HP rolls out BladeSystem

HP recently launched the BladeSystem, an environment that uses HP blade servers, services, networking, management software and virtualization tools to deliver automated computing to enterprise-sized businesses.

BladeSystem is aimed at lowering the cost of blade ownership and is part of HP's Adaptive Enterprise architecture, which covers the automation and dynamic re-provisioning of systems, storage and networking gear.

To increase users' adoption of HP blades, the company will provide installation and start-up services for US$1,600.

The company also introduced the Virtual Server Environment, the OpenView Change and Configuration management system and Utility Services. HP's Virtual Server Environment automatically grows or shrinks resources dynamically, according to changing business needs. The OpenView Change and Configuration management package automates the change and configuration of network resources. Utility Services allows pay-as-you-go acquisition of computing gear through HP's Managed Services.

Bausch & Lomb is using HP blade servers to streamline its data center and synchronize IT with the company's changing needs.

HP claims its blade systems will cost 25 per cent less than traditional rack-mounted systems and double the number of servers that can be managed by an IT staff.

It also claims that by 2008, more than 50 per cent of HP's business will be built around BladeSystem.

The company says its Systems Insight Manager (SIM) is now optimized to manage BladeSystem and provides a single point of control. SIM incorporates storage, client, network and power management as well as server deployment, performance and workload management into a single console.

HP's Essentials Virtual Machine Management Pack, working with SIM, provides management and control of virtual machines created with either Microsoft's Virtual Server or VMware's GSX or ESX Server.

The Essentials Automation Controller Pack coordinates other HP management tools to enable automated event-based policies and tasks across the blade infrastructure. This includes provisioning servers, operating systems, IP addresses, VLANs, load balancing and storage partitioning.

The Essentials Patch and Vulnerability Pack also works with SIM to utilize Radia, a software package that helps identify and patch software vulnerabilities.

In addition, HP plans to introduce Essentials Intelligent Networking, which detects and analyzes network bottlenecks, and Essentials Insight Lights-Out, a built-in management processor for setting up blade servers and enclosures.

The new BladeSystem division is administered under the company's Enterprise Storage and Servers Group. It is headed up by Rick Becker, a former vice president in the Industry Standard Server Group, which makes servers based on Intel and AMD processors.

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