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HP to throw Matrix tech beyond x64 blades

Neoview data warehouse ported to blades

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The FlexFabric announced today consists of supporting Itanium-based Integrity blade servers with the VirtualConnect switches inside the BladeSystem. It is not clear when the ProCurve switches with VEPA capability will ship, but Cisco and HP have been working on VEPA for a while.

The one element of the Converged Infrastructure umbrella of products that does span all of HP's platforms is something called Virtual Resource Pools, which virtualizes servers, storage, and networking and, as the name suggests, creates a pool of resources from which you carve out infrastructure you need to run specific operating systems and workloads.

As El Reg reports elsewhere, these virtual resource pools make use of three different storage platforms that HP can virtualize, including the StorageWorksX9000 network storage family that HP got by virtue of its acquisition of IBRIX, offering up to 16 petabytes of total capacity at a cost that goes as low as $1.50 per GB, according to HP.

HP is also adding support for Microsoft's Hyper-V server hypervisor to the StorageWorks EVA cluster extensions software, which can back-end the virtual resource pools. (This EVA software already supports VMware's ESX Server and Citrix Systems' XenServer hypervisors.) The pools also make use of the pooling and thin provisioning capabilities of the StorageWorks SAN Virtualization Services Platform v3.0 software for the EVA arrays. On the server side, all of HP's five strategic platforms - HP-UX, Linux, Windows, OpenVMS, and NonStop - and be pooled running on ProLiant or Integrity servers.

Doug Oathout, vice president of green IT at HP, says that you can add non-HP gear to a pool. "It will be better if you use all HP stuff," says Oathout, "but other things will work".

Tossed into the Converged Infrastructure Architecture is another capability HP is calling the Data Center Smart Grid, what Thome calls a "4D view" of the data center, including the IT gear and the facilities that wrap around it. This smart grid is a mix of HP hardware, software and services, including a wireless sensor array that HP created to gather telemetry information on the data center and the IT gear, that allows IT managers to see power usage and thermal activity in the data center over time.

The key tool that provides this 4D view of the data center, called the Environmental Edge, costs $10 per square foot of data center and $350 per rack of IT gear. The Insight Control systems management software has been tweaked to allow for automatic power reallocation for servers during brownout conditions. The Insight Control Data Center Power Control plug-in costs $549.

HP also announced today that it has added more templates to the Matrix system, which allows for a single mouse click to install and deploy preconfigured stacks of software on the bladed infrastructure. Today, HP is rolling out Matrix templates for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, SharePoint Server 2007, SQL Server 2008. Oracle's Database 11g, Real Application Clusters, and PeopleSoft software also get templates, and so does SAP's NetWeaver middleware.

HP says that in early 2010 it will add more templates, including software from Citrix Systems, F5 Networks, McAfee, MicroStrategy, Novell, Red Hat, SAS, Siemens PLM Software, SunGard, Symantec, TIBCO, and VMware. HP also said that it was extending its BladeSystem solution builder program to allow its 5,000 software partners to tweak and certify their code to work with HP's Converged Infrastructure Architecture. Which, you will recall, is not a product but a collection of products and strategies.

In a related announcement, HP says that the Neoview data warehouse appliance that came out in March 2007 running atop the NonStop fault tolerant rack servers has now been superseded the Neoview Advantage, a NonStop setup that runs on Integrity blade servers and uses StorageWorks arrays. HP has not provided more feeds and speeds of this Neoview Advantage.

Thome says that HP made the switch in platforms for Neoview Advantage to get the product down to a lower price point, presumably to better compete with the Oracle/Sun Exadata V2 and IBM Smart Analytic System clusters.

Bootnote: HP originally gave El Reg the impression that HP had ported the Neoview NonStop software to HP-UX when this story originally ran. That is not the case. Neoview Advatnage uses the same NonStop operating system and database as regular NonStop clusters and the prior Neoview appliances. ®

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