HP FlexFabric 5930 switch

SAN FRANCISCO — Hewlett-Packard Co. took its opportunity on the first day of VMworld, VMware’s annual user conference, to announce some new offerings making use of the virtualization vendor’s software and accompanying support plans.

HP, a 15-year partner with VMware, says it already has the most servers of any vendor on the market running VMware. Now it’s going to add to that count by selling its HP FlexFabric 5930 switch with VMware’s NSX pre-baked. Plus, a new solution combining HP OneView, Nvidia Grid graphics, and VMware Horizon 6.1 promises an efficient backbone to support large user groups and deliver high graphics performance in an efficient manner. HP is letting it be known that its partner community will be involved in delivering these new offerings too.

Overall the announcements are an extension of HP’s OEM relationship with VMware, extending its offering of NSX. HP has largely depended on VMware to virtualize its physical servers and allow clients to run an interoperable environment. It should help IT shops that are accustomed running such solutions find some more flexible options to expand.

“Customers are looking to simplify their data centres,” says Paul Miller, vice-president of marketing, converged data centre infrastructure, HP. “It was the right time to have both salesforce selling out to our joint customers.”

HP’s FlexFabric 5930 switch was previously available on the market earlier this year, but didn’t offer any virtualized ports to integrate with a software-defined network running on NSX. Now all the switches will come with this capability included.

The new virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution aims to deliver efficient graphics virtualization for up to 3,500 users.

“This announcement really takes down one of the biggest barriers in deploying VDI,” Miller says. “You really have to size it to the end users aren’t just task users today, they’re also power users but for short bursts.

For example, he continues, a worker might spend most hours of the day using email and word processing applications, but then they have to watch a Youtube video for a few minutes. If you want to deliver a good video watching experience with a physical graphic interface, that resources has to be dedicated to the one user, even though it sits dormant most of the time. With virtualized graphics, you can set policies on what applications or what users trigger more output from the Nvidia Grid chip, so the better experience is turned on when needed.

“You can more efficiently use the graphical processors you have and it gives end users a better experience,” he says.

The solution can be delivered in a few different ways. It can come packaged on an HP Blade server, via a 3Par server, or as a converged system built at the factory level, Miller says.

HP is also opening up its Converged Architecture 700 (CA700) to delivery by its channel partners. This solutions combines compute power, storage, and network fabric into one vSphere management console. The CA700 was first launched two years ago, purpose-built from HP’s factory.

“We heard from customers they want flexibility,” Miller says. “Channel partners want to participate in the revenue stream of doing on-site configurations.”

So now channel partners can become certified to built out the converged infrastructure. HP is making new tools available to ensure that deployments are compliant with its design standards. Channel partners certified on HP’s storage and network systems can talk to their partner business manager about completing the small certification needed to build out the system end-to-end.

“We’re giving our channel partners the recipes to help customers deploy this tight converged experience,” Miller says.

That new partner program will begin in October. The new software-defined compute services, client virtualization services, and network virtualization support services for HP-VMware NSX are available immediately. Consulting services from HP for NSX are available in January 2016.

Those who bought HP’s FlexFabric 5930 switch earlier this year will be able to download the new software and install it free of charge, HP says.



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