HP to add management to virtualization tools

HP next week is set to announce new and upgraded products that it says will help companies more easily roll out and manage virtualized servers. The company also will introduce capabilities that will let customers deploy virtualization on their HP Integrity servers.

HP had planned to share the news last week at the HP Technology Forum in New Orleans, but the conference was postponed because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The HP news comes on the heels of announcements from competitors BMC Software, Computer Associates and IBM. HP is expected to detail products that will help enterprise network managers get more visibility and control of their virtualized server environments.

Two new software products, HP Integrity Essentials Capacity Advisor and Virtualization Manager, could help customers plan and maintain virtual environments, HP says.

Capacity Advisor software installs on a server and uses distributed agents to collect data on server resources and workload processing. The software can also receive data from tools in HP’s OpenView Performance Management suite. Capacity Advisor can help IT managers simulate application workloads before deploying the applications to the virtualized servers, HP says.

Virtualization Manager could help customers maintain their virtual and physical servers by providing configuration tools on a single management console. The software plugs into HP Systems Insight Manager 5.0, software that lets systems administrators monitor Unix, Windows and Linux servers from one console. It also allows IT managers to modify workloads, adjust virtual partitions, and manage physical systems on HP Integrity and HP ProLiant servers, HP says.

The company also announced that HP Integrity Virtual Machines, which allows multiple operating system instances to share a CPU as well as I/O resources, is expected to be available later this year for HP-UX 11i. Support for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 as well as Linux is planned for 2006.

David Grant, data center manager for network communications company Mitel, based outside of Ottawa, says he is waiting for the Integrity tools to upgrade his current HP server rollout. He consolidated 12 servers into two clustered HP 9000 rp8420 servers to support business-critical applications such as SAP, and uses products such as HP-UX Workload Manager to track and manage resources.

“Now we can pull back computing resources from systems that don’t need them and better use what used to be virtual wasted resources,” he says. “The virtual I/O on Integrity Itanium servers would increase that flexibility further for us.”

The two software products are expected to be available in December. HP says pricing will be determined at that time.

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