Server, Virtualization Vendors Partner With HP On Converged Infrastructure

Storage and virtualization technology vendors took advantage of HP's Tech Forum conference to unveil new hardware and software they hope will take advantage of HP's leading storage and server businesses.

Brocade, VMware, Emulex, QLogic, and Fusion-io all used the HP Tech Forum, held this week in Las Vegas, to introduce new storage and server products.

Hewlett Packard started off its Forum earlier this week with the unveiling of new storage, server, and virtual desktop hardware and software in a move it called the next phase in its converged infrastructure technology plans.

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.

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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.

Brocade this week unveiled a set of HP-branded Brocade 8-Gbit-per-second Fibre Channel data center and server connectivity products along with a new integrated bundle of products for quickly configuring a virtualized SAN.

Herman Chao, senior director of product management for server connectivity products at Brocade, said recent moves by his company have been focused on complementing HP's converged infrastructure business, but the focus this week is on working with Fibre Channel in virtualized environments.

"Fibre Channel and SANs have to adopt for virtualization capabilities in order to work as part of a private cloud," Chao said. "Customers also need to manage the various components as a single entity, especially as virtual servers become more and more prevalent."

To that end, Brocade introduced a new 8-Gbit Fibre Channel HBA for HP's BladeSystem c-Class servers.

Also new is SAN starter kit which combines an HP MSA storage array with six Brocade-built Fibre Channel HBAs, two Brocade-built Fibre Channel switches, and Brocade-based software licenses. Also included is HP's Server Application Optimization and Brocade's Adaptive Networking software for improving performance when running multiple virtual servers on a single host in end-to-end Brocade environments, Chao said.

Brocade also unveiled a new 64-port, 8-Gbit Fibre Channel SAN blade which increases the density of Brocade's Fibre Channel SAN director to up to 512 ports per chassis. "Customers tell us, they'll take as many ports as we can give them," Chao said.

Next: VMware, Others Partner With HP On Converged Infrastructure

VMware is supporting HP's converged infrastructure strategy by combining its VMware vSphere Essentials Plus software with HP's P40000 virtual SAN appliance to help partners build the first software SAN certified as VMware Ready, said Ben Matheson, senior director of global partner marketing at VMware.

VMware's vSphere technology was also certified to work with HP's new EVA storage clustering technology to increase the level of availability for midrange storage customers, Matheson said.

The company is also supporting HP's latest virtual desktop technology with a converged infrastructure reference architecture including the bill of materials based on VMware View, he said.

VMware is also partnering with HP to provide consulting to help customers build private cloud solutions and deploy management, disaster recovery, business continuity, and virtual desktop solutions, Matheson said.

Emulex said this week its new OneConnect Universal Converged Network Adapter technology is being used to provide Ethernet, iSCSI, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) capability for HP's new ProLiant G7 blade servers.

QLogic, meanwhile, is supporting HP with FCoE ASICs as well as new 8-Gbit Fibre Channel switches and adapters.

Fusion-io this week said it is extending an OEM contract with HP under which it is providing flash-based solid-state IO Accelerators. Fusion-io's IO Accelerators, which are available in capacities from 160 GBs to 640 GBs, are similar to SSDs, but are used primarily for accelerating server performance instead of storing data.