HP to push data centre automation

HP has added virtualization and power management products to its BladeSystem c-Class line with the aim of helping administrators build more modular data centres.

“This is the beginning of multiple releases you’ll see from HP around data centre automation and management,” said Jim Ganthier, director of HP’s blade systems.

To make it easier to oversee its Virtual Connect I/O virtualization technology for linking servers to SAN/LAN fabric, HP has created a control software called Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager. The application extends Virtual Connect to all HP blade enclosures in a data centre.

Virtual Connect lets administrators pre-assign network and storage connections, and then add, move, replace or upgrade servers quickly. The original release covered one enclosure with up to 16 servers. Up to 100 c-Class enclosures, or 1,600 blade servers, can be run from Enterprise Manager’s console. As a result, the company said, administrators can save time configuring servers and storage. The software also provides an audit trail.

Enterprise Manager is priced at US$4,500 for each c3000 enclosure and US$9,000 for each c7000 enclosure.

HP said it shipped more than 150,000 virtual connect-enabled servers in the past year.

The company also said it is delivering new and enhanced offerings in other data centre management products.

HP Server Migration Pack Universal Edition now combines virtual and physical migrations into a single tool to speed migration time of HP ProLiant and Blade System servers. What it called a new “queued migration” feature helps automate, plan and execute multiple migrations at once, with expected support to include Citrix XenSever, Microsoft virtual machines, Oracle VM and VMware.

To meet demands of customers to lower the costs of powering a data centre, HP has created the HP Power Distribution Rack, which controls three-phase power distribution across a row of server racks. The manufacturer said the design allows the connection of power once across the row of racks, with power distribution adapting as needed. Only one set of input cables is needed.

The new HP Rackmountable Parallel 3 Phase UPS is said to dissipate less than half as much heat as its nearest competitor, therefore contributing to lower cooling costs. The system provides 36 kilowatts (KW) of power or 24KW with N+1 redundancy, expandable to 60KW. Prices run from US$9,500 to US$31,000 depending on the model.

Finally, HP also said it has signed a definitive agreement to buy New York City-based EYP Mission Critical Facilities, a consulting company specializing in strategic technology planning, design and operations support for large-scale data centres. Among its clients is Waterloo, Ont.’s Research In Motion.

HP said buying EYP will let it better help customers transform their data centres, optimize energy efficiency and position them for future business growth. Financial terms of the offer were not disclosed.

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