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HP announces converged storage strategy, products

Kicks off its converged product lineup with a preconfigured data center and virtual server systems

June 6, 2011 02:53 PM ET

Computerworld - Hewlett-Packard today announced a series of upgrades to its storage products, including the addition of data snapshots and a portfolio of pre-configured storage systems.

Converged Systems is a new portfolio of systems with converged hardware, software, tailored consulting and HP Solution Support services that enables customers to be up and running with new applications in hours instead of months. HP made the announcements at its annual user conference in Las Vegas.

Similar to EMC and Cisco's vBlock offering, the converged storage portfolio of products integrates HP Store360 scale-out software with HP BladeSystem and HP ProLiant server hardware. HP's new Storage Consulting services are added to the mix.

The Converged portfolio comes in three "Virtual System" models ranging from small to large: VS1, VS2 and VS3.

"It's a single SKU and you get the entire system. It's designed for server virtualization," said Tom Joyce, vice president of marketing in HP's StorageWorks Division.

The VS1 is built on HP ProLiant servers, which host the virtual machines, a HP LeftHand P4500 storage area network (SAN) and HP Insight Control management software. The VS1 can manage up to 200 virtual machines.

The VS2 is built on HP's BladeSystem servers, and a separate BladeSystem with a LeftHand SAN, all managed under HP's Virtual Connect FlexFabric networking module and HP Insight Control.

The VS3 uses the BladeSystem and HP's recently acquired 3Par SAN technology with the same management software as the previous offerings. A single configuration of VS3 can manage as many as 6,000 virtual machines.

"We're supporting not just VMware, but Microsoft HyperV and Citrix. That's a clear advantage over the vBlock approach. Second, it's one support call and you're getting it all from one vendor," Joyce said.

Joyce said all three Virtual Server configurations can be upgraded to HP's CloudSystem, which was shipped earlier this year and provides a cloud service management layer on top of the VS systems.

HP also announced the Converged Data Center, a new class of Performance Optimized Data Centers (PODs) that can be deployed in about 12 weeks and at a quarter of the cost of traditional brick-and-mortar data centers, Joyce said.

HP's POD 240a, also referred to as the "HP EcoPOD," is a compact, modular, pre-configured data center that Joyce said uses about 95% less energy than traditional data centers.

New/upgraded storage arrays

HP also announced a new storage system and upgrades to its current lineup.

Also part of HP's Converged Infrastructure portfolio, is the upgraded, midrange HP P6000 Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA). The P6000 represents HP's fifth-generation EVA.

"This is a complete update from top to bottom," Joyce said.

The P6000 storage array offers thin provisioning, or the ability to increase storage volumes on the fly, instead of overprovisioning capacity to avoid application service interruptions.

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