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1/15/2009
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HP Extends Orchestration Of Virtual, Physical Servers

With two additions to its Adaptive Infrastructure management products, HP is upping the ante in the race to manage physical and virtual data center servers from the same console.

Hewlett-Packard is upping the ante in the race to manage physical and virtual data center servers from the same console. It made two additions Thursday to its core Adaptive Infrastructure management products.

The Adaptive Infrastructure line, when applied to its x86 ProLiant servers, becomes the HP Insight suite of management software, and virtual machine management is handled by HP Insight Dynamics-Virtual Server Environment.

Insight-VSE will get two new optional modules, Insight Orchestration and Insight Recovery.

Insight Orchestration allows an IT administrator to visually design a template of a virtual server and impose that template with the push of a button on as many blades or other servers as the administrator wishes, explained Mark Linesch, VP of enterprise server and storage solutions. Different templates can be created for different workloads.

Insight Orchestration comes with a built-in workflow process that can handle technical support issues through trouble ticketing. Orchestration also can establish a portal where templates are stored, copied, and used. End users can even be empowered to generate their own virtual servers by assigning them privileges "to request a template at a self-service portal, which would give them a virtual server equipped with its storage, WAN, and LAN connections," Linesch noted.

These orchestration features will be available later this year on the Integrity HP servers running HP Unix as options under Virtual Server Environment for that line, Linesch said.

In addition, HP is making an Insight Recovery option, where a failed system running on an HP BladeSystem server or in a VMware virtual machine can be re-established at another site. For instant recovery, the Recovery product's operation can be integrated with HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array, which can supply the quick recovery through its Continuous Access data replication software.

"Disaster recovery has been an expensive process, requiring replication of resources [at two sites]. It's been difficult to test," noted Linesch. Through virtualization, disaster recovery gains cheaper replication, along with push-button activation.

In addition to the two new options, HP has built additional capacity planning into Insight Dynamics-VSE. It can automatically collect server utilization data from Dell, IBM, and other Windows-based x86 servers to allow rapid migration of their workloads to HP BladeSystem and ProLiant servers.

Insight Dynamics-VSE supports capacity planning for virtual machines generated by VMware ESX and ESXi, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, and HP Integrity Virtual Machines.

Linesch noted that HP "has ported that software capacity from the Integrity/HP-UX line of servers to the ProLiant line for multiple years." Now advancements occur in x86 virtualization that are instituted first in the Insight Dynamics-VSE, then ported back into the Unix line. The ability to generate templates and move carbon copies of virtual machines from one blade to another originated in the x86 world but will eventually be added to Integrity's Virtual Server Environment as well.

Insight Dynamics-VSE is priced starting at $1,195 per server. The Insight Orchestration option can be added for $795 per server. Insight Recovery is priced at $995 per server.

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