HP’s new architecture tackles IT sprawl

Hewlett-Packard Co. Wednesday unveiled new offerings to help customers address IT sprawl and build IT infrastructures that can quickly scale as the need arises.

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The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company announced HP Converged Infrastructure architecture and HP Converged Infrastructure Consulting Services toward making flexible IT environments, said Doug Oathout, vice-president for green IT and business development for enterprise storage servers and networking for HP.

“The flexible infrastructure allows you to bring new business on quicker or bring new applications on faster,” said Oathout.

The HP Converged Infrastructure architecture has been in the works for the last three to four years and is the “optimal way” to deploy an infrastructure today, said Oathout.

There are four technologies built into the architecture that should help customers reap that flexibility. The built-in operating environment allows for applications to be brought online quickly and be optimized over time. The flexible network fabric lowers network costs by providing the ability to dial the bandwidth up and down. The virtual pool of storage, networking and server resources allows the best environment to be selected for when applications go online. And, data centre smart grid technology addresses the current data centre problem of power and cooling by bringing more capacity back into the IT infrastructure.

The HP Converged Infrastructure Consulting Services are designed to help businesses design, test and implement scalable infrastructures. They are offered in three service levels depending on customer need: enterprise services group, technology services group, and business partners.

Besides the new offerings, HP has upgraded its HP Neoview enterprise datawarehousing platform such that customers can now process mission-critical workloads and perform real-time analysis on it. 

Oathout described the new version of Neoview as “a much more economical packaged solution” given it runs more efficient hardware, has a better query engine and concurrent throughput.

Customers are taking a different approach nowadays to building their IT infrastructure because they aren’t just looking for an IT purchase, but also the right solution to support future growth, said Oathout.

“There is a different view out there,” he said. “Customers want to know they are getting the best and that it’s also set up for tomorrow.”

Data centre efficiency depends on IT and facilities working in tandem, but also for the IT department to be more efficient by moving away from usual “seven-week approval process,” said Oathout.

Michelle Warren, president of Toronto-based MW Research and Consulting, said IT managers have long been asking for the ability to purchase equipment and services as needed, and have the option to mix assets in-house or outsource to a provider.

The fourth quarter of this year, said Warren, appears to be when technology vendors are finally responding to that. “It’s as if the big companies get it and are finally able to deliver a versatile solution,” she said.

The approach HP is taking with this announcement, said Warren, is that it will take care of the management of the infrastructure while freeing up IT to focus on innovating.

“One of the secrets to success in this recession is the continued ability to market, continued ability to conduct business, continued ability to create something new and innovate,” said Warren.

Also this week, Cisco Systems Inc., EMC Corp. and VMware Inc. announced they are collaborating – through the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) coalition – to provide integrated products and services for building private cloud computing infrastructures that give businesses greater flexibility.

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