HP smooths integration complexities with turnkey VMware systems

By Andrew Charlesworth
29 Aug 2011 View Comments
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HP has announced a raft of integrated server, storage, network and software systems aimed at removing some of the obstacles to virtualisation.

VirtualSystem optimised for VMware vSphere 5 is a turnkey solution intended to provide organisations with a virtualised infrastructure that speeds implementation and provides a foundation for cloud computing.

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"Virtualisation has proved a huge boon to organisations," said David Chalmers, HP's UK chief technical officer for enterprise servers, storage and networks. "But the integration and testing required has also proved to be a heavy burden."

The rationale behind VirtualSystem for VMware vSphere 5 is to shift that burden to HP while still retaining openness and flexibility, he added.

Launched in July, vSphere 5 supports more powerful virtual machine instances that can be configured with up to 1TB of memory and up to 32 virtual CPUs. The new platform also offers enhanced capabilities, such as Storage DRS that enables data to be migrated to faster storage if application performance fails to meet specified levels.

IDC estimates that some 43 per cent of VMware sites use HP technology.

One of the features of the HP systems is that they integrate VMware's vCentre network management system with HP's Insight software.

"That provides a single pane of glass to manage these technologies as a flexible set of systems," said Chalmers.

The announcement also includes significant enhancement to FlexFabric, which further automates the networking aspects of virtualised server systems in what Chalmers describes as a "wired once, use many" approach.

The turnkey aspect of VirtualSystem means that it can be shipped pre-configured in standard HP racks. This will make it suitable, not just for large enterprises who don't want to devote resources to integration, but also for smaller companies that don't have those resources and for third-party system integrators "who would rather spend time adding value with applications and rapid implementation," said Chalmers.

However, this does not mean HP is attempting to turn virtualised systems, which have hitherto relied on best-of-breed components, into monolithic proprietary systems of the past, Chalmers argued.

"This is the way HP thinks it all works together best, but you can still use these elements to do it your own way," he said.

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