Efficient virtualisation and cloud working using HP blade servers

Business efficient virtualisation is now widespread across data centres and HP blade servers are at the centre of supporting the technology.

Enterprises' data centres are now rapidly deploying cloud environments too, and HP blades are again at the centre of the action.

This HP white paper outlines the role the company is playing in these technology changes and how infrastructure management platform HP OneView will enhance IT administration in the data centre.

HP OneView is designed for the HP BladeSystem and the expanding range of HP ProLiant servers. It improves the productivity of IT administrators with the help of an intuitive user interface and automated intelligence that simplifies common tasks.

With the help of HP OneView the most common data centre processes, such as deployment, updating, migrating and troubleshooting, can be reduced from hours or days to just minutes. For instance, says HP, provisioning hypervisors across 16 servers with traditional tools can take two hours and 50 minutes of administrative time. But with OneView it can take just 14 minutes, says HP.

"For businesses looking for the advantages of converged infrastructure - simplified and consistent management across servers, storage and networking - HP OneView will transform how you manage that infrastructure", HP says.

HP OneView addresses the much broader range of infrastructure lifecycle management challenges, as it unifies and simplifies server and storage resource management with one tool and one process. It supports automated storage provisioning and new, upgraded integrations with VMware, Microsoft and third party management tools.

Across both physical and virtual environments and in conjunction with other suppliers' solutions, HP OneView's software-defined approach shifts the focus from "how devices run" to "how people work", says HP, using automation to streamline your IT services.

The promise presented by HP OneView is confirmed by industry analyst Frost & Sullivan. The analyst house says, "HP OneView is an integrated management offering designed to manage HP infrastructure across compute, storage and networking today, but it is swiftly moving towards multi-cloud management for both physical and virtual environments from multiple vendors through a single user interface."

Frost & Sullivan adds, "Developed using open standards and modern APIs (application programming interfaces), it allows IT organisations to efficiently provision and manage an entire environment through a single management platform."

Frost & Sullivan believes successful providers will "transcend virtualisation" and offer a robust, open management platform. Such a platform will allow IT departments to manage multiple clouds - either public, private or hybrid ones from any provider - and optimise application delivery in order to provide the best possible experience, all through a single user interface.

It says, "The HP OneView platform speeds provisioning and delivery of infrastructure components, reducing the man hours to manage such processes while also reducing costly mistakes. It also allows for greater visibility into the entire data centre - whether virtual or physical - and enables users to maximise their resources and reduce over-buying on unnecessary components."

It adds, "When it comes to virtualisation and the cloud, management platforms that can successfully manage a myriad of cloud components from a variety of providers are likely to be the most successful and penetrate the market better than competitors. HP has gone to great lengths to ensure the interoperability of its HP OneView management platform."

Analyst IDC confirms the role of blade servers to serve the virtualised and cloud-based data centre. IDC analyst Jed Scaramella says, “Modular servers - blades and density-optimised servers (which are used by large cloud players like Amazon and Google, for instance) - represent distinct segments of growth for vendors in an otherwise mature server market.”

He says, “As the building block for integrated systems, blade servers will continue to drive enterprise customers along the evolutionary path toward private clouds."

IDC expects built-in APIs, including OpenStack support, will enable server systems managed by HP OneView to integrate with higher-level cloud provisioning and automation activities, to facilitate the operation of more efficient software-defined data centres.

IDC says, "HP OneView provides an important, unified replacement for HP's venerable Systems Insight Manager, Insight Control and Virtual Connect management tools, that delivered important systems management and control capabilities historically, but which were not designed to support today's converged and integrated environments and highly virtualised architectures."

Analyst Gartner adds, "HP is building on strong investment in management tools to enable a single point of management across physical and virtual infrastructures - and across blade- and rack-based servers - with plans to extend this to common tools across compute, storage and networking."

Richard Fichera, an analyst at Forrester, says, "I believe that HP OneView is a significant development in systems management tools, both useful to HP customers today and probably setting a significant bar for competitive offerings as well."

Fichera adds, "As IT complexity becomes the limiting factor in many shops, the advantage of a tool that makes it easy for admins to accomplish their tasks cannot be underestimated.

"All in all, HP OneView is possibly the most significant systems management product announcement that I have seen in a long time, and I cannot come up with a good reason why users of HP’s newer servers should not be evaluating it."

With the right support for both virtualisation and the cloud, HP blade servers working with HP OneView can provide the support for the evolving data centre that enterprises need.