HP BladeSystem Matrix
HP's state-of-the-art blade server system and array of automation tools haven't squeezed all manual labor out of service provisioning, but they show the automated and adaptive datacenter is within reach
- Hard to force Insight Orchestration to do something that can't be done, Web-based interface is snappy and responsive
- Initial configuration is not for the faint of heart.
HP BladeSystem Matrix incorporates a wide array of moving parts and ties them together well. It’s still a significantly complex solution, but part of the purchase price includes integration. The hardware is impressive, and the management tools are functional if not completely polished. HP might not have reached the Holy Grail of general datacentre automation just yet, but it's definitely on the right track.
Price$ 215,758.00 (AUD)
During the Big Dig, the city of Boston erected a sign saying, "Rome wasn't built in a day. If it was, we would have hired their contractor." That's a good way to describe the general state of affairs regarding the ideal of divorcing services from hardware and pushing server management away from the physical layer. HP's BladeSystem Matrix goes a long way toward realising this ideal of an automated datacentre, providing a wide array of very useful tools and functions, but falling just shy of the lofty goal of truly hands-free datacentre service deployment. Of course, nobody else has reached that particular goal either.
Although Matrix is newly packaged, it's not accurate to portray it as a completely new product. It's built on the foundation of HP Systems Insight Manager, with a heaping helping of associated services such as rapid-deployment software (HP's RDP), Microsoft Active Directory, server virtualisation (VMware, XenServer, or Microsoft Hyper-V), and hardware in the form of the HP BladeSystem c-Class blade chassis and HP StorageWorks EVA Fibre Channel storage framework. At the centre of all these moving parts sits the new piece: HP Insight Orchestration.
It's probably best to think of Insight Orchestration as, well, an orchestra conductor, weaving a multitude of players into a coherent symphony. The sheet music for this particular piece is based on templates created via a drag-and-drop, Flash-based interface, and reference everything needed to build a single server or a group of physical or virtual servers, including all network and storage links. With the possible exception of Scalent's Virtual Operating Environment, nothing is as close to defining the automated or adaptive datacenter as HP's Insight Orchestration.
From the ground up
It all starts with the hardware. HP's Matrix product is built from existing HP hardware offerings, including the EVA4400 and BladeSystem c7000 blade chassis. In the mix are the usual Fibre Channel SAN fabric switches and Ethernet switches. However, the two network switches really don't play into the overall picture. This is possible due to the 10G Ethernet modules and the 8Gb Fibre Channel links present in the chassis. Essentially, each chassis has all the bandwidth it needs with these links, releasing administrators and the Insight Orchestration software from the onus of having to interact at the layer-2 level to provide VLAN assignments and such.
The hardware in my test lab consisted of two c-Class chassis with a total of five blades, two EVA 4400 SAN arrays, two 8Gb Fibre Channel switches, and an HP ProCurve 5406zl switch with four 10G links and a few Gigabit Ethernet links. This was the core of the Matrix solution. On the side were a few ProLiant DL 360 G5s running Microsoft Active Directory, the HP ProLiant Essentials Rapid Deployment Pack (RDP) server, and the HP Insight suite, including the Insight Orchestration software. All this hardware was separated into two racks, each roughly half full.
The set up and initial configuration of the Matrix product is not for the faint of heart. You must know your way around all the products quite well and be able to provide an adequate framework for the Matrix layer to function. Fortunately, HP currently sells the Matrix fully assembled only, and when the racks arrive, an HP integration tech comes along to get the solution up and running, provide some training, and do basic integration with an existing infrastructure.
Join the newsletter!
"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Sonos Beam review: A more-affordable, smarter soundbar option
- 3 ASUS Zenbook Pro 15: A futuristic, exciting, imperfect, flagship notebook
- 4 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 5 LG SK85 Super UHD TV + SK9Y soundbar review: A richly-realised, albeit conventional, alternative to OLED
Latest News Articles
- McAfee Labs says fileless cyberattacks are on the rise in 2018
- Vulnerabilities found in Samsung SmartThings Hub
- Dropbox gives its Pro and Business users a bit of extra space to work with
- Sharp renews Huddle Board offering
- Twilio Announces Integration with Google Cloud Contact Centre AI
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Canon EOS 1500D: Full, in-depth review
- Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- Dell G5 review: Full, in-depth review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?