The hype behind converged data center hardware has grown over the past year as HP and Cisco fight to dominate in unified computing.
In this roundup, you'll find all the latest news on data center convergence, Cisco Systems Inc.'s Unified Computing System (UCS), Hewlett-Packard Co.'s purchase of 3Com and what it all means for channel partners.
- Oracle pitches cut-rate Exadata
Oracle offered aggressive discounts on its Exadata hardware-software bundle in its fourth quarter.
- VCE partner program modifications tackle channel conflict, deal reg problems
The Virtual Computing Environment Company introduces streamlined deal-registration and purchase-order systems to boost Vblock sales in the channel.
- HP BladeSystem improves with Egenera deal
The Egenera PAN Manager software is now certified for Hewlett-Packard’s BladeSystem c-class servers, adding new high-availability and disaster-recovery options for HP users. PAN Manager automatically detects hardware failures and re-provisions servers onto other blades in a pool.
- Converged management, not infrastructure, holds appeal
The push toward converged data centers by Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems at the vendors’ respective partner conferences last year is finding limited support among forward-thinking midsized businesses. But that doesn’t mean those businesses are willing to take an all-in-one, single-vendor approach, according to data center VARs.
- Distributors define value in data center convergence
As the data center convergence push continues, distributors are making an effort to support VARs, many of which have strong skill sets in at least one data center technology area. Few, however, are experts in networking, servers and storage. IT distributors say they can help with training, education and assistance with integration, testing and certification.
- Cisco stresses 'partner-centric' model in converged data center push
Cisco is calling on its partners to help it win against HP in the converged data center. The company's efforts to win the data center convergence fight have led it to further strengthen ties with VMware Inc., creating bundled offerings that combine the Cisco UCS C250 with VMware vSphere.
- Cisco UCS gains partner support, despite high price
Although Cisco's UCS demands a higher investment than comparable HP products, some VARs find that the UCS price tag isn't a deterrent. Cisco's brand in networking technologies may influence people to at least try its server offerings.
- HP data center push targets Cisco
Although vendors attribute the converged data center hardware push to customer demand, many VARs say their customers aren't wild about relying on one vendor for all of their data center hardware needs. Nevertheless, the HP-Cisco unified computing fight continues with HP calling on VARs to retaliate against Cisco's UCS and take a chunk out of Dell Inc.'s SMB business while they're at it.
- HP-Cisco networking battle heats up with 3Com
With 3Com in HP's pocket, VARs are growing increasingly anxious over what the HP-Cisco networking battle means for them. Although HP and Cisco have pledged allegiance to the channel, many partners say they already feel pressure to take sides. Others worry that the one-stop-shop mantra eliminates the role of integrators that traditionally assemble multi-vendor solutions.
- New Cisco Unified Computing System faces tough sell
Although Cisco's latest UCS comes with the most recent chips from Intel, better integration with third-party system management and four times the bandwidth, Cisco still faces a tough battle to convince IT buyers that UCS is the right data center approach for them. Customers aren't convinced that UCS will play nice with their legacy hardware.
- Data center hardware wars: VARs take on vendors
As the data center hardware war rages on, VARs are taking a closer look at what a converged data center really means for them. Although vendors claim that customers want one throat to choke, many VARs believe that vendors' motivation is more self interest than customer satisfaction.
- Unified computing: A 2010 data center trend?
Although some industry experts say unified computing is the way of the future, others speculate that it is nothing more than a passing fad. Vendor lock-in is a concern, and some customers worry about the cost of implementation, compliance and regulation. At least one IT manager voiced apprehension over converged architecture, stating that higher costs could mean that other departments will have to shoulder the excess weight.
- Converging hardware consolidates IT purchase power
A converged data center hardware approach could mean that solution providers have fewer people to deal with when trying to get a final purchasing decision from customers. Some companies say converged data centers save them money on hardware and maintenance by reducing the amount of contracts they have and the number of vendors they use.
- HP's buyout of 3Com continues IT convergence push
HP's move to buy networking company 3Com signals a deeper plunge into converged data centers. Although greater integration of IT gear is an obvious advantage, some experts express concern that price fixing, less competition and vendor lock-in might be inevitable repercussions.
- HP vs. Cisco data center hardware battle heats up
As Cisco and HP gear up in their data center hardware battle, the two companies are also recruiting channel partners. Cisco launched its Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) to facilitate sales of pre-configured and pre-tested hardware, storage and virtualization bundles. Just hours later, HP revealed its new Converged Infrastructure strategy. As both companies try to strengthen their grasp on the data center, VARs anticipate more direct sales pushes from each side.
- Unified computing systems integrate more data center hardware
HP ProCurve Blade Switches and the HP BladeSystem Matrix are just two of Hewlett-Packard's weapons in fighting Cisco's Unified Computing System. Vendors say they are just trying to meet customer demand for a more easily managed virtual environment, but they are also assuming the duties that integrators and VARs have performed for years.