Server Den: Inside HP's Converged Infrastructure

Gary Thome, chief architect of HP's Infrastructure Software and Blades group, talks power and cooling like you've never heard it before. Plus, why he thinks Hewlett-Packard's data-center play tops Cisco.

Alexander Wolfe, Contributor

February 1, 2010

2 Min Read

Virtual Connect is a key piece of the architecture, negotiating the connection between the servers and networking. It's intended to make the server component appear as one system to the external LAN and SAN. Its operational goal simplifies the connection between said servers and those LANs and SANs, and greatly cut down the time admins have to spend setting up these connections.

As for the management software, while not exciting on the face of it, it's a more crucial element than one might initially realize in making the whole package operate smoothly. "It's built on top of some of our leading operation-orchestration technology, that we acquired through our OpsWare acquisition [of 2007]," said Thome. "It allows you to create a graphical template which describes your entire workload."

Big Wrap

What have we missed? I haven't discussed the 10-GB Ethernet angle. As with increased memory densities, the shift to 10-GB is being forced, in a not-insignificant sense, by the increased use of virtualization. (More "processors," hence more need for I/O.)

Or, in Thome's words: "Virtualization runs great with a lot of cores, but along with that, you want to have a complete balanced system. So it's driving things like 10G connectivity and networking. We have 10GB Ethernet on the motherboard of most of the blades we sell."

Another option enables slicing and dicing the connection. HP's Virtual Connect Flex 10 capability can take a 10GB connection (more precisely, two, so there's redundancy) and make them appear like multiple NICs to the server. This is an easy way to access the higher speeds in an existing infrastructure, as well as nice connectivity into VMware setups requiring multiple 1-GB NIC hook-ups.

Learn More

HP's Converged Infrastructure page is here.

For Further Reading

Server Den Asks Infoblox: What's Infrastructure 2.0?";

CES Den: Cisco Video Thrust Telegraphs Bandwidth-Bandit Strategy;

Server Den: Architectural Differentiation To Dominate In 2010;

HP Revs Data Center Strategy, Stabbing At Cisco;

AMD, Intel Remake Servers From Processor Up;

Q&A: HP ProCurve Chief Technology Officer Paul Congdon;

Intel CTO Envisions On-Chip Data Centers;

What's your take? Let me know, by leaving a comment below or e-mailing me directly at [email protected].

Follow me on Twitter: (@awolfe58)

Alex Wolfe is editor-in-chief of

Network Computing has published an in-depth report on the state of enterprise storage. Download it here (registration required).

About the Author(s)

Alexander Wolfe


Alexander Wolfe is a former editor for InformationWeek.

Never Miss a Beat: Get a snapshot of the issues affecting the IT industry straight to your inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights