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HP pits Matrix against Cisco's California

'We need blades. Lots of blades'

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In early tests, the Matrix setup allowed customers to cut down deployments for systems (meaning servers, storage, networks, and systems software) from an average of 33 days to 108 minutes. The Virtual Connect features in the blades cut down on Fibre Channel connectivity costs compared to rack-based servers, and the ThermalLogic power and cooling management software in the blades, including dynamic power capping, allowed customers to cut their juice bills by as much as 92 per cent.

A starter kit for the BladeSystem Matrix setup has a c7000 enclosure, a BL460c G6 blade running the Matrix Orchestration Environment and Insight Dynamics system management software. The setup also includes an EVA 4400 disk array and two Virtual Connect Flex-10 (10 Gigabit Ethernet) and 8 Gb Fibre Channel modules.

It costs $150,000. Server blades, additional storage, and systems software cost more on top of that. How much? Thome was unable to provide some comparisons, but said that a Matrix blade setup would cost "in the same ballpark" as a rack of servers with the same number of physical servers and storage.

Because this is HP, there is a services component to Matrix, too. The Matrix implementation service rolls HP's factory software integration, as well as onsite implementation and testing services, into one package with one year of 24x7 software and update support. A beefier version called Matrix Support Plus 24 expands hardware maintenance and software support to three years, and it costs $15,340. (This is presumably for a single Matrix chassis.) HP is also offering something called the Insight Capacity Advisor Virtualisation Service in Asia/Pacific and Japan that helps customers plan their server, storage, and network virtualisation for $7,995. This virtualisation advisory service will be deployed worldwide this summer. ®

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