At its HP Discover show, HP is rolling out appliances for virtualized environments, cloud computing and applications such as business intelligence and databases.
Hewlett-Packard last year closed on its $2.7 billion acquisition of networking vendor 3Com
, the deal gave the company
the piece it was missing in the data center stack, a networking arm to
complement its server, storage and management software businesses.
with the complete data center package, HP executives are looking to push what
they see as a key advantage over its rivals by ramping up its appliance
strategy, offering more complete, tightly integrated and preconfigured
solutions designed to run specific workloads.
gave the industry a look at the direction they're going June 6 during the first
day of its HP Discover 2011 show in Las Vegas. HP unveiled a host of new
converged data center offerings that fall in line with the company's Instant-On
Enterprise initiative, including new server systems, storage solutions and a
new, highly energy-efficient modular data center that offers high levels of
performance while reducing capital expenses and power consumption.
Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager of HP's Enterprise
Servers and Networking Business Unit, said during a Webcast press conference
that 18 months after his company announced its efforts behind converged data
center products, his business unit has seen "incredible growth," including $22
billion in revenue in the first half of 2011. Donatelli said it was further
validation that HP was moving in the right direction.
HP isn't the
only vendor pushing appliances. For example, IBM has such offerings as its WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance
for private cloud
development. In addition, Oracle, through its acquisition of Sun Microsystems,
is pushing appliances that couple its hardware with Sun's SPARC systems. The
result so far has been such appliances as the Exadata database
offering and Exalogic cloud-in-a-box
HP is pushing
further in that direction with the unveiling of its Converged Systems offerings,
a portfolio of tightly integrated appliances that touch the application,
virtualization and cloud-computing layers. Donatelli said HP's offerings are
"appliances done right." HP took the first step in January, when it unveiled
its CloudSystem appliance, designed to offer businesses a platform for building
and managing services across public, private and hybrid clouds.
HP at its Las
Vegas event rolled out the AppSystem and VirtualSystem appliances. The
AppSystem is designed to offer high performance while being easier to deploy
and manage than traditional servers. Included in the AppSystem offerings is the
HP Vertica Analytics System, a business-intelligence platform that will
challenge Oracle's Exadata. In addition, HP unveiled the Database Consolidation
Solution and Business Data Warehouse Appliance, both optimized for Microsoft's
SQL Server 2008 R2.
also has embraced the appliance model with its UCS (Unified Computing System),
which offers its servers and networking capabilities, along with storage and
virtualization technologies from such partners as EMC and VMware.
VirtualSystem is aimed at both virtualized server and desktop deployments, and
will support virtualization technology from Microsoft, VMware and Citrix
Systems. It can support from 750 to 6,000 virtual servers, or 3,000 virtual
clients, according to Paul Miller, vice president of HP's Enterprise Server,
Storage and Networking Alliances and Solutions group. Such a solution makes
sense, given that 43 percent of virtual machines run on HP systems, Miller
also creates a pathway for customers who want to continue onto cloud computing,
differentiator for HP is its adherence to an open architecture, Miller said,
calling appliance offerings from the likes of Oracle proprietary and a way of
locking customers in to a single vendor. HP works with best-of-breed vendors,
That's what customers are afraid of," he said during the Webcast event.
offered a host of new storage offerings designed to make enterprises more agile
to help them adapt to the rapid changes going on in the industry driven by such
technologies as Web browsers and mobile computing.