HP on Monday began shipping its VirtualSystem, which is designed to offer a turnkey VMware vSphere 5 hardware stack.
VirtualSystem includes VMware and HP's networking, storage and servers. HP's Insight software serves as the automation glue between these systems.
In the broader picture, HP's VirtualSystem competes with the VCE coalition, which is a venture between Cisco, EMC and VMware to offer bundled systems. HP's VirtualSystem starts at $167,300 and includes factory integration, three years of support and storage, networking and servers. Customers can leverage existing vSphere 5 licenses or buy them preinstalled.
HP's other key item for the VirtualSystem is that it leverages its recent storage acquisitions, LeftHand and 3Par. LeftHand serves as the storage foundation for VirtualSystem and provides features such as snapshot to recover, transparent fail over and the ability to run LeftHand in a virtual machine.
Craig Nunes, director for marketing at HP Storage, said LeftHand serves as the building block for the VirtualSystem and the biggest advantage is that customers won't need standalone storage systems. Storage can be a large expense in virtualized environments.
Sean Kinney, director of HP Storage, added that HP is improving the set-up wizards so it's easier to launch VirtualSystem with thin provisioning.
Overall, HP is arguing that VirtualSystem can speed up virtual machine mobility, halve capacity requirements and allow for remote troubleshooting and management. The systems come in three flavors and can be tailored to midsized and small businesses via channel partners.