Hewlett-Packard wants to make it easier to manage a data center full of blades.
At the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco Nov. 12, HP executives will detail updates to its BladeSystem C-class infrastructure that include new ways to manage virtual environments across thousands of individual blades within a data center.
HP, based in Palo Alto, Calif., will also detail a new power management rack that it says will help control the flow of electricity to a data center, while promising to cut down on cabling and cooling costs.
All of these advancements fit into HPs Adaptive Infrastructure initiative, which the company has been trying to advance for more than a decade. The goal of Adaptive Infrastructure is to use HPs various software, hardware and service offerings to look at the data center in a more holistic way and give customers a single, integrated infrastructure that can be changed to meet the needs of a company.
Jonathan Eunice, an analyst with Illuminata, said that nearly every quarter since the mid-1990s, HP has added to this strategy piece by piece. Part of that is not to overwhelm customers with a whole new way of looking at the data center. Instead, each piece is an option to an existing tool, which allows users to adapt slowly.
"What it does is add a high level of automation to the data center," Eunice said. "This has been a decades long mission and its impressive that they have managed to add to it a little every quarter."
The fact that HP is adding to its blade portfolio is also a calculated move to continue its recent momentum within the blade space. IDC numbers released in August show HP continues to dominate the blade market with a 47.2 percent share, while IBM placed second with a 32.3 percent share.
That approach can be found in the HP Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager, which is an additional tool that goes with Virtual Connect, which allows IT administrators to create virtual interconnect fabrics. The new Enterprise Manager allows the administrator to now control these virtual environments across 100 C-class enclosures and up to 1,600 blades from a single management console.
The Enterprise Manager also allows the various IT administrators—data center, SAN (storage area network), networking—to coordinate resources and reduce configuration conflicts across the various blade enclosures, said Paul Gottsegen, vice president for marketing for HPs Industry Standard Servers Division.
"Its one of those hidden pain points," Gottsegen said. "It takes days to move a server when you have to coordinate with the network administrator and the SAN administrator. The Virtual Connect now allows everyone to interact and allows for a much simpler way to coordinate all the resources during a deployment."
Other improvements to the management tools, include Server Migration Pack, which combines physical to virtual migrations in a single tool, and Virtual Machine Management Pack, which will relocate virtual machines before a hardware failure occurs. These tools work with HPs Insight Control and support virtualization software from VMware, Citrix XenServer, Oracle Virtual Machine and Microsoft.
Besides the management capabilities, HP executives will detail the companys new Power Distribution Rack, which can fit into a server rack and supply the power for all the systems in that rack. Gottsegen added that the power rack will also help reduce the number of cables needed to connect all the servers to a single power source.
All of the new management tools, except for the Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager and the Power Distribution Rack, will be available on Nov. 14. The Enterprise Manager will hit the market on Nov. 20, according to HP.