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Not standing still

Although not a completely new message to the market, the HP Tech Forum 2010 in Las Vegas saw the tech major spell out its Converged Infrastructure Strategy, supported by the launch of a whole new range of enterprise products across its server and storage range.

Dave Donnatelli, Executive VP and GM, Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking, HP has a vision for the data centre of the future and in this vision he sees HP helping customers change the 70: 30 ratio.

“We are looking at the biggest challenges in the industry today and applying resources to solve customer problems. Customers face challenges with IT sprawl and managing IT legacy infrastructure and most customers spend more than 70% on managing infrastructure and only 30% doing what they want with their IT dollars to support innovation,” Donnatelli said.

“HP’s strategy is built on helping customers reverse this ratio. In doing this, we believe we are ushering in one of the biggest changes by helping the industry move and get the best from HP’s Converged Infrastructure,” he added.

For the past two decades, infrastructure has been built in silos and the message for the market from the tech major is that going forward, Converged Infrastructure will offer a holistic offering that includes servers, network, management software, power and cooling and storage all built ground up in an integrated manner to help solve the

70: 30 problem.

“You no longer have to wait for five years to get value from the infrastructure you invest in. HP’s new launches will support you to benefit from start,” he said.

Laying out the blueprint

HP Converged Infrastructure is positioned to be a blueprint for clients that want to eliminate sprawl, complexity and excess maintenance costs.

The introductions at HP Tech Forum include significant HP BladeSystem advancements in four years, including several new servers as well as innovations in HP Virtual Connect and HP BladeSystem Matrix. Also announced are power management technologies that automate energy awareness and control of IT systems across the data center, as well as storage software that provides new levels of simplicity and automation through a single, unified architecture for data deduplication.

Taking a closer look at the Converged Infrastructure, one will see that this is focused on bringing everything back together again with common modular infrastructure, thereby making it easier for the customer to deploy and train. “We are able to pass on many benefits including cost benefits to the customers because the products are in a sense standardized and use similar parts. We’ve also added a lot of IP over this like the Sea of Sensors technology,” Donnatelli said.

The key elements

The enhanced technology that supports the Converged Infrastructure strategy will be supported by a range networking, power, cooling and management components that include:

• Sea of Sensors – Technology that understands the power, cooling and heat from the servers and standardises that across the servers.

• HP Networking – Technology that pushes servers and networking convergence. A fast growing segment for HP, the focus is now on enabling customers to use less networking, build more flexibility and make server changes without server downtime due to the integration.

• Common management – Capabilities that come with the blade system matrix to simultaneously manager servers, systems and storage and enable the build out of the private cloud.

• BTO Software – For the heterogeneous data centre that allows customers to look beyond HP to manage their data centre.

• Value added services – that will allows customers to have and use this technology the way they want it.

“You will find today that HP has the most complete converged product portfolio.

This is the biggest year for product launches ever having just recently launched Superdome 2 the biggest ever architecture in a decade,” Donnatelli emphasised.

The network and server play

Bolstered by its acquisition of 3Com, the combination of HP’s market reach and the latter’s solutions are expected to pitch the company firmly in the enterprise networking market. The Techforum also saw HP support its infrastructure game plan with the launch of a whole new generation of servers both in the BladeSystem and Proliant G7 range.

New storage technology has also been announced as part of the Converged Infrastructure offering.

“The second half of the year will see a whole new generation of our servers. We are doing this based on the strength and the market share HP has enjoyed across ISS (Industry Standard Servers) and Blades. We’re not standing still and the whole concept is to build with common components and help customers to mix and match the blades as they require. The focus is on enabling the customers to rack once, wire once and power once,” Donnatelli said.

Calling it the biggest roll-out ever of server technology ever with the launch of 10 new servers, Mark Potter, Senior VP and GM, HP Industry Standard Servers and Software said new supporting innovations will come the customer’s way.

“We are not stopping just at the servers. Other innovations include those around Virtual Connect to enable a simple and flexible way to connect servers to any network. This will be integrated into all G7 servers offering an automated, wire-once and change ready infrastructure offering to the customer,’ Potter said.

Eliminating infrastructure sprawl

“Today operational maintenance is eating up customer’s money and there has to be a better way to manage this. We are integrating these technologies into pools of resources and also automating these resources to deliver what the customer needs,” shared Potter. HP expects to deliver this through three technology offerings:

– Proliant G7 servers

– Virtual Connect to converge data and storage networks to eliminate sprawl

– BladeSystem Matrix to automate private cloud deployments

“With the BladeSystem, the focus is on eliminating sprawl for the customer and results have down that we can deliver 95% sprawl reduction and 4x increased virtual machines per server,” he added.

The HP Proliant G7 servers have also taken a lot of components from the high-end Integrity Servers product line, thereby offering its benefits down the line as well. The features in the G7 range include:

– HP PREMA architecture

– Self healing resiliency

– Virtual machine isolation

– Balance scaling

– Breakthrough efficiencies

– More performance

– Improved availability

– Greater consolidation

– Faster remote management

– Reduction on power and cooling

Covering storage to simplify client vitualisation

Creating a virtual pool of shared storage resources is a key technology in the evolution to a Converged Infrastructure. Two new HP StorageWorks solutions announced – HP StorageWorks P4800 BladeSystem storage area network (SAN) and the HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) Cluster – enable clients to consolidate servers, storage and desktops by creating Virtual Resource Pools of capacity. This enables clients to easily shift resources as the organisation requires.

Organisations also struggle with sprawl from desktops, portables and mobile devices. Data now resides on a large number of devices, which makes it difficult to manage, secure and back up. Client virtualization can simplify management, improve security and reduce backup traffic on the network.

Traditionally, client virtualisation requires the complex integration of storage, servers, networking and management. To address this challenge, HP is offering its client virtualisation reference architecture built for a Converged Infrastructure. This comprehensive hardware and software architecture is built to scale and support thousands of virtual desktops in a simple, modular design that is presized and pretested.

An integral component in the reference architecture is the new HP StorageWorks P4800 BladeSystem SAN, which provides scalable, shared storage for a converged server, storage and networking environment.

Data deduplication is also key market that HP wants to go after. Announcing its HP StoreOnce, the company expects to set an entire new standard for data de-duplication, the fastest growing market in the storage market that is currently characterized by a number of smaller technology players. HP has brought all the requirements into once single product and one single database.

StoreOnce is data deduplication software that can be deployed at multiple points in a converged infrastructure enabling clients to more efficiently manage and control data growth. In addition, the new HP StorageWorks P4800 BladeSystem SAN and the HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) Cluster enable clients to consolidate servers, storage and desktops to create Virtual Resource Pools of capacity.

Automating private clouds

With the launch of new management capabilities with the HP BladeSystem Matrix, offering “one touch” self service provisioning for the private cloud, HP expects to deliver an automated IT environment that rapidly responds to business change.

HP BladeSystem Matrix software, through new integration with HP Server Automation, simplifies IT environments with one-touch, self-service provisioning of applications. Positioned as the the industry’s first “all inclusive” converged infrastructure offering, HP BladeSystem Matrix will enable private clouds by allowing clients to deploy complex IT environments in minutes and as a result, reduce their total cost of ownership up to 56 percent compared to traditional IT infrastructures.

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