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HP Delivers Sub-$1k VMware-based VDI Solution
The scheme virtualizes the server, storage, network, I/O, application and desktop

At VMworld today HP announced what it says is the first virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution for under $1,000 a seat.

The HP Virtual Desktop Reference Architecture for VMware was demonstrated during VMware CEO Paul Maritz's keynote presentation and is currently being deployed in select HP solution centers worldwide for customers to tinker with.

The scheme virtualizes the server, storage, network, I/O, application and desktop, with HP handling the physical resources and VMware the virtual.

HP thinks if people kick the tires at its solution centers, do a proof of concept and pilot the widgetry any remaining resistance will crumble. Anyway it won't be completely productized until the first half. It's waiting on the LeftHand storage piece.

The reference architecture is built around HP's quad-core G6 server, which it reckons can get 10 clients to a core or 1,600 power users to a rack, basically your average guy at Goldman Sachs. Its sub-$1000 pricing, however, is based on 750 productivity users and includes licenses for VMware View Premier, Microsoft VECD and HP management software.

HP claims the widgetry eliminates the performance bottlenecks and simplifies the management complexities of previous solutions.

It quotes IDC's prediction that companies will spend almost $100 billion by 2012 on the management and administration of virtual servers and that next year more virtual machines are supposed to ship than physical servers.

Anyway, the VDI mojo is supposed to lower support costs versus traditional PC environments.

HP says it can cut costs by up to 50% and improve capacity utilization by up to 33% by virtualizing storage capacity with its LeftHand P4000 and other StorageWorks virtualization solutions.

It's supposed to address the operational costs and management complexity created by virtual server sprawl by bridging the physical and virtual data center silos through unified management and automation.

HP's new Insight Control for VMware's vCenter is supposed to direct vCenter administrator access to the physical infrastructure to manage server health, power use and remote control.

Its Operations Manager for virtualization is designed to monitor the availability and performance of all virtual and physical assets through a common dashboard.

Its Network Automation with support for VMware's vSwitch is supposed to reduce the risk of downtime and its Virtual Client Essentials software portfolio will include new easy-to-use setup, configuration and management tools for thin clients, as well as support for both VMware's View PC over IP (PCoIP) protocol and repurposed PC deployments to simplify and reduce the risk of migration to client virtualization.

EDS, HP's service arm, has a piece of this action. It recently signed an alliance with VMware.

There's also an HP SAN Readiness Assessment for Server Virtualization and newly packaged HP Migration Services for VMware vSphere that run about $18,500.

About Maureen O'Gara
Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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