HP unveils ‘infrastructure-in-a-box’

Hewlett-Packard today revealed a new product that bundles server, storage and networking equipment into a single unit, along with the software to easily manage those various components as a contiguous computing resource.

The system, named BladeSystem Matrix, will allow IT departments to offer business units self-service application provisioning.

The announcement echoes Cisco’s recent revelation that it is to sell a Universal Computing System, a similar infrastructure-in-a-box offering. The difference is, however, that while Cisco has partnered with the likes of EMC and VMware to put UCS together, BladeSystem Matrix is based entirely on HP kit.

Paul Miller, VP for enterprise storage and server marketing at HP, argued that BladeSystem Matrix’s orchestration functionality, based on technology HP obtained via its Opsware acquisition, is more powerful than anything on the market.

"This is the only runtime that allows customers to conduct capacity planning across both virtual and physical environments," he said. He added that it would be possible to integrate hardware produced by HP’s competitors with the system.

Rhys Sharp, chief technology officer of UK hosting provider Specialist Computer Centres has already seen the BladeSystem Matrix technology. "We have a lot of legacy systems, that we will gradually migrate to this new solution," he said. "It will allow us to provide better service-level agreements to our customers at a lower management cost."

Details of the specifications of the system were slight, as Miller – dressed in a full-length leather coat for today’s press conference in Berlin – explained that customers will order the system according to their own precise requirements.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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