On December 10th, 2007, 3PAR announced a partnership with HP and VMware to promote a high performance infrastructure architecture that a group of large customers developed, implemented, and validated. Customer references include marquee companies Deutsche Bank, Hilton, Savvis, and Ariba. Coined “3CV,” which stands for “3” Par, HP “C” Class Blade Center, and “V” Mware, the architecture is said to reduce total hardware acquisition cost, cut power consumption, and increase the agility of provisioning, as well as enable consolidation through security at the virtualization layer rather than through physical separation.
Since a solution like this is inherently cross functional, multiple vendors must cooperate to put a complete and effective solution in place. In general, this is difficult for vendors that don’t want to play favorites among the arch rivals that share space in their partner ecosystem. Without clear best practices that choose one product over another, each customer is left to trial and error to determine which of the multiple diverse layers of physical and virtual infrastructure, software, and middleware work well together and will best solve their problems.
This announcement seems to be a step in the right direction, with leading edge customers that take the risks to be first to market opting to share their experiences, thereby eliminating the guesswork for others that follow in their path. Among the vendors involved, 3PAR has the most to gain as an emerging vendor by aligning with industry giants. HP stands to increase the reach of its blade server offerings through cross promotion. VMware has been notoriously playing Switzerland among its many solution partners at the expense of clear and actionable best practices; hopefully this announcement will signal a new wave of clarity from the server virtualization market leader.
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