HP Teams With Egenera For Converged Infrastructure Management

HP is making the Egenera PAN Manager converged infrastructure software available on its BladeSystem c-class blade servers, said Pete Manca, president and CEO of Marlborough, Mass.-based Egenera.

Egenera's PAN Manager is a software application which virtualizes servers, I/O, and networks into scalable resources which can be quickly allocated and de-allocated as needed. The software also takes advantage of storage capacity in a data center to provide high availability and disaster recovery for mission-critical applications.

Prior to unveiling his company's relationship with HP, Manca and other Egenera executives had characterized PAN Manager as an alternative to the proprietary converged infrastructure platforms offered by companies such as HP and Cisco.

For instance, in April 2010, when Egenera unveiled a relationship with Dell, Manca chided HP and Cisco for building converged infrastructures with their own hardware.

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"For those vendors, it's very natural to build a stack of their own hardware and software. But it's not a heterogeneous solution. Our solution runs on any platform," he said at the time.

Manca said the new relationship allows HP to give its customers a choice in how they want to do converged infrastructure.

"HP looks at it as offering a choice," he said. "HP has stated that it wants an open solution. And to be open, you need to offer choice. Also, our PAN Manager offers high availability and disaster recovery. HP doesn't have that to our degree. Our product is pretty unique in this area."

For HP BladeSystem c-class blade server customers, PAN Manager connects to their Virtual Connect Flex Fabric virtual I/O network, and operates with 10-Gbit Ethernet and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) fabrics, Manca said.

"It's a true converged infrastructure," he said. "A real good partnership. The best hardware on the planet combined with the best software on the market."

Egenera has traditionally worked through OEMs or direct with customers, but last year began focusing on indirect channel partners, Manca said. About 50 percent of its business comes through indirect channels now, a figure expected to rise to up to 90 percent by the end of 2012, he said.

The company's channel focus stems from the very high cost of doing direct sales combined with the need to ensure it can work in heterogeneous environments with server partners HP, Dell and Fujitsu, Manca said.

"This allows us to stay out of channel conflicts," he said. "By working with solution providers, customers can choose best-of-breed products. We motivate partners to help customers choose between Dell, Fujitsu, or HP."