Hewlett-Packard is integrating its Insight Control systems management software suite into Microsoft’s System Center offering, the latest move by the systems vendor in its integrated data center initiative.
HP officials said the move to integrate the server management features of HP ProLiant and BladeSystem servers into Microsoft’s consoles will give IT administrators greater visibility into and management of their data center environments. HP announced the integration April 28.
“The focus here is that we’re reaching out to customers who have chosen Microsoft System Center as their overarching management system,” said Jeff Carlat, director of marketing for HP’s Infrastructure Software and BladeSystem business.
HP’s Adaptive Infrastructure initiative is designed to improve performance and flexibility in the data center while reducing complexity and costs. The company has kept up a steady drumbeat of announcements around the strategy, most recently introducing its BladeSystem Matrix, an all-in-one package that combines server, storage, networking and software, linked through HP’s Virtual Connect technology.
Carlat said the integration move with Microsoft is another step in simplifying the data center environment, where such technologies as virtualization and advanced networking capabilities are making things more unwieldy for IT administrators.
“We are seeing a high level of complexity popping up in the data center,” he said.
Users Benefit from ICE-SC
Integrating the HP management capabilities into Microsoft’s System Center-in what HP is calling its Insight Control suite for Microsoft System Center, or ICE-SC-will let ProLiant and BladeSystem users who have opted for Microsoft’s software suite take advantage of the capabilities HP has to offer, Carlat said.
Until now, HP was like most of its competitors in offering basic integration into Microsoft System Center, Carlat said. However, the deeper integration of Insight Control means IT administrators can make better use of such HP technologies as the myriad sensors in the new ProLiant G6 servers-released in March in conjunction with Intel’s rollout of its new Xeon 5500 series chips. Through the System Center console, users can monitor the information coming in from the sensors.
It also means greater HP support for the ProLiant systems, Carlat said, including one year of 24/7 technical support. Such robust support was the top issue among customers, he said.
Through the integration effort, users will be able to monitor and respond to software and hardware problems though the Microsoft consoles, including server health warnings and prefailure condition alerts with SCOM (System Center Operations Manager) 2007. In addition, ProLiant and BladeSystem users can manage virtual machines using Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 and configuration tasks through System Center Configuration Manager.
It also means greater insight into the relationship between host physical systems and virtual machines, the company said.
The benefits of the integration to users are increased uptime, simplified virtualization management, and better power and cooling capabilities thanks to such HP technologies as Dynamic Power Capping, which enables administrators to set a maximum power usage limit on the machines.
HP will release ICE-SC in June with pricing starting at $549, although there are upgrade prices for businesses already using HP management software. Carlat said HP and Microsoft plan to enhance this integration effort and already are developing a road map for the first half of 2010.