HP Combines Blade Servers, Unified Communications Software - InformationWeek

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11/2/2007
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HP Combines Blade Servers, Unified Communications Software

Communications software from Microsoft and Ericsson is package with HP's BladeSystem to provide a complete system for businesses.

Two of the hottest areas of technology development for the past year have been blade servers and unified communications suites. Hewlett-Packard has announced an initiative this week aimed at bringing the two together within a consolidated platform.

HP is offering "Solution Blocks" that integrate leading software-based communications tools with its BladeSystem enclosures and related products to provide an integrated platform for managing e-mail, messaging, presence, conferencing, and telephony. The first two Solutions Blocks from will integrate communications software packages from Ericsson and Microsoft.

"When we looked at the whole concept of consolidating and unifying all the different aspects of communications we saw it as a good match for what we are doing with BladeSystem," said Mike Kendall, manager of the enterprise storage and servers solutions building program for HP, in an interview.

Partnerships between software and hardware vendors to bring about encompassing platforms for unified communications have been growing for the past year, with previous partnerships announced between such companies as IBM and 3Com and Microsoft and Nortel.

HP's Ericsson Solution Block includes Ericsson's mobility gateway software, MX-ONE server-based IP-PBX software modules, and Enterprise Multimedia Server, a SIP IP-PBX.

The BladeSystem Solution Block for Microsoft integrates Microsoft's recently announced Communications Server 2007, Office Communicator 2007, and Exchange Server 2007.

The Microsoft Solution Block is available now, and the Ericsson Solution Block will be available in the first quarter of 2008. HP is also working with other communications software vendors on future Solution Block platforms, Kendall said.

The Solution Blocks combined either HP's full-featured c7000 BladeSystem enclosure or the recently introduced c3000, or "Shorty", BladeSystem enclosure that was designed specifically for use by mid-sized businesses. The blocks also include HP's storage hardware, interconnect technology, and applications based on best practice configurations. Other functionality like customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, and business continuity can be combined in the platforms as well.

"This is the level of technology that historically has only been available to largest of enterprise operations who could afford large consulting companies to help roll out the solutions sets," Kendall said. "Our Solution Blocks make it a simple process to work within a standard platform like BladeSystem while taking advantage of leading communications software packages."

HP is working closely with a wide range of resellers to market the Solution Block platforms, Kendall said.

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