HP launches three network and storage virtualization products

It is clear from this product launch that HP is one of a very small list of suppliers that fully understands and has the ability to address the use of all forms of virtualization technology.

HP launched three new products targeting virtualized environments, including HP Ethernet Virtual Interconnect (EVI), HP Multitenant Device Context (MDC) and the HP StoreVirtual virtual storage appliance (VSA). The company appears to be targeting the complexity that arises when virtual workloads must be able to be moved from data center to data center.

Here is what HP had to say about its announcement

In legacy infrastructures, moving a VM workload such as a Microsoft® Exchange application between data centers requires hundreds of complex, manual device-level configuration steps. Data mobility is similarly challenging because storage requires a physical deployment that consumes floor space, power, cooling and infrastructure investment, which locks clients into a proprietary environment.

New HP Converged Infrastructure solutions help to eliminate these issues, delivering increased agility and simplicity:

  • HP Ethernet Virtual Interconnect (EVI) is the industry’s first solution to simplify and speed the interconnectivity of up to eight geographically dispersed data centers in minutes, eliminating manual configuration tasks.
  • HP Multitenant Device Context (MDC) software delivers increased security for multitenant cloud applications, eliminating the comingling of data from different applications or departments.
  • HP StoreVirtual virtual storage appliance (VSA) increases flexibility by allowing clients to easily build storage pools on any x86 server using VMware vSphere® or Windows® Server Hyper-V hypervisors. As a result, clients can move data across heterogeneous servers, hypervisors and data center locations to better meet organization needs, while reducing overall cost and complexity.

Here's what HP claims

HP EVI is the industry’s only Data Center Interconnect overlay technology that enables “single touch” connection of up to eight data centers around the world from one location. Clients can optimize server and storage resources to perform workload mobility or disaster recovery by linking the software in HP EVI from one data center to another.

HP StoreVirtual VSA is the first software-based virtual storage appliance to operate on any x86 server, while connecting to a range of third-party external storage solutions and supporting a mix of VMware vSphere and Windows Server Hyper-V hypervisors simultaneously. This heterogeneous, hardware-agnostic solution for delivering shared storage in virtualized environments eliminates vendor lock-in, reduces infrastructure cost  and increases utilization without additional investment.

Snapshot analysis

HP is one of the few suppliers that has the ability to address nearly every category in the Kusnetzky Group Model of Virtualization. (See Sorting out the different layers of virtualization for more information on the model).  The products launched in this announcement demonstrate that the company understands that technology from all layers of the model must be used together to create the best environment for today's business critical workloads.

The three products launched in this announcement, HP EVI, HP MDC, and HP VSA address the needs to make networks and storage as agile as virtual workloads. HP, however, is not alone in addressing these needs.

HP clearly understands that workloads need to be agile. This means that:

  • Management tools must be available to monitor utilization of all IT resources
  • Orchestration software must be available to be able to move workloads from one physical host to another to 1) meet business objectives, 2) meet service level objectives and, of course, 3) deal with slow downs or failures.
  • Application virtualization technology must be available to support increased levels of scalability and reliability
  • Processing virtualization technology must be able to make it possible many workloads to share a single physical host or to make it possible for many physical hosts to support a single workload
  • Network virtualization must be available to make communications simple, secure and perform up to the expectations of the organization
  • Storage virtualization technology must be available to allow the organization to make the most optimal use of available storage resources without having to deal with the complexity of assigning LUNs or manually moving files from one device to another to optimize performance

HP's new products, combined with the rest of the company's virtualization and management portfolio allows it to address enterprise needs that only a few others can address. Although this isn't a exhaustive list, only IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and a very few others can address all of the needs HP addresses.