HP 'reinvents mainframe' aimed at IBM's data centre heartland

Hewlett Packard (HP) is having another go at wresting control of the many data centre heartlands still ruled by IBM’s zSeries, the only descendant of the traditional single vendor mainframes of the past.

The difference this time is that HP’s latest offensive weapon, the Blade System Matrix, is seen a reincarnation of the mainframe itself, combining server computing, networking, and storage in a single box that will also be capable of managing systems from other vendors – including IBM.

The novelty is in the integration and positioning of the box as a zSeries killer, rather than in the innate technology, since Blade System Matrix amounts to a bundling of existing components in the realms of virtualisation to reduce server complexity, thin provisioning to reduce excess storage capacity, and power reduction.

HP’s thrust is based on reinventing the economics of the data centre by uniting server and storage consolidation within a single platform, and thereby opening a lead on IBM on this front. Beside the new unit itself, HP is relying on a more nebulous component here, its new Matrix Orchestration Environment, comprising software to enable the infrastructure to adapt to changing data centre workloads dynamically, and provide the single point of control over the whole multivendor data centre.

Many key tools and components of this new environment have yet to be announced.

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