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HP Offers Data Center Scalability

HP is bidding to offer enterprises converged data center management based on virtualized resource pools, including networks and storage as well as servers, and managing them as an 'elastic' data center that can expand and contract with the economy. HP's customer research during the current recession found that 80% of IT professionals out of 550 interviewed lacked confidence in their data centers' ability to scale up and scale down again, in response to economic fluctuations. At the same time, 90% believed the economy will continue to undergo unpredictable and volatile expansions and contractions.

"We believe IT can help the company gain in any economic conditions, if its technology is appropriately managed," said Deb Nelson, senior VP for marketing, HP Enterprise Business. "Virtual resource pools are just as important for the network and storage as they are for servers," she added in an interview.

HP is bringing some of its well established expertise in network and systems management, business process management, and services management to bear on an old problem -- reorganization of the data center. Part of HP's initiative is to push new professional services, what it calls Converged Infrastructure Consulting Services, that it said can help a data center staff make a transition.

At the same time HP believes it's got new tools with which its customers can attack the problem. HP's Converged Infrastructure architecture provides for managing virtual resource pools of storage through its StorageWorks storage management system. Nelson said HP's StorageWorks Division has been augmented through the July purchase of Ibrix, the maker of Fusion software. It can find underutilized storage, add it to a virtual pool and invoke it for a particular application workload.

Use of a virtual storage pool can reduce the cost per GB of storage from $3 -- $4 to $1.80, Nelson said. In a similar manner, virtual pools of network and server resources, managed centrally to scale up or scale back for certain applications, as demand dictates, can offer similar savings, she said. The StorageWorks X9000 Network Storage System set of products can take now advantage of Ibrix capabilities to build a virtual storage pool of up to 16 petabytes, according to the announcement Wednesday.

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