Tapping into the immense powers of system automation, Hewlett-Packard has released an appliance that will streamline the management of large numbers of HP servers in a data center.
The HP OneView appliance allows data center administrators to provision, manage and monitor the operational health of HP BladeSystem servers and HP ProLiant generation 7 and 8 servers. Over time, it will also support other HP servers, such as HP's new Moonshot Arm servers.
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HP gave OneView a graphically oriented dashboard interface, one that would allow administrators to easily find information and complete tasks, according to a Web conference the company held Wednesday to introduce the product. The software streamlines common operational tasks in the data center such as provisioning a group of servers to run as a VMware cluster, or retiring a VLAN (virtual local area network).
OneView provides an interactive map showing the availability of servers, detailing their physical and logical relationships. Servers can be clustered into separate groups and configuration changes then can be applied to the groups. Any new servers added to the group would automatically be configured to the group settings.
Administrators using the software can also apply firmware updates across many servers, or search for an individual server, using a MAC (media access control) address or some other unique identifier.
OneView is not HP's first offering for the emerging market for what is being called converged infrastructure, or the effort to manage equipment across an entire data center. HP also offers Intelligent Management Center (IMC) for its networking hardware. Over time, many of the IMC capabilities may also be folded into OneView, said Tom Joyce, an HP senior vice president and general manager for the company's Converged Systems unit, during the Web conference.
OneView will only work with HP servers, though the software also provides a REST (Representational State Transfer) API (application programming interface), allowing administrators to link OneView with other infrastructure management software. The APIs can also be used by HP partners to generate new systems and software for their customers. All of OneView's commands are accessible through the API, Joyce said.
In its marketing materials, HP touted the time and money OneView could save. Provisioning hypervisors across 16 servers can typically take almost three hours of administrative time, though using OneView can reduce the time it would take to complete that task to 14 minutes.
Another example given was that retiring a VLAN could involve more than 480 steps and take more than two hours using the typical tools for the job, but using OneView, the task could be done in less than a minute.
OneView starts at $799 and is expected to be available in October.