Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) launched 11 Unified Computing Platform stacks, NetApp added SME-targeted ExpressPods to its existing FlexPod converged stack portfolio, and software-only storage supplier Nexenta announced a deal with Cisco to bundle its product with Cisco UCS servers and Nexus switches.
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Converged stacks first arose with EMC/Cisco/VMware’s vBlocks in 2010. They bundle server, storage and networking resources into a single converged hardware stack, or come as reference architectures for pre-specified sets of devices to be purchased separately.
The key claimed advantage is that the supplier has ensured the products work together for specific use cases in its own labs.
HDS launched 11 Unified Computing Platform Pro (hardware) and UCP Select (reference architecture) products at the event, which are VMware-centric, unlike its 2010 Microsoft-centric products.
The Pro product comprises HDS server blades and HDS VSP storage capacity with Brocade networking equipment.
The Select reference architectures specify Cisco networking kit. They are targeted at enterprise users with options optimised for virtual server and desktop deployments, email, transactional processing, data warehousing and analytics.
The products aim at use cases ranging from 500 virtual machines to around 8,000.
HDS chief technologist for virtual infrastructure solutions Francois Zimmerman said the converged stack concept would be extended to HDS’s recently launched HUS VM mid-range storage array by spring 2013.
Meanwhile, NetApp’s ExpressPods add SME-level capacity and performance to its existing FlexPod converged stacks. They use NetApp FAS 2000 series storage with Cisco UCS and Nexus hardware.
“We’re moving to a Lego concept, where our partners use a solution builder to select components for the customer using the reference architecture we provide. It industrialises what the ISV did in the past," said NetApp EMEA senior director for system engineering Manfred Buchman.
Finally, storage software supplier Nexenta announced the VMware Rapid Desktop Appliance, which combines Nexenta VSA for VMware View virtual storage controller software with Cisco UCS and Nexus hardware. The product bundle can start with 50 VDI seats and scale to thousands of users.