HP Bundling Brocade With Blade System

Hewlett-Packard has agreed to insert a four gigabyte fibre channel switch from Brocade Communications Systems into its BladeSystems. The move is to provide better connectivity and performance for storage area networks (SAN) .

Rick Becker, vice president and general manager of the HP BladeSystem
Organization, said the Brocade 4 gigabyte Fibre Channel Switch Module should also pare fabric infrastructure costs by greater than 50 percent over separate server and switch pairings.

Becker told internetnews.com that with the switch module, the
BladeCenter now consolidates servers and storage connectivity into one unit, paving the way for easier connection and the management of multiple servers attached to SANs.

As alternatives to large, often clunky rack-mounted machines, blade servers are viewed as low-cost, modular computing hardware that allows customers to start small with one two two processor systems and add more blades as their needs grow.

This is how HP’s BladeSystem, which includes blade servers, storage,
management software and services, works so well as a cornerstone of the Palo Alto, Calif., company’s Adaptive Enterprise strategy. Based in part on a utility computing strategy, the Adaptive Enterprise model features infrastructure and services that work in concert to respond to changes in a business.

Noting that the customers have traditionally looked at cost and complexity as a barrier for setting up SANs, Doug Rainbolt,
vice president and general manager of Transport Systems Group at Brocade, said adding the switch to blade server technologies removes such barriers.

“It’s easy to install,” Rainbolt said. “It takes away the headaches of cabling.”

“The worldwide blade server market is growing rapidly, yet switch
compatibility remains a top-of-mind issue for customers,” said Gartner
analyst John Enck in a statement.

“SAN infrastructure vendors who partner with blade system vendors to develop
and integrate switch modules for blade solutions are clearly addressing
increased customer demand for a more efficient data storage footprint,
decreased complexity in the data center and greater blade/SAN connectivity
and adoption.”

HP, which released its own networking switch to compete with Cisco, will make its BladeSystem available with the Brocade switch in the second quarter of 2005, with pricing to come at that time.

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