Hewlett-Packard Wednesday fired the first shot in its bid to break open the converged infrastructure market with what it is calling a rethinking of how the data center is managed in the 21st century.
HP's new OneView product, designed for the HP BladeSystem and HP ProLiant Generation 7 and 8 servers, brings converged infrastructure management into the IT consumerization and social media era, the Palo Alto, Calif., company said. The consumer-inspired management platform -- billed by HP as an "industry first" -- is aimed at fostering collaboration within IT departments across the data center.
"The world has changed," said HP Senior Vice President and General Manager, Converged Systems Tom Joyce in an interview with CRN. "Customers expect everything to work like their cellphone or tablet does. They don't want to have to sit there and read a manual or take a course to figure out how to run IT anymore. This is about running IT the way your consumer technologies work. Let's make it as easy as that."
OneView includes a raft of features including Smart Search, aimed at allowing data center administrators to find key information in seconds; MapView, aimed at allowing IT administrators to diagnose IT problems in a world of increasing device connections; Templates, designed to capture best IT practices; and Dashboard, a complete data center view from a single pane of glass.
Kelly Ireland, founder and CEO of CB Technologies, a Westminster, Calif., HP enterprise partner, sees OneView as part of HP CEO Meg Whitman's drive to bring innovative and unique IT offerings to market based on the "new style of IT."
"This is the tip of the iceberg in terms of HP innovating, getting back to its legacy as a provider of unique intellectual property," said Ireland. "Meg is getting HP back to being an R&D leader with innovative technology."
Ireland predicted that OneView will be eagerly embraced by customers looking to simplify IT operations. "You can virtualize all you want , but if you don't make it easier to manage it doesn't matter," she said. "What we have seen from our clients is that converged infrastructure simplification is at the top of their list. That's the problem that OneView is designed to solve."
In addition to a simplified consumer-style IT interface, OneView, which will be available in October from HP solution providers with a price tag of $799 for a single license, represents a marked improvement in automating IT management tasks. HP said tasks that used to take hours can now be done in minutes. The time it takes to provision hypervisors across 16 servers, for example, has been reduced from 2 hours and 50 minutes to just 14 minutes, according to HP.
What's more, HP said, tasks that used to take hundreds of clicks by an IT administrator can now be completed in a few clicks. For example, HP said retiring a virtual local area network (vLAN), which used to take 480 steps and more than two hours with an older management tool, can now be done in 30 seconds with only four steps.
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