Hewlett-Packard on April 19 unveiled a slate of new data center products that integrate directly with Microsoft's new System Center 2012, which was released to general availability on April 17.
The news was announced at the Microsoft Management Summit conference at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.
HP launched its HP VirtualSystem VS3 for Microsoft, HP Insight Control for System Center updates for System Center 2012, new storage management packs for System Center 2012 and support services readiness for System Center 2012. All of them fit into the realm of the converged data center system product strategy HP instituted two-and-a-half years ago.
This initiative competes directly with the 2009 Cisco Systems, EMC and VMware partnership to build Vblocks, which are converged private cloud systems using hardware and software from those vendors. Along the same lines, Oracle has its vStart prepackaged system, and Dell has been investing billions of dollars into acquiring new software for its own converged systems.
An example of a converged data center system is one that features computing, networking and at least one tier of storage (often as a NAND flash Tier 0 option) in one or more servers.
The idea behind the HP-Microsoft package is that it is a platform "for the Microsoft private cloud with pre-configured server, storage, and networking, as well as onsite delivery, orderable through a single part number," HP Group Manager of Microsoft Partnership Brad Kirby wrote in his blog.
There's no question anymore that preconfigured, preloaded and prebuilt hardware/software packages are what most data center managers are seeking for their equipment refreshes. As workloads become larger and more complicated, the systems required to process, store and secure business data also become trickier to install, run, patch and maintain.
Simplicity is good; the less configuration, the better. Automation is on everybody's minds these days.
The HP-Microsoft system consists of all the Microsoft software (System Center 2012, Azure, SQL Server) running on HP ProLiant Gen8 servers, HP 3PAR F400 storage, HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric and HP Insight Control for Microsoft System Center, which supports System Center 2012.
On the storage side, HP Storage Monitoring Pack for System Center pipes storage events and topology into System Center 2012 Operations Manager, enabling Windows Server administrators to chart storage, server, OS and application health through a single console, Kirby said.
HP will also deliver Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) providers for its line of storage arrays, starting with the 3PAR machines that form the foundation for the package. SMI-S providers enable the creation, masking, zoning and presentation of logical unit numbers (LUNs) within the context of the System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager console.
The new systems will be available later this quarter.
Chris Preimesberger is eWEEK's Editor for Features and Analysis. Twitter: @editingwhiz