Working hard to expand beyond its popular commodity offerings – printers, PCs and x86 servers – HP has been beefing up its software, communications, data center and services portfolios and is looking to take another step in its transformation at this week’s VMware Partner Exchange 2014 gathering in San Francisco where it is unveiling new infrastructure management capabilities. According to the world’s largest IT vendor, the HP OneView VMware vCenter plug-in: enables systems administrators to automate the monitoring, management, and diagnostics and provision VMware vSphere hosts and clusters, including servers, networking, and storage, from a single management console; provides a software-defined management layer for users to plug into all their existing tools and runbooks to extend the automation capabilities for the tools and processes they’re familiar with; and manages and deploys all the resources from their familiar vCenter console.
“As a result, system administrators can deliver IT services faster, more reliably and at lower cost because management tasks take fewer steps and there is no need to navigate between vCenter and server, storage, and networking management consoles,” said Brad Kirby, Group Manager, HP Converged System, in a blog about the announcement. “This is what makes the HP OneView and VMware vCenter collaboration so unique. We’ve created a management environment that is based on the way people work, not on how devices work.”
Although new, customer acceptance of OneView has been overwhelming, Paul Miller, Vice President Marketing, HP ConvergedSystem, told IT Trends & Analysis. Customers see it as an automation engine, allowing virtualization administrators to automate control of compute, storage, and networking resources without detailed knowledge of each device. “We call it software-defined infrastructure.”
HP took the wraps of OneView at the end of September, calling it the first step in fundamentally rethinking the entire approach to infrastructure management in the data center. “The traditional tools to deploy and manage IT are not meeting demands,” said HP’s Jeff Carlat, Director, Converged Systems Product Management. “We built this tool to be simple, to be fast… and extensible…”
The company spent four years developing the product, including collaborating with more than 150 customers across 30 data centers worldwide to understand the drivers of cost, inefficiencies and delays around the most common infrastructure management tasks, processes and steps. HP also looked at the best mobile applications out there and learned from them, building a solution today and tomorrow, he said. The results included the ability to deploy and manage HP infrastructure faster, with a 42% lower total cost of ownership and a 220% return on investment, Carlat said.
According to Forrester analyst Richard Fichera it was a significant development in systems management tools, both useful to HP customers today and probably setting a significant bar for competitive offerings as well. “All in all, HP OneView is possibly the most significant systems management product announcement that I have seen in a long time, and I cannot come up with a good reason why users of HP’s newer servers should not be evaluating it.”
However that was restricted initially to HP’s BladeSystem and ProLiant Generation 7 and 8 (Gen7/8) servers. VMware represents a huge new market opportunity – more than 250,000 customers and 25,000 partners – for HP to go after.
According to a new report from Technology Business Research, as of December, less than 5% of VMware’s install base had adopted VMware’s expanding management portfolio, including IT management, automation and orchestration offerings such as vCOPs (vCenter Operations Management Suite) and the 4Q13 generally available IT Business Management Suite. To increase adoption, TBR sees VMware working with customers and channel partners to align vSphere customers’ deployment needs with VMware’s management portfolio.
Ultimately, this will increase the competition between HP and its converged infrastructure competitors, Cisco/UCS/VCE (which includes EMC/VMware), IBM and Dell, said Miller. “What we’re trying to do is build them a software-defined management level that plugs into other tools. It becomes the management platform across our converged infrastructure.”
Miller said there are two classes of OneView customers, those that have bought into the whole convergence strategy, and those that are looking to automation for short and long-term relief. “Some of your larger organizations are dealing with thousands of physical machines or tens of thousands of virtual machines and they don’t want to deal with the headaches.”
Looking ahead, he said there is a “robust roadmap” and a number of announcements will be made this year involving servers, storage and networking.
Under The Hood
OneView capabilities include:
-users can deploy or expand a vSphere cluster up to 12X faster than before in 5 easy steps;
-administrators can easily and quickly assess the impact of network faults and configuration changes;
-compute and storage management come together within a single solution;
-HP OneView management can be injected into any IT service delivery workflow using its standard REST API;
-migrate workloads up to 5X faster;
-configure servers up to 9X faster;
-network configurations are up to 24X faster; and
-up to 42% lower TCO; up to 220% ROI and 6-month payback for HP BladeSystem.