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HP joins the FlexPod and Vblock party with HP VirtualSystem

September 6th, 2011

HP was out in force at VMworld last week. Their major announcement was the HP VirtualSystem for VMware which is HPs pre-configured, tested and optimised converged infrastructure offering built for vSphere 5.  This is HPs answer to FlexPod (Cisco, VMware, Netapp) and Vblock  (Cisco, VMware, EMC) although with the HP VirtualSystem all the components (storage, networking, compute) are unsuprisingly HP rather than incorporating any other vendor other than VMware for the hypervisor.

HP Virtual System comes in three configurations, VS1, VS2 and VS3 with some size options with each configuration. All run vSphere 5 with Enterprise Plus licenses and vCenter Server Standard and are managed with HP Insight Control.

VS1: (HP ProLiant Servers with P4500 SAS SAN storage)

  • 2 x HP A5820-24XG-SFP switches
  • 1 or 2 x HP ProLiant DL360 G7 management servers
  • 2 or 8 x HP ProLiant DL380 G7 virtualization servers
  • 2 x HP A5800-48G switches
  • 1 or 4 x HP P4500 G2 14.4TB SAS 2-node virtualization SAN enclosures

VS2:(HP BladeSystem Servers with P4800 SAS SAN)

  • 2 x HP A5820X-24XG-SFP+ switches
  • 2 x HP 5800-24G switches
  • 2 x HP ProLiant DL360 G7 management servers
  • 1 or 2 x HP BladeSystem c7000 enclosures, Virtual Connect Flex-10 and 6 or 12 HP ProLiant BL460c G7 virtualization server blades
  • 1 or 2 x HP P4800 SAN enclosures

VS3: (HP BladeSystem  Servers with 3PAR F-class SAN)

  • 2 x HP A5800-24G switches
  • 2 x HP A5820X-24XG-SFP+ Switch
  • 2 x HP 8/40 Power Pack+ 24-ports SAN Switch
  • 2 x HP ProLiant DL360 G7 management servers
  • 1 or 4 HP BladeSystem c7000 enclosures, Virtual Connect FlexFabric; 16 or 32 or 64  HP ProLiant BL460c G7 server blades.
  • 1 x HP 3PAR INSERV F400 Configuration Base, 2 x HP 3PAR 2.33GHz F-Class Controller Nodes (in maximum configuration), 4 or 16 x HP 3PAR 16-Disk 4Gb Drive Chassis, 16 x HP 3PAR 4x1TB 4Gb Nrln Sng-Drv Magazine (in maximum configuration), 16 or 40 x HP 3PAR 4x600GB 15K 4Gb Sng-Drv Magazine, 1 x HP 3PAR 2M F400 Base Cabinet, 4 x HP 3PAR F 4x200GB 4G Sngl-SSD Mag (in maximum configuration)

HP is as expected selling the flexibility of the solution saying you can start small and grow within Virtual System as your business needs expand.

I think its going to be interesting to see how companies react to the announcement as HP is now offering a very simple way to order a virtualisation infrastructure if you are happy with going all HP equipment.

This is where I see the problem. HP isn’t the market leader in either storage or networking and these are the two components that enterprises see as the most critical and are most nervous to change.  Servers are pretty generic these days (even Cisco can now sell Servers with UCS) so I’m not sure whether being the leader in servers makes people comfortable enough to trust HP to also provide networking and storage where previously they may have used Cisco and NetApp or EMC. 3 PAR is an established and well regarded storage vendor but HP networking isn’t something that network teams have always been particulary keen to embrace especially when they need to connect to upstream Cisco networks. Unfortunately HP Virtual Connect with its firmware and upgrade issues isn’t as stable and problem free as HP seem to assume and doesn’t have a rock solid reputation. HP still has some work to do to build trust in its blade networking offering.

With converged stacks being all the rage at the moment, HP is unique that it does have the full product hardware suite and is presumably able to more tightly integrate its management with its hardware to create an entirely integrated HP stack which could be where its strength lies, it will be interesting to see how it fares.

  1. Timi Odeneye
    March 30th, 2012 at 11:46 | #1

    Have anyone done a comparative sturdy on all the vendors offering a converge solution to support VMware? I can find anything on the VMware web site. I am investigating a unified/converge solution for vSphere 5.0. I want to compare VCE, HP, IBM, Dell,HDS and Cisco’s Solution.

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