By: Jeffrey Burt
Hewlett-Packard officials are offering virtualization software designed to make it easier for enterprises to secure and move data and virtual machines in cloud environments, both within a data center and between data centers.
The company on Aug. 14 is unveiling new solutions that increase the security of data in a cloud environment, keeping information from disparate departments isolated from each other, and that also simplify the movement of data between up to eight data centers. HP also is making it easier for businesses to create pools of storage resources in x86 servers running virtualization software from VMware and Microsoft.
The moves come at a time when enterprises are increasingly embracing virtualization and private cloud computing technologies, and as businesses are looking for greater disaster recovery, mobility and flexibility in these environments, according to Mike Banic, vice president for global marketing for HP Networking. Citing numbers from market research firm Gartner, by 2015, 75 percent of all x86 server workloads will be virtualized. By 2014, 80 percent of the traffic running through a data center’s LAN will be between servers, and with the increasing demand for greater virtual machine mobility, the network will have to flatten.
Current legacy networking technology is not made to adapt to such trends ascloud computing and software-defined networks, he said. When HP officials talk to businesses about cloud computing and virtualization, “there are a lot of questions around data center-to-data center connectivity,” Banic told eWEEK. Such connectivity is increasingly important when talking about workload mobility and disaster recovery, he said. The problem now is that creating such connectivity is a complex, time-consuming task, with redesign and reconfiguration work that can take months to accomplish.
The vendor is looking to make this a much simpler process with its Ethernet Virtual Interconnect (EVI) solution, an overlay technology that enables IT administrators to connection up to eight data centers that can be located around the world, Banic said. The EVI software can be installed in each data center, then connected with each other, creating an environment where businesses can easily move data and virtual machines from one site to another. HP has the technology working its six data centers, he said.
Installing and deploying the software requires the IT administrator to answer five questions about configurations and designs, Banic said. Once that is done, the solution is in place. “In one click, it’s ready to go,” he said.
The simplicity of the solution is not the only advantage over competitive products, according to Banic. With offerings from the likes of Cisco, such capabilities require multiple licenses, for everything from the LAN to overlay transport, creating a more expensive and complex network infrastructure. However, HP’s EVI requires only a single license.
HP also is introducing its Multitenant Device Context (MDC) software, which offers businesses greater security for applications in multitentant clouds. This is particularly aimed at enterprises that are looking to house data from different departments—such as research and development, human resources, marketing and finance—within the same private cloud, Banic said. Not only does MDC reduce the chance of data from one department touching that from another, but it also reduces the number of network devices needed in the data center by 75 percent, increasing data security, driving down costs and simplifying the network.
The combination of EVI and MDC offers a single architecture and management platform, according to HP officials, simplifying interconnectivity between data centers over existing networks. HPs StoreVirtual virtual storage appliance enables businesses to easily create pools of storage on x86 servers running Microsoft’s Hyper-V or VMware hypervisors. This enables enterprises to more easily move data between servers and hypervisors from disparate vendors, and between different data centers.
Businesses are embracing virtual storage appliances as they grow their virtualized and cloud infrastructures, according to HP officials. The problem, they said, is that most such appliances are proprietary, supporting only their vendor’s hardware and hypervisors. HP’s StoreVirtual appliance is designed to support servers and hypervisors in heterogeneous data centers.
The results include lower infrastructure costs and a 60 percent reduction in power consumption, according to HP. HP’s EVI and MDC solutions will be available this fall as software upgrades to the vendors FlexFabric core switches, while the StoreVirtual appliance will be available in September, starting at $700 per license. HP will demonstrate the new offerings at the VMworld show in San Francisco starting Aug. 26.
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