Hands on: HP's Enterprise Database Consolidation Appliance

If you're like most enterprises, you have data everywhere. It's in line-of-business applications. It's in directories. It's in various departmental servers. It's in your e-commerce platform. To manage all this, most shops use databases of all sizes running on a variety of operating systems and database applications, often from different vendors and editions. Chances are, they're not consistent.

Microsoft believes it's solved much of the difficulty and brought a new outlook to the enterprise database world. The company's efforts center around the HP Enterprise Database Consolidation Appliance, a one-stop, plug-it-in-and-consolidate machine that may be a good fit for a variety of implementations. The premise is that the DBC Appliance brings a private cloud directly into your data center, ready for you to begin hosting database workloads immediately. (The appliance is tagged with the "HP" moniker because it was developed mostly by Hewlett-Packard and uses that vendor's hardware.)

If you're interested in using this tool, Microsoft assumes you're well on your way, as an enterprise, to virtualizing key assets, and now it's time to take the next step and virtualize the infrastructure around your databases. The DBC Appliance is built to bring Infrastructure-as-a-Service concepts right to you, in one fell swoop. You can bring in all of your database instances from around your network and host them in a convenient, built-to-be-fault-tolerant-from-the-ground-up device that can grow as your data needs expand in the future.

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