New HP data centre solutions target complexity, cost

LAS VEGASHewlett Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) used its annual Tech Forum conference to encourage its partners and customers to use IT to help “transform, converge and innovate” inside of their organizations.

The vendor used its annual conference yesterday to announce to its more than 5,300 global attendees new server, storage, network and power management technologies to help customers reduce costs and complexities within their organizations.

Dave Donatelli, executive vice-president and general manager for HP enterprise servers, storage and networking, said in a press conference that one of the biggest problems customers face today is IT sprawl.

“Managing IT infrastructure consumes most of our customers’ IT budgets today,” Donatelli said. “Most customers spend about 70 per cent of their overall IT budget on managing the infrastructure they already have.”

Donatelli said this year marks HP’s “biggest year ever” for product launches.

Among some of the product and technology announcements include new HP ProLiant G7 blades and servers, HP Virtual Connect, HP BladeSystem Matrix, HP Intelligent Power Discovery and HP StoreOnce.

With the new ProLiant G7 servers, Donatelli said customers are able to speed up their application delivery through automation, which allows businesses to make better use of their IT resources. The servers have also been designed to help customers reduce their complexities and costs in the data centre, while also offering up to 2TB of memory.

On the ProLiant G7 server blade side, Donatelli said these seven new systems can support up to four times more virtual machines than other competitive blades, which eliminates the need to purchase additional hardware. Donatelli said the ProLiant G7 servers and blades will launch in the second half of 2010.

With HP Virtual Connect, customers can take advantage of wire-once connectivity to any network. Thanks to HP’s Virtual Connect FlexFabric technology, which is built into the new ProLiant G7 server blades, a single device now has the ability to connect severs to any Fibre Channel, Ethernet and iSCSI network.

For cloud environments, HP has introduced its BladeSystem Matrix software which gives customers access to one-touch, self-service provisioning for applications. The software is ideal for private cloud infrastructures and helps customers manage things like networking, storage and servers in the cloud.

Donatelli said HP’s BladeSystem Matrix allows customers to deploy quickly even the most complex IT environments.

Merritte Stidston, director of development centre strategy and operations at McKesson, a North American pharmaceutical distributor, spoke about the business benefits of HP’s BladeSystem Matrix.

“HP BladeSystem Matrix provides a self-service, template-based portal using McKesson and HP system best practices that allows us to quickly provision blades … 90 this year … within a minute each,” he said. “This ability gives us consistent and repeatable results, which saves my team precious time to accomplish other tasks while reducing build errors.”

To help businesses manage their energy use within the data centre, HP has created its Data Center Smart Grid software solution. With this, customers can gain insights into their power usage on a real-time basis, which eventually translates in lower total cost of ownership, Donatelli said.

“The Data Center Smart Grid is the first automated ‘energy-aware’ network for data centres,” Donatelli said. “This helps organizations reduce their power consumption by up to 95 per cent. Many of today’s customers are building new data centres because they believe they’re out of power and cooling. With our Data Center Smart Grid, we can help customers reclaim these efficiencies and let them stay in their data centres longer.”

Lastly, HP also introduced its StoreOnce data deduplication solution, which is built on a unified architecture. StoreOnce helps to eliminate multiple instances of deduplication within an organization. According to HP, StoreOnce helps customers achieve up to a 20 per cent performance improvement, compared to other offerings from competitors.

Tom Joyce, vice-president of marketing, strategy and operations at HP StorageWorks, said today StoreOnce is being delivered on all of the company’s StorageWorks D2D backup appliances. In the future, Joyce said the company will also put the software on its HP Data Protector software solution and on virtual machines.

For channel partners, Joyce said StoreOnce is not only easy to use, but it’s also easy to implement and manage, which provides a “good value proposition for partners,” he said.

Follow Maxine Cheung on Twitter: @MaxineCheungCDN.

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
Staff Writer, Computer Dealer News

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