RealTime IT News

HP Angles for End-to-End Lock on Virtualization

With the recession and scarce resources driving enterprises into virtualization, Hewlett-Packard (HP) is looking to capitalize on the trend with a slew of announcements around virtual and physical IT management from the desktop to the datacenter.

Today, HP (NYSE: HPQ) and VMware (NASDAQ: VMW) jointly unveiled plans to develop management solutions for both physical and virtual datacenters.

HP also today announced that it will integrate version 10.0 of its Quality Center Web-based test management application, formerly HP TestDirector for HP Quality Center, with Surgient's Virtual Automation Platform, which automates the testing and development software laboratory process.

And, on Monday, HP introduced its Virtual Client Essentials software portfolio that includes multimedia, brokering and streaming solutions for desktop virtualization.

The efforts aim to put HP in a very strong position for the future. Research firm IDC lists virtualization as one of the key growth areas for 2009.

"With its announcement with VMware, HP is trying to provide end-to-end management tools in an integrated suite," Andi Mann, research director at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), told InternetNews.com.

"This is really important stuff, and CA and BMC recently did very strong announcements around all these things in the virtual and physical environment."

The tie-in with VMware will pit HP against both CA (NYSE: CA) and BMC Software (NYSE: BMC), as well as against IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Mann said.

HP will also be fighting niche vendors such as Opalis, Embotics, Quest Software's (NASDAQ: QSFT) Vizioncore, which offers virtualization management technologies, and PlateSpin, now part of Novell (NASDAQ: NOVL).

Virtual testing

Melinda Wilken, VMware's senior director of technology, told InternetNews.com that the first step in working with HP will be integrating VMware's vCenter Lab Manager laboratory automation solution with HP's Business Technology Optimization (BTO) software. BTO enables enterprises to measure IT activities against business objectives -- making it more cost-effective.

HP Quality Center is part of BTO, and integration with VMware will let its customers conduct testing in virtual lab configurations from within Quality Center, Wilken said.

VMware may then integrate with BTO's HP OpsWare module, which offers automation, to automate the provisioning of physical and virtual resources in the lab environment, according to Wilken.

Products from this integration will be appearing some time next year, she added.

In addition, VMware is licensing HP's VDM Dependency and Discovery Mapping technology, which it will put into its own configuration management product, Wilken said. The combined product is scheduled to hit the market in the second half of 2009, she said.

"That will let us go out and discover the configurations you have in your datacenter, the dependencies they have on other components in the datacenter, and feed that information back into vCenter Management Server," Wilken said.

This capability ties into VMware's vision of the datacenter of the future, where servers will exist on-premises as well as in the cloud. Such datacenters will be managed by the virtualization giant's Virtual Datacenter Operating System (VDC-OS), a combination of services for the infrastructure, applications and the cloud, unveiled at VMworld 2008, its annual user conference, in September.

But HP isn't VMware's only partner in the area -- it's also teamed up with BMC and CA for end-to-end virtual and physical management capabilities. Wilken declined to say whether the company would also work on a similar an end-to-end solution with IBM, which is already a VMware partner.

Despite all the effort, EMA's Mann said that managing virtual and physical deployments together may not be as hot a market as believed.

"My research shows that 95 percent of all enterprises are deploying virtualization in some fashion, but their deployment rate internally is as low as five percent, and that trend will continue through 2010 at least," he said. "Physical deployments will remain dominant in the datacenter."

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