UPDATED 16:45 EST / JUNE 06 2011

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HP’s Converged Infrastructure Gets High Marks from Leading Storage Analyst David Floyer

Wikibon CTO and leading storage industry analyst David Floyer gives high marks to HP’s Infrastructure 2.0 platform, announced today at the opening of HP Discover in Las Vegas. Writing from the show floor, Floyer calls the announcement “a bold commitment to a converged storage strategy” and notes that HP is one of only two vendors that can put together a complete infrastructure package of storage, server, networking, and management.

A vital part of the strategy is that it moves storage closer to the server rather than regulating all storage to the SAN. This reversal of a major trend of the last decade is a key aspect of Infrastructure 2.0 and is important for handling big data, which often involves volumes of data that are too large to be shipped across the network to the application, as well as helping to maintain service levels in a virtualized environment.

The converged infrastructure also allows users to collapse the five levels of administration – database, server, network, storage, and hypervisor administration – into one or two layers. This eliminates most of the meetings required today to resolve problems, along with their inevitable finger-pointing exercises.

The downside is the reliance on a single vendor and the loss of the opportunity to use best-of-breed solutions for specific applications. However, he says, HP’s technology is excellent, and in particular it has many best-of-breed components in its storage environment. And the overall efficiency savings of the converged architecture will more than make up for any point application losses.

Companies with a large investment in HP on the data floor will find this new Infrastructure 2.0 architecture most compelling, he says, since it will make what they already have more efficient. Organizations in which storage makes up a high percentage of their general infrastructure may find it less compelling but should consider individual HP storage products, which can often provide an excellent fit for specific needs. And large organizations looking for a strategic partner to build Infrastructure 2.0 systems will find that HP is one of only two vendors that today can provide the complete, totally integrated package.

Overall, Floyer writes, HP’s converged storage is real and holds the promise for more converged systems solutions from HP in the future. CIOs should pay close attention, particularly as they seek to build an infrastructure to support an increasingly virtualized environment.

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