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HP Takes On Cisco

A ticked-off HP is coming out against Cisco with both guns blazing

Well now the fat is in the fire. A ticked-off HP is coming out against Cisco with both guns blazing.

It claims it’s been working for years on the kind of all-in-one compute-storage-network-fabric-power-and-cooling convergence that Cisco says it has.

HP says it’s had such a thing in mind ever since it started its adaptive infrastructure initiative.

So naturally it claims that what it’s got is better than anything Cisco, a veritable server neophyte, can field and that its widgetry will “fundamentally change the way technology is used to deliver business services” while cutting infrastructure costs and data center complexity. (Where have we heard this before?)

It calls the stuff Matrix and says it will automate data center processes complements of a Matrix Orchestration Environment (MOE), basically a console that can do template-based provisioning, consolidation, recovery and capacity planning.

And the widgetry works with any operating system and any hypervisor, meaning mostly VMware and Hyper-V.

It’s supposed to simplify LAN and SAN connectivity management across hundreds of BladeSystem enclosures.

HP says the console can handle 200 virtual connect domains at a time and assign applications in real-time to a thousand physical or virtual servers. A typically deployment process should take 108 minutes, not 33 days.

The stuff’s build around what HP calls Bladesystem Matrix – supposedly the first (deliverable) converged server, storage and networking platform that automates service delivery for the data center. It’s supposed to use a third less power. HP says that users can reclaim up to 50% of previously over-provisioned data center circuit capacity.

It creates a pre-integrated pool of resources that operate in both physical and virtual environments and HP says companies can save up to 79% in operational costs and see payback in as little as eight months with an ROI of maybe 323% in three years.

HP claims 4:1 network equipment consolidation and a 45% reduction in server hardware and software costs.

Matrix comes with HP’s new Virtual Connect 8Gb Fibre Channel and Flex-10 Ethernet modules. The later, a first, allocates the bandwidth of a 10Gb Ethernet network port across four NIC connections. With it, customers deploying virtual machines are supposed to be able to realize a savings of up to 55% in network equipment costs and a 65% cut in Fibre Channel connection costs.

HP says it can also deliver up to a 92% reduction in power and cooling costs.

A Bladesystem Matrix starter kit includes a Bladesystem c7000 enclosure, which can house 64 blades, a ProLiant BL460c G6 management blade with Insight Dynamics-VSE, a StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array 45400 and redundant Virtual Connect Flex-10 Ethernet and 8Gb Fibre Channel modules. With a SAN, the widgetry starts at $150,000.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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