HP Expands VirtualSystem for VMware

By Sean Kerner (Send Email)
Posted August 31, 2011


While virtualization is all the rage this week, with the VMworld conference going on, it's important to remember virtualization relies on underlying physical hardware to be successful.

HP this week debuted three VirtualSystem for VMware solutions that pair server, storage and networking hardware with services for VMware virtualization deployments.

The three models of the VirtualSystem are segmented based on the number of virtual machines they will support. Craig Nunes, VP of Marketing at HP, explained to InternetNews.com that VirtualSystem 1 is targeted at smaller deployments of up to 750 virtual machines. VirtualSystem 1 is a configuration that includes eight HP ProLiant servers and four P4500 LeftHand storage devices. VirtualSystem 2 is a 12-server configuration that uses the HP C-class bladesystem and two bladed P4800 LeftHand storage platforms.

"What we do is we provide customers with two enclosures, and they can start with 12 server blades and they can grow to 28 blades," Nunes said. "So VirtualSystem 2 customers can grow their virtual machines deployment from 1,100 virtual machines up to 2,500 virtual machines."

VirtualSystem 3 is HP's largest solution, providing support for up to 6,000 virtual machines. The solutions include four C-class server enclosures and 64 ProLiant blades as well as HP3PAR F-class storage.

The idea of combining multiple hardware elements together for a specific use-case solution is not a new one for HP. In June, HP debuted its AppSystem servers for database consolidation and Vertica Analytics.

The new VirtualSystem server solutions are being complemented by additions to HP's networking portfolio. HP is debuting new IRF (Intelligent Resilient Framework) capabilities as part of HP's Flex Fabric architecture.

Michael Nielsen, Director, Solution Marketing at HP Networking, explained to InternetNews.com that IRF provides the ability to link multiple physical switches together into a logical switch. The VirtualSystem solution can leverage IRF by way of the 12500 and 5830 data switches from HP Networking.

According to Neilsen, using IRF lowers the time required to vMotion migrate a virtual machine across data centers by as much as 38 percent.

Additionally, Neilsen noted that the 5830 is a new top-of-rack switch for VirtualSystem that provides better port buffering. The 5830 switch can deliver as much as 1.2 GB of shared port buffering in a 48 port switch.

"The way we do the buffer allocations gives us flexibility in mixing and matching the applications that are sitting behind the switch," Neilsen said.

There is also a new version of HP VirtualConnect technology which resides on the Bladeserver chassis. The new VirtualConnect 3.3 release includes enhancement to the user interface as well increased VLAN support.

"We can now support three different VLAN modes on the same embedded switch within the server chassis," Neilsen said. "We can simultaneously support both mapped and tunnels VLANs on the same device as well as VLAN trunking."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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