Amid ongoing financial struggles and continuing concerns about its future, HP has come out battling at its annual Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas with a barrage of new network and storage products and services under its ‘Converged Infrastructure’ umbrella, and targeted at the enterprise. The announcements include a new BladeSystem, storage and networking solutions, as well as services.
The company said it has delivered more than 8 million virtual connect ports, issued more than 7 million HP Insight Management licenses, shipped more than 40 petabytes of bladed storage and 50 million switch ports, and grown to nearly 900 HP CloudSystem customers, and has led the industry in blade server revenue and shipments for 24 consecutive quarters. HP pioneered the concept of a converged infrastructure, but it’s not resting on these achievements, said David Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager, Enterprise Group, HP, in a prepared statement.
The HP BladeSystem c7000 Platinum enclosure with the new SX1018 HP Ethernet switch, is more than four times faster than previous switches, and features 40GB downlinks to each blade server for near-real time performance. The company claims organizations can save up to 68% in data center operating costs.
The ProLiant WS460c Generation 8 Server Blade supports virtualized client solutions with high-density 3-D graphics and eight GPUs per blade server. Supporting four times more users per host blade, it reportedly lowers costs by up to 60% per user compared to previous generations.
HP announced two StoreVirtual Storage systems, based on ProLiant Gen8 technologies, delivering nearly double the performance and capacity density compared to previous models. In addition, the company unveiled a channel-only midrange storage solution, the StoreSystem that combines HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage and HP StoreOnce Backup systems preracked for rapid deployment.
On the services side, the HP Proactive Insight experience enables customers to take proactive actions as well as automate and manage tasks, resulting in problem prevention and productivity gains averaging $32,000 per 100 users. The company said customers can increase user productivity and achieve a return on their services investment in 30 days or less.
“This is the biggest single announcement for blade systems since the introduction of the c-Class,” said HP’s John Gromala, Director, Product Marketing, Industry Standard Servers and Software. Most of the impetus behind the announcements was driven by customers asking us to solve issues like the speed of business changes and the explosion in the number of mobile devices for them, he said.
The speed of change is causing a lot of turnover in the industry as businesses move to a service-centric model, he said, and the number of devices per user being connected to networks is expected to six or more devices within the next seven years. “What that really means is more data, more traffic and more content enterprises need to deal with. People love the convenience of devices.”
On the networking front, HP is claiming to offer the only complete solution that supports bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives. It delivers unified wired and wireless management as well as switching platforms that create a single network for wired and wireless connectivity, said the company.
Other networking innovations include device on-boarding and provisioning functionalities through a single management application, automated security with software-defined networks (SDN) technology, and mobility connectivity services that further extend the customer benefits of the HP FlexNetwork architecture.
To double network scalability over legacy infrastructure, the new OpenFlow-enabled HP 2920 Switch Series speeds data transfer by up to 45%, while increasing performance by up to 100%. The HP 830 Unified/WLAN Switch eliminates the need to purchase up to 50% of traditional network access devices, including separate switches and controllers, while supporting up to 1,000 wireless devices. Finally, the HP FlexNetwork Design and Validation and HP Wireless LAN Lifecycle Services provide validated and interoperable high-level designs and device configurations based on proven HP FlexNetwork reference architectures.
While Cisco still dominates the enterprise network market, HP has made steady progress with 12 quarters of consecutive growth, to become the credible alternative, said Kash Shaikh, senior director, Product and Technical Marketing, Networking, HP. “Our Ethernet switching revenue is greater than the sum of the next five competitors [excluding Cisco].”
HP’s network announcements address the top CIO concern, how to provide simple access to the user without compromising the security of the organization, he said. “There’s a fine balance between simplicity and security.”
Shaikh said the tools to manage BYOD aren’t available, at least not as a single, integrated solution. “We’re offering a complete unified BYOD solution that is simple, scalable and secure… [and] the same management tool can manage both wired and wireless. It is no longer acceptable to have two different management platforms.”
-HP 830 Unified/WLAN Switch will be available worldwide in May.
-HP Wi-Fi Clear Connect via MSM 6.0 will be available worldwide in May
-HP IMC Smart Connect will be available worldwide this month.
-HP 2920 Switch Series will be available worldwide this month.
-HP 10500/7500 Unified Wired-WLAN Module will be available worldwide in May.
-HP Sentinel Security Application is currently available as an early access program to select customers.
-HP IMC User Access Manager will be available worldwide this month
-HP FlexNetwork Design and Validation Services will be available in March and HP Wireless LAN Lifecycle Services is available now globally from HP and HP ServiceOne certified channel partners.
-The HP BladeSystem c7000 Platinum enclosure will be available this month for a starting price of $4,999.
-The HP ProLiant WS460c Gen 8 workstation blade will be available next month for a starting price of $5,037.