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HP, Alcatel venture targets data center connections

HP and Alcatel-Lucent announced new cloud and data center offerings to help service providers and large enterprises connect their disparate environments.

Hewlett-Packard and Alcatel-Lucent are teaming up again, this time in a venture to offer enterprises and service providers preconfigured and interoperable gear engineered to move large workloads between data centers quickly and securely.

The offering combines IP and optics technologies from Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) with data center infrastructure products from Hewlett-Packard (HP). The new product portfolio, based on ALU's 7750 Service Router and 1830 Photonic Service Switch family of optical products, expands on an existing HP-Alcatel partnership and was announced during the HP Discover conference in Las Vegas.

HP customers were previously able to connect their data center environments on their own, but buying and deploying optical gear to construct those connections is often difficult. "It could take months to do all the tweaking and tuning required to make those [connections]," said ZK Research analyst Zeus Kerravala.

In addition to supplying enterprises and service providers with an easier way to connect their data centers, the offering will give customers access to more reliable data replication and security, Kerravala said.

"This takes away some of the guesswork [customers] typically have to go through to tie separate [environments] together," he said.

As part of the new alliance, ALU and HP unveiled two new data center connection offerings. One combines the 1830 photonic switch with HP's 3PAR Remote Copy software to enable customers to quickly replicate data over geographically disparate locations.

"Combining the data centers with fiber optics makes them look like they are located right next to one another," said Jeff Chuck, ALU's vice president of the HP Alliance.

The second product will use the ALU 7750 router to anchor WAN connectivity, tapping the device's quality of service capabilities to manage traffic more efficiently, according to Chuck.

"This is for customers, who, for example, might be looking to differentiate between the kinds of traffic going through their network," Chuck said.

The data center offerings will be a part of HP's Complete Program in the Americas and EMEA. Customers will have the choice of deploying the products according to guidelines set up by HP and ALU or by going through HP's managed services unit.

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Gina Narcisi, senior news writer, and follow @GeeNarcisi on Twitter.

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