HP have today announced a converged infrastructure architecture framework based around a selection of existing and new HP software and hardware products designed to “provide a blueprint for chief information officers to create elasticity in their technology environments, supporting innovation in their businesses”.
The timing around this can’t really be missed, with Cisco, EMC and VMware announcing a few days ago a joint venture called Acadia which will offer “vBlocks” from which businesses can purchase the necessary integrated components to make their own converged internal/private cloud solution. These vBlocks are made up of products from all three of these companies which in using them together fill in gaps in their own respective product offerings.
HP however are one of the few companies with its own portfolio of server, storage, networking and management products broad and mature enough to put together such a converged internal/private Cloud offering. From this announcement HP are showing that they too are a player in this space and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Convergence has become something of a hot topic in Enterprise level computing, with some arguing that the concept has been around for a long time, but what actually is convergence?
I like to think of it, in the IT context as simply bringing together a “load of stuff” the result of which can create greater efficiency, ease of management and/or cost savings . Now this “stuff” can be large, small, complex or otherwise and can cover anything from disk storage, servers, networking right through to a much broader all encompassing range of technologies or products as is the case with HP’s converged infrastructure architecture announcement.
Ok, so that is an extremely basic and questionable definition of convergence, and enough of the word “stuff” in one paragraph so I promise not to use it again for the rest of this post – honest.
So what is HP’s Converged Infrastructure Architecture?
As you’d expect this converged infrastructure is made up of a number of different products and technologies. The following are details provided by HP on what their new HP Converged Infrastructure Architecture will comprise of:
Increased business agility through on-the-fly delivery of shared services
The new HP Infrastructure Operating Environment reduces complexity by taking application-specific processes and tools and transforming them into a standardized, shared environment. Governance through policy-based management and automated, template-driven application deployment significantly speeds time to business value. Complementary products include the enhanced HP Insight Dynamics, HP Insight Control and HP Business Technology Optimization solutions.
Dramatically lower costs and complexity with a wire-once network fabric
HP FlexFabric integrates thousands of servers and storage resources into a single virtualized, high-performance and low-latency network fabric. Built on industry standards, FlexFabric is highly scalable and can consolidate multiple protocols. For the first time, network connections and capacity can be fully virtualized from the edge to the core.
Optimized resource utilization for any application or workload
HP Virtual Resource Pools virtualize shared server, storage and networking resources to provide an easy to manage, cost-effective, shared-service environment. As a result, administrators can easily call upon any technology service in the pool in real time to support changing business requirements. HP Virtual Resource Pools enable customers to maximize resources, while increasing scalability, flexibility and utilization of technology assets across their infrastructures.
Improved energy efficiency and management across the data center
HP Data Center Smart Grid delivers an intelligent, energy-aware environment across technology infrastructures and data center facilities. For the first time, businesses can accurately visualize, monitor and control energy use in real time. With HP Data Center Smart Grid, companies can set policies for energy use based on accurate data and monitor their ongoing performance to ensure compliance with internal, environmental or government regulations and goals.
I predict that we will see a real scrap on our hands here with HP no longer being prepared to be something of a sleeping giant while others position themselves in this increasingly competitive and lucrative technology space. It’s definitely going to be one to watch.