I am a member of HP’s Business Critical Systems Server Product Marketing team. I am here to share with you my perspectives on storage/networking connectivity options for HP Integrity servers and listen to what’s on your mind in this space (Seriously - see my listening “headphones” avatar!). In this article, I wanted to talk about I/O convergence and its relevance to customers.
One of the reasons I like the Converged Infrastructure approach is because it is all about solving customer problems rather than being lacquered with marketing hype. The beauty of HP’s Converged infrastructure solution is that it’s grounded in practicality rather than hyperbole and enables a win-win context for customers and HP. Why?
It’s a fact: people have a basic set of needs and wants, which together shape the inspiration and direction of human progress including technological advancements. According to me (and in my own terminology), the key product attributes that drive customer trends in the market are:
- Quicker – Gets things done faster than before
- Safer – Reduces uncertainties, increases reliability and eliminates threats
- Easier – Simpler and intuitive (Simpler is faster and safer too!)
- Cheaper – Lowers consumption and wastage of limited resources
- Greater – Allows to do more, to be more, to get more or to give more.
The majority of highly successful products have reached that hallmark of success because they managed to address all of these attributes better than anybody else. Products that are focused on one or two attributes invariably failed to get traction. It’s imperative to provide customers with solutions that enable them to do more, and one of the approaches for making that possible is through convergence. The personal computer--which converge computation, communication, data storage and entertainment into one device—is an example on a smaller scale. “Converging” the capabilities of multiple data centers provides an example on a larger scale.
Another example, I am excited about and which is highly relevant to those of us that work in data center infrastructure, is the convergence of networking and storage data traffic over converged network adapters and switches (HP’s converged network adapter offerings are called FlexFabric adapters and switches).
One of the main pillars of a Converged Infrastructure is the FlexFabric connectivity layer and FlexFabric adapters in conjunction with HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric modules play a key role in enabling FlexFabric connectivity at the server edge. A FlexFabric Adapter allows transmission of both networking (10GbE Ethernet) and storage (8Gb Fibre Channel over Ethernet - FCoE) data over the same wire, addressing “all” major attributes customers running a mission-critical infrastructure are focused on:
- Quicker – Concurrent 10GbE and 8Gb FCoE traffic over the same wire and adapter
- Safer – Wire once and manage by software – keep the sanctity of physical set-up and reduce errors
- Easier – Single adapter that meets almost all data center communication needs
- Cheaper – Frees up IO slots in the server improving overall system bandwidth. Simplified and unified management reduces administration costs. Reduces I/O infrastructure costs.
- Greater – Allows customer to do more for their business and customers.
Customers using HP Integrity platforms can now take full advantage of HP NC551m Dual Port FlexFabric adapter and HP Virtual Connect 10Gb/24-port FlexFabric module on HP-UX 11iv3 with Integrity server blades (BL860c i2, BL870c i2, BL890c i2). These products are orderable today.
For specific configuration and feature support information, please connect to the QuickSpecs .