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HP Takes On Datacentre Rivals With Converged Infrastructure

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

Hewlett-Packard is pulling together its network and server strength into a converged infrastructure to take on Cisco and others

Hewlett-Packard is announcing a new converged data centre architecture today, which will counter offerings from other players, including Cisco’s imminent vBlock partnership with EMC.

Networks, servers and storage are increasingly converging in server rooms and company product lines. On Monday, a Cisco-EMC joint venture called vBlock emerged, in which network giant Cisco is planning to increase its attack on the server sector, building on its Unified Computing System. HP is countering that today from the server side, with a set of announcements designed to help enterprise data centres and outsources build more flexible services.

HP already offers virtualised servers and storage, combined in a single hardware architecture called BladeSystem Matrix; today’s announcement builds more data centre services around the product, and changes the companies architecture: HP’s “Adaptive Infrastructure” has become “Converged Infrastructure”.

Under the new brand HP is promising a set of products which it says will reduce IT sprawl and allow CIOs to invest in new stuff, instead of getting bogged down in maintaining their old kit.

The new offering includes an Infrastructure Operating Environment, which takes processes and turns them into a standardised shared environment, so applications can be deployed and managed quickly by templates.

The Bladesystem Matrix is wrapped up in a concept called FlexFabric, which can combine thousands of servers and masses of storage into one scalable network fabric.

Virtualised networks, storage and server capacity will be available in resource pools in real time. and a Data Center Smart Grid will manage energy use, making it visible and controllable to managers who need to meet requirements such as the UK’s CRC regulations.

HP is updating its Neoview data warehousing platform with new abilities, and says there will be new software vendors coming on board an ISV program building flexible services using templates.

“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,” says the TechHead blog. “It’s definitely going to be one to watch.”

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”Technology is a fundamental contributor to business innovation,” said Ann Livermore, executive vice president, HP enterprise business. “With HP’s portfolio of products, services and solutions, organisations can build technology environments that deliver the outcomes that matter today and tomorrow.”

HP’s information on the new initiatives will be live later today. Until then, the following links may not work: