The company envisions platforms based on industry-standard hardware with software that can change the characteristics of each component as an enterprise's needs change, executives said at a press briefing on Friday.
"What the Nirvana is, is that I give you something that is really 100 percent truly general-purpose," said Ian Selway, worldwide solution marketing manager.
Although several major IT vendors are moving to unite computing, storage and networking, HP believes it has an advantage over rivals such as Cisco and IBM because it will let third-party products interoperate with its own and won't lock customers into specific devices or architectures.
HP's general-purpose approach will give organizations a cost-effective way to scale up their data centers, taking advantage of the company's expertise in building computing platforms and its cost advantage as, for example, the largest buyer of memory in the world, according to Jeffrey Hausman, vice president of Unified Storage at HP.
With common hardware, managed by common management software, IT administrators will have fewer things to manage and an architecture that is easier to understand than a collection of distinct computing, storage and networking boxes, Hausman said. While enterprises can benefit from this type of unified system from HP, existing storage systems from other vendors will also be able to plug in and work with it, he added.