HP Converged Infrastructure Push Includes Servers, Networking, Storage
HP also rolled out enhancements to its Virtual Connect technology, improving its quality-of-service (QoS) capabilities and its ability to handle Fibre Channel-over-Ethernet (FCoE) traffic. In addition, HP added a 24GB registered dual in-line memory module (RDIMM) that will bring better density-per-slot and a 25 percent performance gain over current DIMM configurations. HP's new workstation blade, the ProLiant WS460C Generation 8, offers eight GPUs per blade and supports four times more users per host blade, lowering costs for users by up to 60 percent over previous generations. In storage, HP is offering new StoreVirtual Storage offerings, which are software-defined storage delivered either as a virtual storage appliance through software or as a converged storage appliance on ProLiant servers. The new systems are based on HP's ProLiant Generation 8, offering twice the performance and capacity density compared with earlier models. HP also is offering the channel a prepackaged midrange model that combines its 3Par StoreServ and StoreOnce Backup products. For HP customers, the new offerings mean more clarity on the product road map, preparation for the next generation of Ethernet connectivity and a show of solid commitment to the Virtual Connect products, Fichera said.HP also announced new unified wired and wireless offerings that will help businesses deal with the growing BYOD trend and give partners new services they can bring to their customers. The HP offerings come as BYOD continues to push its way to the forefront of IT issues businesses struggle with. Pointing to numbers from analyst firms Forrester, IDC and Gartner, HP officials note that about half of all workers are using three or more devices for work—but that IT staffs don't see all those devices—about 4.5 billion personal client devices will be on networks in 2015, and that through 2014, employee-owned devices will be hit by malware at a rate twice that of corporate-owned devices. By 2016, two-thirds of the workforce will own smartphones, and 40 percent will be mobile. The problem is that legacy networks are not designed to handle the rapidly changing business landscape, requiring two networks and management applications for wired and wireless connectivity, according to Kash Shaikh, senior director of product and technical marketing for HP Networking. The results are expensive, complex networks that are difficult to scale and don't have the security capabilities needed for BYOD.
It's also a "clear sign that the server group has not lost its focus," he wrote. "In earlier posts on the impact of HP's management and financial fiascos I stated that the core product groups were still competent and focused. I view this announcement as a clear token of this focus. While it is impossible to tell whether or not the decision to enhance rather than replace was driven purely by pragmatic product planning or partially influenced by budget constraints, it looks to me to be a very carefully focused set of enhancements delivered by a group of people who have kept their heads down and focused on their customers for the last one to two years, regardless of what their executive management has been up to."