Looking to take the load off data centre administrators, Hewlett-Packard has added two provisioning plug-ins to its Insight Dynamics-VSE infrastructure manager.

The first, Insight Orchestration is a browser-based plug-in that helps create templates for assigning and configuring server, network and storage resources. The other is Insight Recovery, a disaster recovery application.

Insight Orchestration “is there to provide operational efficiency and the ability of bringing together what’s needed online as quickly as possible,” said Chris Christianopoulos, HP Canada’s x86 server business development manager.

Most data centres have a number of staffers with separate tasks, he said: Some manage the network, some run the LAN and storage area network and others administer servers. Without automation, it can be challenging to bring new applications or resources online.

Insight Orchestration creates templates with a drag and drop tool that specify what’s needed for running applications. With the push of a button, HP says, physical and virtual infrastructure can be automatically configured. There are best practice templates Microsoft Exchange, Oracle, and SAP.

Service providers can manage systems through a portal. Initially, it will be available only for HP ProLiant servers. Later this year Insight Orchestration will also be available for the company’s Integrity servers. Insight Orchestration also connects to other HP software. For example, it can link to HP Service Manager’s ticketing system for approvals of new infrastructure requests.

Other software that offers similar capability includes CA’s IT Process Manager and IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager.

Insight Recovery relies on HP BladeSystem’s Virtual Connect capabilities, which allows the virtualization of the LAN and SAN connection to the blade enclosure. The recovery plug-in “presents the idea of a logical server,” said Christianopoulos. If there’s a failure a physical or virtual workload can be moved automatically from one platform to another without the intervention of an administrator.

Some data centres mirror workloads, he said, but that can be expensive. Insight Recovery offers the ability to save data for less. Initially, Insight Recovery supports HP Integrity, VMware ESX/ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines. “Others to follow extremely quickly,” Christianopoulos said.

Insight Dynamics-VSE lets administrators analyze and optimize HP or HP/IBM/Dell physical or virtual server environments. It does not need its own server. The two plug-ins are priced per server. An HP Insight Recovery single-server license costs $1,294. An HP Insight Orchestration single-server license runs $1,034

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