HP has announced new products, services and solutions designed to simplify the implementation and management of virtualisation so that the technology delivers greater business value.
Recent global research conducted on behalf of HP revealed that while 86% of technology decision makers have implemented virtualisation projects, the vast majority of respondents expect to have virtualised just 25% of their technology environments by 2010.
While many of those surveyed anticipate eventually reaching 75% virtualisation of their total environments, only one-third of these technology implementers recognise virtualisation as a valuable business tool. Two-thirds of implementers relegate virtualisation to the role of technology enabler.
"Virtualisation is a powerful step in transforming IT," says Oliver Fortuin, GM: Technology Solutions Group at HP South Africa. "To do it right means successfully managing and automating mixed physical and virtual environments. HP delivers the industry's broadest portfolio for virtualised environments, covering applications and operations management, infrastructure and client architectures."
HP's approach to virtualisation is focused on removing the technology inhibitors that reduce virtualisation's impact on the business. It highlights how applications and business services can perform well regardless of where and how they are hosted, networked or managed. It dramatically simplifies management across a combined virtual and physical world, and it addresses the issue of pooling infrastructure resources across an organisation.
HP's new offerings support business needs that span the desktop to the data centre. They are focused on lowering operational cost, mitigating the risk of a heterogeneous environment and freeing resources to deliver new business services. These offerings are designed around three specific areas: applications and operations management, overcoming infrastructure barriers, and maximising client architectures.
Rethink applications and operations management
HP Business Service Management (BSM) and IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions have been enhanced with new virtualisation monitoring and support capabilities to seamlessly link business services to the physical and virtual resources that deliver and manage them. This leads to faster deployments, lower costs and quicker problem resolution.
* HP Operations Agent, HP Performance Agent and HP SiteScope have been enhanced with hypervisor management capabilities, including the ability to collect management data to automate event and availability monitoring and management processes across heterogeneous infrastructures.
* HP Network Node Manager i-series has been updated to monitor the performance and availability of networks supporting dynamic, virtualised environments. This allows customers to proactively plan and monitor network capacity.
* New HP Asset Manager identifies and manages virtual machine asset inventory and licenses, allowing customers to pay for only the licenses they need.
* A new strategic development agreement with Red Hat simplifies the monitoring and management of virtualised environments.
* New and enhanced HP Virtualisation Support Services achieve a smooth transition to, and ongoing management of, new virtualisation technology while reducing the risk of unplanned downtime.
Rethink infrastructure barriers
Current infrastructure was not designed to take complete advantage of virtualisation. New HP offerings are designed to lower costs, mitigate the risk of downtime and free up resources that can drive additional business services to support growth.
* The HP ProLiant BL495c virtualisation blade is the world's first server blade designed specifically to host virtual machines. The BL495c eliminates key virtualisation performance bottlenecks of memory, data storage and network connections.
* HP StorageWorks 4400 Scalable NAS File Services integrates the HP StorageWorks 4400 Enterprise Virtual Array, file servers, management software, and Microsoft Windows® or Linux support to virtualise the connection between servers and storage. The solution lowers maintenance costs and mitigates the risk of data loss with advanced replication software.
* HP-UX 11i V3 and the HP Virtual Server Environment have been enhanced for mission-critical virtualisation with significant performance improvement, automated optimisation, improved protection and simplified management capabilities.
* HP Virtualisation Accelerator Services are new, predefined consulting services for planning, designing and implementing virtualisation initiatives. This yields a faster return on investment.
Rethink client architectures
Businesses can leverage client virtualisation to achieve greater reliability, security and improved management of end-user computing. This decreases the cost of client management and support while increasing productivity.
* The new HP t5630, t5545, t5540 and t5145 Thin Clients feature scratch-resistant HP DuraFinish and provide expanded multimedia features, enhanced brokering capabilities, greater performance and improved management support.
* The HP ProLiant xw460c Blade Workstation with Graphics Expansion Blade supports a full range of graphics capability with the latest NVIDIA Quadro FX graphics. This provides more secure, easily managed data centre workstation computing for the financial trading, public sector, mechanical computer-aided design (MCAD), and oil and gas segments.
* Enhancements to the HP Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution include new planning, quick-start and implementation services. These services determine specific VDI needs and associated business value, so customers can implement the right solutions. HP also unveiled the new HP VDI with Citrix XenDesktop, which is designed to enable everything from smaller, entry-level implementations to enterprise-wide desktop delivery.
* "Citrix Ready" blade PCs and thin clients are now certified for use within Citrix XenDesktop environments. They deliver a dedicated one-to-one remote computing experience at radically improved economics for knowledge workers requiring a broad range of application support and a rich graphics experience.