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How HP VirtualSystem VS3 takes Microsoft Private Cloud to New Heights

By Brad Kirby, HP Group Manager, Microsoft Product Partnerships


I recently published a blog post addressing how companies are moving to private cloud because traditional IT infrastructures are costly and ultimately unsustainable.  That post also discussed Microsoft’s announcement of their private cloud strategy and new System Center 2012 licensing that simplifies how customers deploy cloud in their enterprises.  Finally, I outlined how HP VirtualSystem for Microsoft delivers the ultimate platform for the Microsoft private cloud with pre-configured server, storage, and networking as well as onsite delivery, orderable through a single part number.


Today, at Microsoft Management Summit, Microsoft announced the general availability of System Center 2012.  This release takes the Microsoft private cloud strategy to the next level by delivering core cloud capabilities such as resource pooling, service design, and self-service deployment as part of a single System Center product.  Companies that have standardized on the Microsoft Windows platform will find that System Center 2012 accelerates their ability to construct and deploy IT services on Windows Server Hyper-V, and will even extend to manage their existing VMware environment.  HP will be right there at the party, announcing HP VirtualSystem VS3 for Microsoft, HP Insight Control for System Center updates for System Center 2012, new storage management packs for System Center 2012, and support services readiness for System Center 2012.  We’d also like to share some performance benchmarks that we ran with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) on HP VirtualSystem VS2 for Microsoft.  We’ll take a few minutes to discuss each of these topics, so you get a sense for why companies that are serious about System Center 2012 should be considering HP Converged Infrastructure.


HP VirtualSystem VS3 for Microsoft: Private Cloud Optimized for the Large Enterprise


Companies making the transition to private cloud need a Converged Infrastructure platform that delivers performance and scalability to accommodate a wide variety of workloads today and into the foreseeable future.  HP VirtualSystem VS3 for Microsoft, built using the Microsoft Private Cloud FastTrack architecture, extends the HP VirtualSystem for Microsoft portfolio into the large enterprise with a new platform based on HP ProLiant Gen8 servers, HP 3PAR F400 storage, HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric, and HP Insight Control for Microsoft System Center, now supporting System Center 2012. 


 HP ProLiant Gen8 servers represent the largest leap in x86 server innovation since the inception of the product line.  Advances in the area of embedded management and deployment, raw system performance, energy efficiency and remote support, promise 3x savings in admin productivity and up to 6x better performance than previous generations.  The HP 3PAR storage platform is the world’s fastest storage array, and with technologies such as thin provisioning, automated storage tiering, and federated storage management through Peer Motion, customer enjoy as much as a 50% reduction in CAPEX and OPEX and can host double the virtual machines of rival platforms.


The new HP VirtualSystem VS3 is powering all of the hands-on labs at Microsoft Management Summit, and we estimate that upwards for 42,000 virtual machines will run on the configuration over a five day period.  And with an anticipated average of 30 to 50 IOPs per host, we’re confident that few companies will easily exhaust VS3 capacity.  Through HP services, customers can also upgrade HP VirtualSystem VS3 to an HP CloudSystem environment, allowing users to take advantage of HP’s strength in heterogeneous IT service creation and management within their existing environment.


HP VirtualSystem VS3 for Microsoft is scheduled to be orderable in the mid-summer time frame.  For more information about HP VirtualSystem VS3, please visit the HP VirtualSystem for Microsoft website.


HP Insight Control for Microsoft System Center: Infra to Apps management with System Center 2012


If you’re currently a System Center user, you know how effective it is at deploying, monitoring, and controlling Windows infrastructure and Microsoft applications.  If you use HP gear, you know how effective Insight Control is at deploying, monitoring, and controlling HP hardware.  But as an IT administrator, you need a complete, end-to-end view of your IT services, from the hardware that provides the power, to the applications that deliver the service. 


This is where HP Insight Control for System Center comes into the picture.  HP Insight Control for System Center links the server and storage management functions of Insight Control with the OS and application management capabilities of Microsoft System Center, giving administrators the end-to-end view that they require.  With HP Insight Control for System Center version 7.01, HP now supports System Center 2012.  HP Insight Control for System Center channels hardware events, status, and access to the iLO Management Engine through the Operations Manager component of System Center; it also enables automated driver injection as part of virtualized host deployments through the Virtual Machine Manager component of System Center.  HP is also the only vendor that enables hardware management of VMware vSphere environments through Microsoft System Center.


HP Storage Monitoring Pack for System Center pipes storage events and topology into System Center 2012 Operations Manager, allowing Windows Server administrators to chart storage, server, OS, and application health through a single console.  HP will also delivery Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) providers for its family of storage arrays, starting with the 3PAR family that forms the foundation for HP VirtualSystem VS3 for Microsoft.  SMI-S providers enable the creation, masking, zoning, and presentation of LUNs within the context of the System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager console.


To learn more about Insight Control for System Center and storage management packs for System Center visit HP Insight Control for System Center and HP Storage Management Pack for System Center


HP VirtualSystem: Performance you can count on


HP, Microsoft, and the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) combined forces to execute performance benchmarks for Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server running on HP VirtualSystem VS2 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 with Windows Server Hyper-V.  The results were eye-opening.


Using the Jetstress test suite, ESG demonstrate excellent performance of 4900 IOPs per second and less than 20 milisecond read-response time for up to 32,000 x 500MB Exchange mailboxes running on a single BL460c blade.  SQL result were equally impressive: a single BL460c blade easily processed over 4100 batch transactions per second and supported a user environment of up to 160,000 users.  ESG also found that the P4800 made it much easier to expand storage capacity than tradition arrays because new storage was automatically added to the existing pool of storage cluster resources.  This helps administrators avoid the need to over-provision storage capacity based on uncertain application requirements.


Find out more at this blog from ESG and see videos of both HP VirtualSystem VS3 for Microsoft and Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track.


Cloud Infrastructure for the Future


HP and Microsoft want you to be able to extend the value of your investments in Converged Infrastructure, Microsoft Windows and Microsoft System Center well into the future.  Whether you are just starting your journey with virtualization or whether you’re ready to take the plunge into cloud computing, HP VirtualSystem for Microsoft can support your needs wherever you may be on the journey.  We hope attendees had an opportunity to take a look at VirtualSystem VS3 while at Microsoft Management Summit.  Also, be sure to take a look at other blog postings from HP (including HPStorageGuy) and Microsoft related to HP VirtualSystem VS3 for Microsoft and server and storage management in a System Center 2012 environment.

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