Microsoft and HP have announced another appliance, called the Database Consolidation Appliance (see my blog about the other two appliances). In short, this appliance consolidates databases into a single, virtual environment.
In more detail:
Many customers continue to struggle with solving the problem of SQL server sprawl. With a proliferation of databases out there, the complexity and cost of managing a virtualized infrastructure obstructs applications from accessing enterprise-wide data and leads to long provisioning times.
The Database Consolidation Appliance is optimized for SQL Server 2008 R2 and designed to deal with just that problem. The solution reduces complexity and mounting costs associated with the proliferation of SQL server data bases, while enabling applications to access enterprise-wide data quickly.
It consolidates hundreds of transactional databases into a single, virtual environment, eliminating server sprawl and simplifying management of virtualized infrastructures. Once installed, new SQL Server databases can be provisioned in minutes with predictable performance and migrations can be accomplished with near-zero downtime.
The appliance allows customers to create a private cloud with self-service, on-demand scalability, and dynamic elasticity. The appliance is an HP server running Windows Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008 R2, and the Hyper-V Cloud stack.
It is based on HP ProLiant BL465 servers and StorageWorks P2000 storage with optimized SQL performance and availability for virtualized tier 2 and 3 transactional data base workloads. It rapidly scales up to hundreds of databases per solution. It will be delivered as a complete, pre-installed, pre-tuned hardware with rapid deployment and enhanced manageability. This system is basically a private cloud appliance which is a rack of servers with 192 cores, 400 disk drives (supporting up to 60k SQL Server IOs) and 2 TB of RAM. This can be purchased as a half rack or a full rack appliance.
Similar capabilities of the appliance will be offered as a reference architecture to customers who have advanced IT skills and prefer to build their own appliance with best practice guidance from HP and Microsoft. HP and Microsoft will offer support and consulting services for the converged application appliances, including assessment, design, proof of concept, implementation and ongoing support.
TechEd Video The SQL Server Database Consolidation Appliance