Marc Payne, vice president Enterprise Servers, Storage & Networking Iberia in his keynote explained the rationale behind what HP calls IT sprawl. Many datacenters have grown into extremely complex and difficult to modify infrastructures. Too many servers are still being used for only one purpose, built on top of a variety of storage devices, housing hundreds of applications, complicated by a horrible amount of cables of all sorts and with hardly any management software in place to make it at least look like a coherent system.
The same is beginning to apply to the home with an ever increasing number of devices all connected to the Internet: desktops, laptops, tablets, media centers, servers, phones and television sets, although you wouldn’t expect a system management in place for the home (yet). Wait till pets are starting to start Internet services.
What we do know is that al these billions of users require a lot of server, storage and network resources and that the datacenters are getting bigger and bigger.
With all these developments in mind, HP decided to develop the datacenter of the future. They started in 2009 with the concept of the converged infrastructure and one of the building blocks, the HP c-Class BladeSystem had already appeared three years before. In 2009 HP not only talked about this concept but delivered on its promise instantaneously with 75 new products within 30 days in that year. One of these products was the HP ProLiant G6 blade server which was able to take on a much higher often virtualized workload.
HP added 3Com to its ProCurve network business and acquired several interesting networking/security products such as Tipping Point.
In 2010 the HP ProLiant G7 was introduced which for the first time had no longer separate network and Fibre Channel adapters but one Converged Network Adapter (CNA) which could combine Ethernet and Fibre Channel (FCoE). Meanwhile also Powerdome was renewed and HP Integrity with its Itanium processor appeared in a blade form factor.
The storage landscape was seriously shaken by the acquisition of Lefthand, Ibrix and 3PAR and it made me wonder what would happen to the current storage products.
HP invented the BladeSystem Matrix to provision servers, storage and network into secure and resilient clouds with personalization, self-service, automation and orchestration.
In 2011 HP says it is fully ready to deliver a coherent system. There is even a way of converting already deployed blade servers and storage into a BladeSystem Matrix and add its resources to the HP CloudSystem.
HP and Microsoft have also worked closely together and promised to spend $250M each into better integration of their technology with cloud in mind. We are now seeing the first results in the products like the Exchange Server 2010 appliance, the System Center integration and the Hyper-V based Virtual Storage Array P4000 VSA.
Marc concluded by saying that he was convinced that “HP was the only company on the planet to deliver a fully converged infrastructure” whether it was used in-house, out-sources or via cloud.