HP Software, Storage Updates Target Virtualized Data Migration

New to the HP Converged Infrastructure portfolio is Ethernet Virtual Interconnect, a software update that HP is pitching as a "single touch" overlay for connecting data center resources. The EVI software can link from one data center to another, up to eight geographically dispersed locations, HP says. Customers can then use another new piece of software, the Multitenant Device Context (MDC), as a Layer 2 routing extension to create various functions for different departments in a customer business, such as engineering and finance.

The net result is that customers won't have to manually provision and segment data center resources for those various businesses. Working in concert, the software can reduce the overall number of data networking devices by as much as 75 percent and the total cost of ownership about 56 percent thanks to the single management platform, based on what customers would normally need to perform those tasks, HP argues. It also better equips customers for the challenges of cloud bursting -- unexpected spikes in data center usage that max out infrastructure capacity -- disaster recovery and long-distance data mobility.

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The name of the game is more fluid data center infrastructure that better leverages virtualization for easier management, said Mike Banic, vice president, global marketing, HP Networking.

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"You've simplified the management and taken the mystery out of it," Banic told CRN. "The great thing for the partner community is that you can use the expertise you already have and not learn whole new systems."

In addition to the software, HP is touting a new virtual storage appliance, the HP StoreVirtual, which in effect turns groups of x86-based machines into easily accessed data pools. HP says StoreVirtual is hypervisor-independent, meaning it can operate on any x86 server, connect to a range of third-party external storage systems, and support mixed VMware vSphere and Windows Server Hyper-V environments.

The virtualization-centric updates stem from HP's Virtual Application Network (VAN) strategy, which it first touted in April as a way for HP and its partners to embrace software-defined networking (SDN) technologies to make network infrastructure more programmable and flexible.

The updates also play into one of HP's key strategies for combating networking titan Cisco, whom HP paints as overcharging customers thanks to a more complex licensing scheme for network infrastructure software.

At Interop in May, HP updated the portfolio to include the packaging of HP products with application delivery networking products from strategic partner F5 Networks, as well as enhancements to its Intelligent Management Center (IMC) software and a new 10500 campus core switch.

The EVI and MDC software will arrive as firmware updates for HP FlexFabric switches in a few months, while the StoreVirtual appliance will be available in September starting at $700 per license. HP will be demonstrating the new products at VMworld in San Francisco later this month.