Hewlett-Packard earlier this month unveiled a hyperconverged infrastructure appliance for its software-defined storage portfolio that offers enhanced integration with virtualization technology from VMware.
Weeks later, HP is introducing another converged solution that includes a range of the company's technologies as well as integration with VMware's vSphere and vRealize Operations products. HP officials announced the new solution Aug. 31 as part of a larger package of offerings aimed at VMware environments.
The new products and services—which include a reseller agreement around VMware's NSX network virtualization platform and more virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) options with the help of VMware and Nvidia—were announced during the first day of VMware's VMworld 2015 show in San Francisco.
The offerings are an expansion of HP's 15-year relationship with VMware that spans everything from R&D to joint product and go-to-market strategies, according to Paul Miller, vice president for marketing of converged data center at HP, told eWEEK.
"We really collaborate where we see customers' biggest pain points and where we can help solve those pain points," Miller said.
HP is rapidly growing out its converged infrastructure solutions, seeing such tightly integrated appliances as ways to meet the growing demand for more flexible, faster and cost-effective options from businesses that are rapidly migrating to cloud and virtualized environments. IDC analysts expect the market to grow quickly, saying last year that the space for converged infrastructures—which include highly integrated packages of compute, networking, storage, virtualization and management software—to grow from $5.4 billion in 2013 to almost $14.4 billion in 2017, at an annual growth rate of about 32.8 percent.
The new Converged Architecture 700 (CA700) includes HP's BladeSystem products, 3PAR Storage technology and OneView management software. In addition, it integrates with VMware's vSphere and VMware vRealize Operations, which helps the solution offer converged management across compute, storage and fabric. The company is aiming the integrated system—which will be available in the fourth quarter—at private clouds, with officials saying it helps enterprises deal with such increasing challenges as a more mobile workforce and mixed workloads.
VMware administrators will be able to manage the entire stack as one, deploying and expanding clusters and running routine operations from the vSphere console.
HP already is partnering with VMware to leverage the NSX platform to give enterprises more unified automation and management of their physical and virtual data center networks. Now HP will be able to resell NSX for its FlexFabric networking technology. The offering, which will be available in the fourth quarter, will give end users a tool—the FlexFabric 5930 switch—that can span both physical and virtual environments, Miller said. What this means is that enterprises will have a way to migrate to software-defined data centers (SDDCs) at their own pace, rather than forcing them to make the move in one jump, he said.
VMware on the same day introduced the latest iteration of its NSX platform.
HP also is working with Nvidia and VMware to create a graphics-accelerated VDI environment. Miller said that "nearly every customer I talk to has some kind of … .virtual desktop initiative," but that the key hurdles are cost and graphics. Organizations at times need high-end graphics capabilities for particular workloads like videos, but other times need lower-performing graphics for everyday workloads, he said.
With the new offering that brings together VMware's Horizon 6.1 VDI solutions, Nvidia's Grid technology for graphics-accelerated virtual desktops and HP's OneView management software, the companies get a virtualized graphics processor that enable them to get the graphics capabilities they need without having to overpay. The new systems can support up to 3,500 users.
"This offers a good balance," Miller said. "We've really broken through one of the key barriers" to desktop virtualization.
Nvidia at VMworld announced Grid 2.0.
HP also unveiled a range of services for VMware environments, including a predefined accelerator solution that offers the hardware, software and services needed to pilot specific compute use cases, and an SDI implementation service.
Other services offer life cycle help for virtualized clients and network virtualization.