HP's Converged Infrastructure Based on Virtual Storage Technology

The vendor's CS 250 appliance uses its StoreVirtual software-defined storage product and technologies from VMware and Intel.

virtual storage technology

Hewlett-Packard is unveiling a new offering in its expanding portfolio of converged infrastructure appliances, with the latest product based on the tech vendor's software-defined storage technology.

Later this month, HP will roll out the ConvergedSystem 250-HC StoreVirtual (CS 250) appliance that brings together its virtual server and storage technologies into an appliance that can be configured within minutes and is priced at around half of what competitive systems cost, according to company officials.

The CS 250 feeds into the growing demand for agile and programmable IT infrastructure offerings that enable enterprises to quickly develop and deploy new applications and services, they said. While the new appliance is designed for virtual desktops and remote offices, the officials said it can help businesses in their migration to hybrid cloud environments.

The offering—which not only includes HP's StoreVirtual software-defined storage (SDS) technology, but also Intel processors and enhanced integration with VMware technology—is the latest converged infrastructure offering from the company, which is embracing a market that is expected to grow quickly over the next few years. IDC analysts said last year that they expect 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, an annual growth rate of about 32.8 percent.

The solutions offer customers simplified and efficient IT tools that are easy to deploy and manage and run both legacy applications as well as new cloud-based workloads. A range of tech vendors are offering such solutions, including Cisco Systems, Oracle, VCE—part of EMC's federation of companies—Lenovo and IBM.

Most recently in June, HP announced a partnership with Arista Networks in which the two are offering a converged infrastructure solution that includes HP's Converged Architecture products, including servers and storage hardware, with Arista's programmable networking technology and Extensible Operating System (EOS).

Regarding the new CS 250, Manish Goel, senior vice president and general manager of HP Storage, said in a statement that "hyper-convergence is simply the next step in HP's evolution of the software-defined data center."

"There is no one-size-fits-all solution for infrastructure," Goel said. "This is why HP continues to offer flexible and interoperable solutions based on HP StoreVirtual technology to help our customers lower costs independent of the hypervisors and hardware platforms they choose."

The CS 250 will be available in multiple configurations, including a three-node configuration that is up to 49 percent more cost-effective than competing offerings, HP officials said. The converged systems come with a choice of up to 96 processing cores, a mix of solid-state drives (SSDs) and SAS disk drives and up to 2TB of memory for each four-node appliance.

The systems will be pre-configured for VMware's vSphere 5.5 or 6.0 and HP's OneView InstantOn, enabling users to get them production ready and deployed within 15 minutes. Management comes via VMware's vCenter thorugh HP's OneView for VMware vCenter plug-in.

The CS 250 also can serve as a gateway into hybrid clouds. HP is offering the Helion CloudSystem 9.0, which is based on the CS 250, which can be used for on-premises workloads but also can include self-service portal provisioning and public cloud bursting capabilities, officials said.

The vendor also is rolling out new SDS design and integration services to help customers use SDS to leverage cloud storage services.

The four-node CS 250-HC StoreVirtual configuration will be available Aug. 17; the three-node configuration will be released Sept. 28. Helion CloudSystem 9.0 will be available in September, while the new SDS services are available now.