HP, Arista team to take on Cisco, IBM, EMC in converged infrastructure

Joint marketing, sales arrangement aimed at shared customers

HP has entered into an arrangement with Arista Networks to market Arista’s data center switches along with HP converged IT infrastructure products.

In accounts where Arista is the preferred networking supplier, HP will offer the switches along with its Converged Architecture portfolio, which includes HP servers and storage, including HP 3PAR StoreServ flash storage and the HP OneView management system.

Speculation has it that HP will also offer Arista’s EOS operating system on its merchant silicon-based switching hardware as part of a disaggregated offering similar to HP’s arrangement with Cumulus Networks. HP is offering Cumulus Linux as an operating system option on some new Accton-based branded white box switches, which through support of the Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) can run various third-party operating systems.

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Arista says EOS on HP hardware is not part of this announcement but that “we do not preclude EOS on non-Arista platforms in the future based on customer demand.” HP dismissed the possibility.

“No, Arista’s EOS will not be extended to HP switch hardware,” says Paul Miller, HP vice president, Converged Data Center Infrastructure Marketing. “This is currently not in the development plan.”

The Converged Architecture with Arista is a reference architecture that provides pre-tested configurations with a bill of materials. They are focused initially on virtualization followed later in the year with big data and mobility, including desktop virtualization.

HP says its data center switches will still be the preferred offering but that it will acquiesce to customer demand. Arista switches will be focused predominantly on demanding application workloads that generate heavy traffic and require large bandwidth, high performance and low latencies to meet specific use cases, such as high frequency trading.

“This partnership is a reflection of expanding choice and offering greater flexibility to our customers, and we are continuing to develop partnerships at all levels of the infrastructure,” says Miller. “We recognize that our customers have made significant investments in their current IT infrastructure, and that they may already have solutions from Arista in place.”

The HP/Arista union will compete with EMC’s VCE company, which offers converged infrastructure of EMC storage, Cisco compute and networking, and VMware virtualization and networking. It will also compete with Cisco and NetApp’s reference architectures, and those from IBM, Dell and Hitachi Data Systems.

In other HP developments, the company unveiled OneView 2.0, which includes software defined templates to automate server change management tasks. OneView 2.0 also includes new automation, proactive monitoring and guidance for storage-area networks designed to help administrators identify and resolve potential SAN issues.

HP also rolled out several other reference architectures, based on the HP ConvergedSystem 700, for cloud and mobility. They include support for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) from Citrix XenDesktop on VMware vSphere; Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and Lync 2013 for unified communication and collaboration; and disaster recovery and business continuity using HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage, VMware vCenter SRM and VMware vSphere 6.0

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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