack, from virtualization hypervisors and operating systems to database, middleware and third-party apps.
What's unique about FastScale, again according to Morgan, is that it offloads software from the physical server and even the virtual machine into a repository so that business units can pick and choose whichever elements they want to load into their own stacks. The system can even select elements for you, down to the code module level, and provision only what's needed for the physical server.
Right now, the system is available only on the RHEL 4 and CentOS. The repository sits in a DB2 database.
Now, I've heard of repositories for online software services or just basic enterprise information, but I can't find any examples of enterprise repositories for software. It does sound like an intriguing idea, and, at $30,000 for 25 nodes, probably one that would be competitive to online software services, at least for small businesses.
Whether the system works as advertised is up to FastScale to prove, at this point. Someone once told me that the worst way to cure software problems is to add more software. But the company is headed by former IBM and Sun execs, so it's a pretty good bet that they know what they're doing.
If the system is all that they say it is, it could be the start of something major.