HP Intros New Servers, Storage, VDI Technologies

HP on Monday unveiled new storage and server hardware and software in a move it called the next phase in its infrastructure convergence technology plans.

On the storage side, Hewlett-Packard unveiled its first deduplication technology, as well as new clustering technology for its EVA midrange storage array family.

Also new from HP is a complete virtual desktop infrastructure built on HP's storage, server, and networking technology which customers can purchase starting at $750 per user.

HP also introduced the newest generation of its servers, including new ProLiant rack mount and blade servers.

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Converged infrastructure is the tight integration of server, storage, networking, virtualization, and other resources tied together as part of a single-vendor data center solution.

Such a solution can be managed as a single system. Its resources can be dynamically allocated as needed, providing higher resource utilization and availability than possible with static infrastructures.

"Now we're in the execution phase of delivery against our converged infrastructure vision," said Tom Joyce, vice president of marketing strategy and applications for HP's StorageWorks division. "Certainly, that's true for storage."

HP on Monday introduced StoreOnce, its first internally-designed dedupe technology.

StoreOnce, like dedupe software and appliances from several vendors, can reduce capacity requirements by up to 95 percent by eliminating duplicate blocks of data across multiple files.

HP's biggest difference is its implementation of a single dedupe technology across multiple storage products, Joyce said.

StoreOnce will be available as part of HP's new D2D4312 backup appliance, which comes with up to 48 TBs of raw capacity. However, it will also be available as a backup client to HP's Data Protector backup software, as a virtual backup appliance, and as part of its scale-out storage appliances, he said.

"Until now, with dedupe technology, different products don't work together, even from the same vendor," he said. "Look at EMC, which has Avamar and Data Domain. A lot of their customers are stuck with point products."

With StoreOnce, dedupe works across all HP's storage products without the need to expand data to its normal size before migrating to other devices, Joyce said.

StoreOnce is a good move for HP, even though the vendor is late to the dedupe party, said Dhruv Gulati, executive vice president of Lilien Systems, a Larkspur, Calif.-based solution provider and HP partner.

For a lot of customers, it is still easier to add new storage capacity than it is to add deduplication, Gulati said. But for those for whom dedupe is the best solution, the ability to use the same technology across all their storage is important, he said.

Next: New Storage Clustering And Desktop Virtualization Offerings

HP on Monday also enhanced the ability to cluster multiple EVA midrange arrays with a single, integrated offering based on HP's SVSP (SAN Virtualization Services Platform) that brings up to six EVA arrays or non-HP arrays into a single virtual pool of storage, Joyce said.

The new EVA clustering technology also adds such features as thin provisioning and automatic failover to both the EVA and other arrays, even if they did not have such capabilities in the past, he said.

HP also enhanced its virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) offering with the introduction of new software based on its LeftHand storage virtualization technology running on its blade servers.

The new P4800 software, combined with HP's blade servers, storage appliances, and networking, can be offered as part of a complete virtual desktop solution that, including the end user devices, is priced starting at $750 per seat, Joyce said.

The solution works across both VMware and Citrix virtual desktop environments, he said.

Chris Young, manager of advanced technology at Netrix, a Bannockburn, Ill.-based solution provider and HP partner, said his company is interested in testing HP's new virtual desktop solution.

Netrix has worked with LeftHand and Citrix technology for years, Young said. "That would be a very competitive solution," he said.

If HP can really offer a complete virtual desktop solution at $750, it will be big news for customers, Gulati said.

"There is no other solution at that price point," he said. "VDI has to be cheaper than buying a PC to work. We've been trying to sell VDI for two or three years. This is compelling. You can buy a PC or laptop for $750. But with VDI, customers get easier management."

Next: New Server Offerings From HP

HP on Monday also introduced seven new blade servers and three new rack-mount servers in its new G7 ProLiant family. The new servers are based on AMD's Opteron 6100 and Intel's Xeon 5600 and Xeon 7500 series processors, said Jim Ganthier, vice president of marketing for industry standard servers at HP.

Included in the new lineup is the HP ProLiant DL980 G7, an eight-processor server which, with HP's PREMA architecture, gives the ability for a server to do self-healing in virtual server environments using HP's virtual machine isolation, Ganthier said.

With virtual machine isolation, system managers can feel free to cram an increasing number of virtual machines onto a single physical host, he said.

"Data center managers want to get as many virtual machines as possible on a server," he said. "But if one virtual machine or part of the memory has a problem, all the virtual machines usually need to be migrated to another server for safety. With virtual machine isolation, we can isolate the memory problem, isolate the related virtual machine, and shut it down without impacting other virtual machines or the physical host."

HP also introduced seven new server blades, each of which support up to 1 TB of system memory and four times the number of virtual servers as prior generations, Ganthier said.

Along with the new blade servers, HP also introduced its HP Intelligent Power Discovery which provides automated networking between servers and third-party management software for mapping and adjusting power and cooling requirements, he said.