HP quadruples network virtualisation option

The Virtual Connect Flex-10 module allows a single network connection to be split into four virtual connections, which HP promises will cut networking-infrastructure costs

HP has introduced a hardware and software module, Virtual Connect Flex-10, that the company said will help cut the cost of running virtual servers by allowing companies to run up to four virtual network interface controller (NIC) connections off one physical network connection.

The company said that this development can cut network equipment costs by up to 55 percent.

The HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 Ethernet module is a direct connect storage package for HP BladeSystem. The package aims to get around an issue that dogs most system managers, particularly when installing blade systems.

Blades are by their design physically compact, but require some space to install physical network connections using network interface controllers (NICs). HP said in its announcement on Monday that with the Flex-10, it is possible to have the equivalent of four NICs working from one connection.

The system is available with 1Gb or 10Gb Ethernet connections. The higher speed provides more bandwidth for connections.

Along with the Flex-10, HP also announced the ProLiant DL385 G5p, a rack-based server that Phil McClean, HP's UK product manager for x86 system and ProLiant, said had been "optimised for vitualisation".

"It is a rack server with space for 24 racks," he told ZDNet UK. "The internal memory has been doubled to 228GB and it is AMD Opteron-based." McClean also pointed out that HP supports a choice of virtual environments, including Citrix XenSource, Microsoft virtualisation software and Hyper-V.

The HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 Ethernet module is £8,049; the HP NC532m Flex-10 NIC upgrade card is £429; the HP ProLiant DL385 G5p is £1,399; and ProLiant BL495 G5 cClass server with AMD Opteron, quad-core Sata drives £1,505.