New HP offerings consolidate, protect data centres

FRAMINGHAM, MASS. — Hewlett-Packard Co. has added data center switching and security products designed to simplify server connectivity and protect data in a converged infrastructure.

For server connectivity in a converged data centre, HP unveiled a FibreChannel-over-Ethernet module for its A5820 data centre switch, which it inherited via the US$2.7 billion acquisition of 3Com. The module alleviates the need for two adapters to allow physical and virtual servers to access networking and storage resources — FibreChannel runs over Ethernet at the server access level.

FCoE is considered by many in the industry to be the key technology for converging LAN and storage-area network traffic over a common lossless Ethernet switching fabric in the data centre. The chief benefits are lower cost and simplified operation because these networks are now separate and distinct, requiring servers to support separate adapters to access both.

HP says customers can reduce required equipment and cabling by up to 75 per cent by focusing consolidation at the server edge. Indeed, FCoE will take hold initially at the server access layer and as standards and characteristics of the technology mature — such as the IETF TRILL (Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links) standard for multihop and multipathing capabilities — it is expected to be deployed deeper into the core of the data centre networks to facilitate the construction of much larger converged fabrics.

The HP module has four FCoE ports and two can run in an A5820 chassis. HP says it complements the recently introduced Virtual Connect FlexFabric module for BladeSystem, which provides traditional and virtualized server connectivity.

The module costs US$12,499 and will be available in the late summer or early fall.

For data center security, there are four HP TippingPoint S-series products for physical and virtual domains. They are:

* The Secure Virtualization Framework (SVF) and TippingPoint Virtual Controller (vController). SVF inspects virtual machine traffic to prevent malicious content from harming the network. The vController extends this capability to all network traffic through the HP TippingPoint N-Platform Intrusion Prevention System (IPS).

* The Reputation Digital Vaccine service (Rep DV) provides users with a list of Internet sites that exhibit suspicious behaviour and blocks them.

* The S1200N IPS A7500 Module which delivers IPS inspection in a blade form factor. This works with HP’s existing A7500 switches for users looking to consolidate security into a network device.

* The S1500 SSL appliance, a dedicated device for decrypting and re-encrypting Secure Sockets Layer Web site traffic. This allows encrypted network traffic to be inspected for malicious content.

S-series solutions are now shipping worldwide. Hardware pricing starts at US$24,995, based on configuration.

(From Network World U.S.)

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