Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday released an upgrade of its Virtual Server Environment software that makes it easier for IT managers to plan consolidations of HP's Integrity servers.
In addition, HP has added a new tool to server software package that can import data collected from rival Sun Microsystems servers. HP's Integrity servers are powered by Intel Itanium 2 processors, and run HP-UX, Windows or Linux operating systems.
Besides assisting in Sun migrations, HP said its VSE enhancements include new trending capabilities that simulate future usage patterns when planning consolidations for any of the three available OSes. Other new features include faster discovery and viewing of applications, and the ability to specify which workloads can automatically access spare capacity. In addition, hardware usage rights can be transferred among systems to meet changing business demands.
HP also introduced a new partner program that gives independent software vendors online access to HP's partner technology centers for testing, verifying and tuning applications running on virtual machines. Partners also can use HP ProLiant and Integrity servers to test applications running in a virtual environment using software from HP and other partners such as VMware.
Within the partner program, independent software vendors can debug, port, verify and support applications running on HP-UX 11i, Windows, Novell Suse Linux Enterprise Server and Red Hat Enterprise Server. ISVs also can publish applications in an online catalog for customers to see what tested software is available.
HP has been beefing up its virtualization technology for sometime. In March, the company said it would bolster its software portfolio with plans to buy storage virtualization software maker PolyServe.
The deal would let HP offer its customers better technology for consolidating file servers and databases. In addition, the company could extend network-attached storage into blade servers, which take up less space in data centers, and can be easer to manager than other server hardware. HP is the leading maker of blade servers, according to IDC.
A recent InformationWeek research poll of 250 business technology professionals showed that nearly 90% had server virtualization projects in progress, or were planning them for the future. For a lot of companies, virtualization is a key strategic move, and not just an IT tactic, the poll found.